Summary: This is a Christian mother and wife of 53 years who loved serving the Lord especially as an usher. She truly served well.
Eulogy Bernice Simmons 2/14/2008
There is a song that tells the story behind the smile you often saw on Bernice Simmons’ face. The words were, “What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see, when I look upon his face, the one who saved me by his grace, what a day, glorious day that will be.” That smile on her face as been fulfilled; now she has been able to look upon the face of Jesus Christ
That smile was on her face because she believed the promise of Jesus when he said, “let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions. I am going away to prepare a place for you And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may know where I am.” Brothers and sisters, Sister Simmons knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that heaven was going to be her final resting place.
She knew it, because she knew Jesus. She understood that her mission in this world was to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ. She was not here to represent her own interests, but rather to represent the one who sent her. We did not simply come into the world, we have all been sent on a mission to make a difference. The fact that all of us are here tonight is indicative on the difference Bernice Simmons made for the cause of Christ.
God knew her and fashioned her in her mother’s womb. He poured in gifts and talents, some already made and some that baked and cooked as time passed along. Out emerged this beautiful black woman. Her family described her as giving, straight forward, wise, lively, funny, happy, cheerful, courageous, energetic, fashionable, stylish, encouraging, dedicated, and humble.
Sister Simmons may have been short in stature, but she was solid steel when she had to be. She was going to tell you the truth as you needed to hear it.
But she knew how to combine truth with words of encouragement, being able to lift you out of some of your darkest moments. She had the air and dignity of a lady about her. There wasn’t anybody in Essence, Ebony or Jet, that could move with the grace and glide she had or could dress any more distinguished than she could. Sister Simmons had enough shoes to compliment any outfit in her wardrobe and probably yours as well. When I say she was beautiful lady full of grace and truth, I know what I’m talking about.
One guy that recognized that a long time ago was Lloyd Simmons. One of the best decisions that Simmons made in his life, was to set his eyes upon Bernice Darby. That decision led to a marriage, which led to five kids, which led to a lot of grandchildren, which led to even more great grandchildren. If nothing else, Lloyd and Bernice will get a reward for fulfilling one of the first commandments which was to replenish the earth. They have done that quite well.
Ms. Simmons was a dedicated and faithful wife, taking care of Lloyd Simmons when it was easy and when it was not. You know she had to have been a woman of perseverance and faith. Lloyd Simmons was one of the greatest friends I’ve had in my life, but that brother could be a little cantankerous at times, but Bernice remained saved, sanctified and full of the Holy Ghost in the midst of the cantankerousness.
Now for those of you who get into arguments the first year of your marriage do not despair. Ms. Simmons told me that she and Lloyd got into an argument as soon as they were coming down the courthouse steps. Yet they survived and were married for 53 plus years. Lloyd knew that he had a jewel of a woman in Bernice Simmons. He often bragged about her at our Men Who Excel meetings and how wonderful she had been to him down through the years. I would often tell him, “Simmons you need to go home and tell her some of the things you tell us about her.” I wanted to hit upside the head, because he’d respond “ahhh, she already knows it.”
Pastor Toby and I commend our sister for her faithfulness of being there for 53 years in marriage. Bernie and Lloyd lived out the meaning of the words for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part. Together they built a family, that’s been a blessing to many other people’s lives.
Now when it came to discipline, it was not the father the kids feared, but their mother. She was determined to instill within them a solid work ethic and the desire to take care of themselves. She put new richness and meaning into the word chores. When she said wash the dishes that was just a code word for cleaning the dishes, the refrigerator, the counters, the oven, the baseboard and the floors. If you could clean according to her specifications, you could get a job cleaning anywhere.