Summary: This is a funeral for a woman who was not a believer, but loved by her family.
Hattie Anne Smith by Rick Gillespie-Mobley
On March 27th, in a very small town called Marion, in the heart of western Alabama, in the year 1933, God sent a little bundle of life and potential to Nancy and Adelle Hope and , and they called that little bundle Hattie Anne. You see Nancy and Adelle had responded to the call of God to be fruitful and fill the earth. Little did they know at the time that they would be doing more than their fair share of trying to fill it because Hattie was the first of six more to come.
Hattie was a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife, a grandmother, a great grandmother, a friend and a gift to the world from God above.
Hattie was the work of God’s creation, and as beautifully as God created her to be, she has returned to her Creator. She now stands before God, to give an account for the life that she lived, as we must all one day give an account. For all must appear before God after death.
The Bible tells us, there is a time and a season for everything under the sun. A time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to hope and a time to give up, a time for joy and a time for pain, a time to be born and a time to die. The one experience that is common to us all is death. It is as common and as natural as all the other things done under the sun.
We all have a certain number of days to live and our joys and struggles are different. But in the end we all come to the place that is called death, and from that point we look back and see what happened during our lives. Who was this person that the world knew as Hattie Anne Smith.
Well her son and niece gave these words to describe her. . Happy, a good mother, a great aunt, creative, a leader, a lover of her family. Hattie tried to live her live in such a way that others would think she was a loving and caring person.
Life was not always easy for Hattie. Any black woman born in Alabama in 1933 was going to know what it was like to face challenges in her life. But that didn’t stop Hattie from having a vision of a brighter day in life. As the oldest of her brothers and sisters, she developed leadership qualities that made her strong and willing to take risks for the things she wanted.
Many of you here today have benefited from her ability to make sacrifices and to work for the big picture. When Hattie left Alabama to come North, she did not forget where she came from. It wasn’t that she had a love for Alabama itself, as much as she had a love for the family she left behind. She did her part in reaching back, and bringing others up north one by one, opening her home as the resting place until you got on your own fee. She was running her own kind of an Underground Railway with a vision to see all of her family becoming what they could become giving the right kind of opportunity.
Just like Harriet Tubman could be tough as a conductor on her railroad, Hattie Smith could be tough on hers. She knew how to be a no nonsense woman when it came to discipline. Hattie knew how to straighten you out, and she hadn’t heard anything about child abuse laws when you needed a whipping. Hattie was generous with her whippings and she did not disciriminate based on whether you were a son, a nephew, a niece, or even a younger brother or sister. You know, sometimes when a parent gets upset with you, the parent will call out your whole name from first to middle to last. Not so with Hattie. Jimmy said, he could tell what time it was just by the way his mother emphasized certain syllables in his name.
But people didn’t mind the discipline from Hattie so much, because they knew it was motivated out of love and it was usually well deserved. Not only that but Hattie had a loving heart and spirit about her. She opened her home and her arms to her nieces and nephews who looked forward to going to spend the weekend with her. How many of you here today are where you are today, because of something that Hattie did for you in the past. If nothing else she probably lifted you spirits on more than one occasion. For she was a happy person and could very easily become the life of the party. She just knew how to get you laughing.