Summary: Funeral service for a woman who had left a good legacy for her children.

Funeral Service for Erma Frankenbush

The story is told from many years ago of a man who worked as a lamplighter in a very small town. Each evening in the winter he could be seen walking through the snow lighting each lamp one by one. A young boy watched the lamplighter as he worked each night and he said “you could always tell where he had just been by the great avenue of light he left behind.” There are people who are like that. Wherever they go they leave something special. They leave encouragement; we feel better when we are around them, they leave light– they just seem to make our lives brighter when we speak to them. And when they are gone they leave a great legacy for all of us. Erma has in many ways done that for each of you.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 22

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

[2] a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

.....a time to tear down and a time to build,

[4] a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn/grieve and a time to dance, [5] a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

....... a time for war and a time for peace.

The OT reminds us that there is a time for everything….as we read….a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them. Stones were used as markers in the Bible times. Boundary markers. A stone would be put into place and that told everyone it was your property. Some would even go out at night and move the stones….move the boundaries so that they would have even more property. These stones were important. Also in the OT there was time when Joshua was leading the people and they needed to cross a river. Joshua set his foot into the water and the waters parted and they were able to cross. Joshua then told the people to take some stones and place them there on the dry ground to mark the place where God provided for them. These stones were used to mark important events in life. All of us have markers.

For Erma, she was first and foremost a homemaker. She loved her family and they were really her main priority in life. She had walls full of pictures all over her house. Children as well as grandchildren. She was from Pennsylvania, was raised on a farm and was a wonderful cook.

A huge love of hers was to work in her garden. She really had no other hobbies because this one thing occupied so much of her time. She loved her rosebushes. She enjoyed watching things grow and change. She was a bit of an independent person; at times even a loner….. and perhaps that is why she enjoyed solitary work like gardening so much.

She loved desserts. Who doesn’t? Cheesecake was one of her favorites and also chocolate cake. She did enjoy talking on the phone especially with family. And when she did you had to start early saying goodbye because she would take at least 5 minutes to say goodbye.

Like many older adults her life was also marked by change. I think of the many things that occurred…all the changes that took place in her lifetime…

…popup toaster

. …….bubblegum and penicillin

……..1st drive in theater…in someone’s driveway

…1st ballpoint pen

At her mid 30’s… there were 7000 working TV sets

….cake mix

…1st MacDonalds’

…1st Barbie Doll

….1st computer on the moon and ATM… when I was in high school... filmed in AZ

…cell phones

...web.... my new daughter in law said she has never known life without it

I’ll stop there. Her life had a tremendous amount of change take place.

In Psalm 23 David describes this valley of the shadow of death. That is an actual place in the Holy Land. Still exists today. And when people in David’s day would walk through that area, many times people were beaten, robbed or even killed. It was a very dangerous area. And it is the same when we walk through that valley as well. Sometimes it is difficult. It is never easy. But the Bible promises that He is with us. He comforts us and he provides all we need during this time. I have stood her and conducted services for people of all ages. Very young, very old and everything in between. One of the things I have always noticed is that no one is ever ready to give up their loved one and when death comes we are always caught off guard. I know the same thing has been true in my own experience of dealing with grief.

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