Fall 1993


God in His goodness seems to know just when I need a special blessing or lesson from Him. Often these blessings and lessons have come to me through the little children who are and have been a part of my life.

Just this fall Cody Hill, my great nephew, spent a Saturday afternoon with Don and me while his mother, Jessica, and grandparents, Ava and Ed Bonds, went to a football game on the Ole Miss campus. Since Cody and I have had little time together, I wanted his afternoon to be the ultimate in fun—but I got more than I gave.

We began the afternoon looking at some nature cards together. The raccoon seemed especially interesting to him. I liked that because, while not an authority on coons, I have some knowledge of their habits and I have seen evidence of them close by. I took Cody to a couple of persimmon trees nearby—one on the Jeff Jones place and one by Lynn Hewlett’s barn—and we talked about coons and other of God’s wild creatures and what they eat. What we did not know, we "supposed," and Cody’s interest and good nature were a pleasure to behold. We stopped by Miss Emma’s to see the latest litter in a constant procession of baby kittens and by "Uncle Bob’s" pond to feed the catfish. By then "Uncle Don" was home. Don and Cody were glad to see each other, and Cody chose to stay with Don to play enthusiastically with a set of miniature cars instead of going on an errand to the church with me.

The afternoon with Cody passed fast, and supper time came. When we sat down to eat, Cody said, "I know the prayer." Don asked him to please say it for us. I was touched as he put his little hands together beneath his chin in a prayerful position. I felt surely God was in the chair which appeared vacant to us.

Though I could not hear his words, I felt them flow through me. God had given me a much needed reminder that "When little children pray, the God in heaven above looks down from His great throne and listens to each word" (from the song "When Little Children Pray").

As I reflected later on what Cody’s visit had meant to me, I began to think of other times when the wisdom of the little ones has brought me messages of God’s love and care.

Once, in 1976, Jessica, Halon, and Bubba (Ava and Ed’s three children) stayed with us while Ava accompanied her church youth choir on a trip. I was at home full-time, but I wondered then and I wonder now how I could have handled the three (then 7, 4 and a half, and 3) without the help of daughters Beth and Susan and of Edna, long-time household helper and friend. One day all three of the children rushed in so excited to "Aunt Patsy" to come see the bird’s nest. I dutifully hastened along to the holly tree near the front door. I looked high and low but just could not locate the nest. I told them I was sorry but I simply did not see the nest. They looked despairingly at each other and then one said, "Come down here and look— see the eggs." When I stooped down and looked up, I saw the nest, and peeping a bit higher I saw the eggs. Later as I relived this experience I thought how typical it was of how we are. How we see and perceive often depends upon how we look. One adjustment can change the entire picture for us.

One day during the same visit Bubba proceeded to climb the radio tower. It was a swift, easy ascension, but, when he looked down, his height frightened him and his call for help went out. The girls came running for a rescue unit. Edna (again!) and I were both much younger then. I, with unpredictable balance because of my inner ear trouble, needed to keep both feet solidly on the ground. I persuaded Edna to climb just barely high enough to touch one little foot and encourage Bubba to come down in the same way he went up—one step at a time. To my mind comes the comparison to our branching out bit by bit only to become suddenly aware that we do not really know how far gone we are. How grateful we are when someone comes to our rescue and brings us back to comfortable safety. Does God ever tire of us and our carelessness? I think not. With his capacity to love He is much more patient with us mortals. I think His feeling would best be described as a sad disappointment with His straying children.

I recall granddaughter Sally Kate, who I call "our 4th-of-July child" as she is so independent, in a similar incident. Though Sally Kate is more than three years younger than the next cousin above her in age, she never lets herself fall behind. One day as I walked around in the yard I heard a very faint little voice, "Help me down—help me down, please." I knew it was Sally Kate, who was only 3 or 4 at the time, but I could not find her. I saw a small wrought iron table under the magnolia tree. That told me all the others had climbed the tree then gone on to another adventure, leaving Sally Kate behind. I explained to her that if she came down one more little step I could reach her. She came lovingly and gratefully into my arms and let me caress her warmly. Once again I thought how this adventure illustrates my relationship with God. As I wander away, He in His patient, unfailing love reaches out gently, touches me and draws me into the safely of His presence.

