Written by Shirley (Walsh) Worden, and read at the funeral service at Hixson Brothers:
Comments on the Passing of My Grandmother...
In the pre-dawn hours of November 25th, I learned of my grandmother's
death. It has finally come to pass that she is no longer with us, and
while I was expecting this moment, I feel an unexpected shock. To me this
death marks not only the passing of my grandmother, but also the end of
The daughter of a merchant and planter, she was born and bred in the
traditions of the Old South. The very names of the towns in the Franklin
Parish Prarie where the family home and land were established always
captured for me a sense of the essence of these ancestors. There dreams
and labors were carried out next to a town named Fort Necessity, in the
rich soil of a place called Extension. Her life and the lives of many
generations were all shaped by the strong and uncompromising values of
the family who settled in the towns with such strait forward names.
As the last surviving child of Thomas James and Belle Blanks Matthews,
Edna Earle Matthews Clinton was our final link to her generation. I will
miss hearing what she had to tell of her life, and I will miss her
embodiment of strength of purpose.
She has shown great courage in facing life. Her fortitude sustained
her in meeting a great measure of responsibility with a no-nonsense,
can-do attitude. By her example, grandmother taught that it is possible
to make things happen. And this firmness of spirit was not weakened by
the difficulties she encountered. I cannot remember a time when I was not
influenced by her enduring strength and determination.
I had thought that this would be my epitaph to my grandmother, and
that it would be on this note that I would try to form a suitable
conclusion. I have been struggling to write this for many weeks, but
inspiration would not come. It is only today that I understand that it
was because I had not yet seen what had been her greatest achievement.
My grandmother believed beyond all things that life is good and worth
living no matter what. She took such great pleasure in the things that
made life, to her, enriching, and she wanted us to share in this bounty.
I learned to love the benefits of education, travel, good food and
beautiful flowers. I see her face before me on the trips she gave me. It
is alive with interest, her blue eyes are alight with joy, and she is
laughing with the passengers on the tour bus. To my great consternation,
she will not let me take a nap but insists I look at every rock on the
roadside. She also has a road map spread out on her lap and is giving the
bus driver directions, telling him how to go just as she has always told
us all. I have no doubt but that she will try to organize the heavens, as
Her example was straightforward and uncompromising--- Life is good, so
go out there and live it. Good bye, Maw Maw, and thank you for the
strength of your vision.