A Song for Eileen

Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Sam English
Status: Current
Date Posted: Tue, Jul 25 2023
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                           Music Medics Mission Expands Across Multi-Gen

Losing a spouse is hard. And ditto for sharing the loss of a neighbors spouse. 

On July 15th, The Nashville Music Medics shared in the eulogy of a neighbor near my home in the Del Webb Lake Providence community.  On June 22nd, the Medics had sung for Eileen Edwards and her family at Alive Hospice. During the summer of 2022, Alive Hospice was added to our original mission of song that began in the Tri-Star Centennial Children’s Hospital. Twice a month, the Medics would serve A Spoonful of Sugar” or a jolly Youve Got a Friend in Me” to toddlers and teens alike. And hospital staff would occasionally get a more robust barbershop blast during lunchtime in the reverberating open-ceiling atrium. Since then, Alive Hospice has been part of our regularly scheduled sing outs.

On this July Saturday morning, the clubhouse ballroom was standing-room only with folks who gathered to honor and reflect on the life of Eileen Cross Edwards. Eileen had been active as a member and volunteer in Del Webb clubs and organizations. She was regularly involved in major events sponsored by the Del Webb Lifestyles Committee. Eileen and her husband Phil were often seen walking around the Del Webb lake with their friendly labrador, Patrick Henry. And no surprise to friends, Eileen hosted some very memorable St. Patricks Day parties with tasty home cooking. The Celebration was led by Providence Church Pastor Mark Youngman, who delivered a heartfelt celebration of  life message about Eileen.

Family, residents, and friends had opportunity to share how Eileen had made a difference in their lives as a loved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Nashville Music Medics sang the well-known hymn It is Well With My Soul,” penned by a father after the death of his four daughters on a transatlantic voyage. We continued with Irish Prayer,” which was received with many teary eyes. That response touched every Medic while we finished singing the words May God hold you in the palm of his hand.” The service concluded after Phil Berg and I sang a couple of verses from the hymn In the Garden” (C. Austin Miles).

                              Nashville Music Medics                                                                                 James, Phil & Ukeleles

When Phil Edwards and daughter Jennifer asked me if the Nashville Music Medics would participate in Eileens Celebration of Life service, I was honored and somewhat anxious at the same time. This was uncharted music territory for our band of merry men. With family summertime travels already in full swing, or in the planning stages for some of our group, I felt a little too vulnerable by the idea of singing for a neighbor who lived on my street. Eileen was a neighbor who made me and others laugh at her funny stories and adventures. She broke bread with my wife and I at her house parties with other neighbors. Initially, I was hopeful enough for the availability of a quartet to sing on Saturday. Instead, more than twice that number arrived in their blue hospital scrubs to boost my doubting-Thomas faith. For the first time, Nashville Music Medics shared song in a special service where tears were shed and praises were spoken. And they touched my heart. Love you guys.

By James Lewis Russell, For Nashville Music Medics