My family lost a dear friend yesterday. Edna died at 96 years of age after battling congestive heart failure. Like her entire life, she fought hard until the end. In 1978, she entered my family's life as an "angel" and provided support, joy, and hope at a time of need. With a smile on her face, she lived her life in a "white man's world" and always held her head high.
When Katrina was approaching New Orleans, my 74 year old mother called and said that her and Edna were going to "weather" the storm out together. I had to intervene and tried to get both of them to safer ground. Edna, stayed behind in her little house catching water in a bucket as it poured through her roof. Two days after the storm, she ventured out to get some groceries. She returned to the police blockade five minutes after curfew and they turned her away. Fortunately, she found someone to take her in for the night. One day at the grocery, she was paying for her bill with the plastic card that all people were given after the storm. She couldn't figure out the machine and the frustrated young girl behind her yelled "haven't you ever used one of those before?". Edna kindly turned to the young lady and said "No I haven't. I have worked my entire life up to the age of 80 so that I could buy my own groceries."
In the 80's she decided that the Mormom church needed some more "color", so she walked in the temple and said that she wanted to become a member. They agreed and Edna became a mormon. She became a fixture in her church providing tireless hours of volunteer support. She filled her car many times with donated items. She drove that little Camry until her 95th year. An independent woman always on a mission.
Edna was a proud, hard working, joyful person till the end. She never was bitter. She never felt sorry for herself. She loved everyone. She will be missed.