Eloise, smiling as usual

Fans are to a writer what blood is to life.  From my first book, Tarnished Haloes, Open Hearts, through my Trailblazer trilogy, my dear friend Eloise Litz was my enduring enabler.  Her notes to me were always an ode to joy, filled with affirmations.

Eloise spent her life pursuing excellence as a wife and mother, a music educator and encouraging all of us to take ourselves a little less seriously.  She must have had a jillion pithy sayings through laughter.

Eloise came into my life after I joined First Baptist of Chattanooga over 20 years ago, shortly after I’d shared with a few people “My Pillow’s Secret.”  I don’t know how she found out about my article, but what I do remember is that she was quick to affirm both my son and me.

Through the intervening years our friendship grew by leaps and bounds. One sweltering summer, we traversed Chickamauga National Park, visited the arts center in downtown Chattanooga and explored Chattanooga’s riverfront vista from the Delta Queen as members of The International Support group at First Baptist, along with our Kurdistan friend and her children.

My beloved Eloise passed away this week at age 98.  Music was her alter ego.  The snippet taken from a hymn is how I picture Eloise when she arrives at her new abode.

And when from death I‘m free I’ll sing on I’ll sing on
And when from death I’m free I’ll sing on
And when from death I’m free I’ll sing and joyful be
And through eternity I will sing on, sing on

Gabriel, get ready to sound your trumpet.  Eloise is on her way.  You’re going to love Eloise.

Me?  I’m lonesome.  I’m sad.  Eloise wouldn’t want me wallow in my loss, but to get on with living this abundant life!

The stanzas above are from the lovely hymn What Wondrous Love Is This.