One warm December day when granddaughter Mary Beth was just past 3, she played around in the yard as I made Christmas arrangements under the pecan tree. I heard and saw a yellow hammer. I watched as Mary Beth stopped, listened closely and went on with her way playing. Shortly, she asked "Pat" if I heard someone knocking. I knelt beside her and showed her the bird and together we watched him with fascination. My mind raced to how blessed we are to have the trees and birds all around us to enjoy. I fear we take these things too much for granted. I thought of the people living in large cities in high-rise apartments who seldom see a tree and surely not many birds.

Another time when Mary Beth’s expression and words were very meaningful to me was on an occasion when I was picking her up from Nell and Les Briscoes.

As we were leaving, Les told Mary Beth to hold out her hands and he would give her some candy to take home. As Les filled her little hands completely, she looked up at him with those big brown eyes and said "Paw-Paw, you are fulling me up." How like God and us—all we need is to wait with outstretched minds, hearts, and souls while God "fulls" us up with the goodness He keeps in store for us.

While son Andy, Linda, and grandson Chase were visiting recently, I noticed and remarked to Linda howwell Chase, who is 1 now, was handling the steps from the back porch to the yard. Linda said she had noticed that when Chase knows he is on his own, he is very careful. However, when he has someone’s hand to hold, he throws caution to the wind. He knows he is being held safely by a higher person or power. How comforting to hold on to God as we go through the daysin our lives that are especially difficult! Granddaughter Joanna gave me one of my most treasured memories. On one Easter Sunday when we called out for all the children to come in for dinner, little Joanna was at the far end of the garden which had been recently plowed then rained on. She kept insisting she could not come. As Ava went around the grassy edge to Joanna, she heard Joanna saying "I‘tuck. See, I tole you I 'tuck." She was indeed ‘tuck. The picture of Ava with her shoes in one hand pulling Joanna with the other hand is priceless. I get myself stuck time after time by not being attentive to my movements. If I am willing to acknowledge I am not able by my own power to come out again, God will send someone to my rescue.
We missed out on much of Brett’s first three years during the time they lived in Louisiana. Beth shared with me that each day after she picked Brett up from the sitter’s he was eager to get outside. They often sat for hours on the concrete patio. One favorite topic was where God lives. As they talked it was agreed that God lives up in the sky just over the backyard. In his Sunday School class one day the teacher asked if anyone knew where God lives. Brett acknowledged right away that "Yes, God lives in my backyard." It is vital that each of us has a sense of where God is. As we grow as Christians we come to realize that God actually lives within us to the extent we allow Him to do so.

Like other mothers, I have many treasured memories of my own children during their growing-up years. I remember Sunday nights as we went home from church talking about God, often starting by our reciting, "I see the moon, the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me." God did indeed bless me with the children and with the grandchildren!

These memories are very meaningful to me. Perhaps that is the reason I recall them with such clarity. Grandson Brett often says, ‘Pat Pat, talk about the olden days." I love to respond to this request—though a little shaken by his reference to "the olden days." And I enjoy putting these memories in writing to share with you and to preserve for the family. It is my hope that you will be blessed as you recall times when you too felt God’s very special blessing on you and those you hold dear.



Construction is underway at Waller Funeral Home to provide additional space for offices, for arrangements, and for an expanded selection of funeral supplies. This addition will allow us to provide more privacy and comfort for those we serve and to have available a more extensive line of burial supplies and equipment including urns and caskets for cremation services. More details and possibly pictures will be included in future newsletters.

We appreciate your understanding and patience during construction. Our first priority is still to serve each family with care and respect, and we will maintain the appropriate atmosphere while these families and their loved ones and friends are present.

This construction is part of our continuing effort to provide the best service possible, and we look forward to sharing these enhancements of our facilities and services with you.


We have available at the Funeral Home:

1. Printed helps for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one since the last observance of the Christmas season. These will be mailed to those we have served during this time. If you are not among that group and you think these might be helpful to you or to someone else not designated to receive them, please call and request the materials.

2. Inspirational Appointment Calendars. Drop by and ask for one.

3. Old Farmers ‘Almanac. Ask for an almanac if you would like to have one for 1994, the 177th year of publication of this old standby.

4. Library (See bottom of page)


Staff changes at the Funeral Home include Trish Cousley (left above) and Robbie Ash (also above). Trish has joined the staff with her primary responsibility being in the insurance office. Robbie has chosen no longer to work full-time.

Trish has a BS Degree in Business Administration from Delta State and a BS Degree in Accounting from Arkansas State. Before joining our staff, she worked part-time for five years as a pre-school teacher assistant at the Discovery Day School of the Oxford-University United Methodist Church.

Trish, originally from Grenada, and her husband Sam Cousley, manager of Miss 98 Radio, moved to Oxford in August 1985 from Jonesboro, Arkansas. They have two children: Starling, a senior at Oxford High School; and Margaret, an eighth grader at Oxford Junior High School. Trish is a member of Oxford-University United Methodist Church, where she serves on the Board of Trustees. She previously served as chairperson of the church’s Education Committee and on the Administrative Board. She is a charter member and past president of the Oxford Junior Auxiliary.

Robbie began working with us in 1987 after 24 years of working for Bell Telephone Company. She will now work in the office on a part-time and on-call basis and she will sell insurance and assist with pre-arrangements on a relaxed schedule.

We will miss seeing Robbie on a full-time schedule. We welcome Trish to "the family."

Again we invite you to use our library, located in the family prayer room at the funeral home. We now have an alphabetical listing of the books available with short descriptions (some quoted directly from the book covers or jackets) to help in selecting the books appropriate to your circumstances.

Many of the books deal with death and grief, some with special application for circumstances such as suicide, the death of an infant, the death of a spouse. Some offer help in dealing with critical illness and with guilt and loneliness. Special attention is given in several of the books to helping children and young people deal with death did grief. A few of the books are simply books of prayers and meditations.

Beginning with this issue of the newsletter, when space is available, we will include information about some of the books that are available for you to borrow.

Bayly, Joseph. The Last Thing We Talk About: Help and Hope for Those Who Grieve. Elgin, Illinois: David C.
Cook Publishing Company, 1992 revised. 123 pages (paperback). A revised and updated version of a book of very practical suggestions for helping in responding to the dying person, comforting the grieving, explaining death to a child, dealing with suicide, planning with the funeral director, and other matters of death and dying.

Dodd, Robert V. Helping Children Cope with Death.

Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press, 1984. 53 pages (paperback). The author, a minister and spiritual counselor, wrote this booklet to help adults help children deal with their thoughts and feelings concerning the death of a friend or relative, or in facing their own death from a terminal disease. He begins with the death of his mother when he was eleven years old.
Osmont, Kelly. More Than Surviving: Caring for Yourself While You Grieve. Omaha, Nebraska: Centering Corporation, 1990. 30 pages (paperback). After making it through the emotional pain caused by the death of her son, age 19, the author decided taking care of herself was of utmost importance. In this booklet she offers suggestions about how a grieving person can and should control themselves and keep their bodies well and strong. She includes discussions not only of emotional health such as talking and crying but also of eating, sleeping, and exercising.

We dedicate this issue of Seasons to those who died and whose families we served from August 25 to November 17, 1993.

Mr. Rodney Elliott Campbell 08/25/93

Mr. Otho Lee Shepherd 08/27/93

Mr. Francis Alvah Woodward 08/28/93

Mrs. Hazel Carroll Stone 08/30/93

Mr. John Rowan Markette 09/04/93

Mr. Howard William Parks 09/07/93

Jonathan Louis Provine 09/07/93

Mr. John Kimbrough Ramey, Sr. 09/12/93

Miss Clista Leggitt 09/18/93

Mr. Jesse James 09/19/93

Mr. Morrison R. Waite 09/21/93

Mr. Fred Onsby 09/23/93

Mrs. Ruth Fuller Hall 09/29/93

Mr. Marion Bruce Tyler 09/29/93

Mrs. Nancy Varner Moore 10/01/93

Mrs. Martha Spence Wall 10/02/93

Mr. Frank T. Ramage 10/04/93

Mrs. Sarah Richeson Savage 10/05/93

Mrs. Emma Parker Hollowell 10/10/93

Dr. Robert Blackburn Scott, Jr. 10/11/93

Mrs. Marguerite Goodwin Roy 10/12/93

Mrs. Beulah Bennett Dooley 10/15/93

Mrs. Clytie Wilkins Wright 10/19/93

Mr. Joe Herbert Moody 10/24/93

Mrs. Besse Abels Ables 10/26/93

Mrs. Lenore Byrnes Stalcup 11/8/93

Mrs. Mary Beth Kelly Griffin 11/8/93

Mrs. Geneva McLarty Russell 11/17/93

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