Sunday, April 27, 2008

His Eye is on the Sparrow


We buried my sister Phyllis on Friday. It seemed at times an eternity but she died only three months and ten days after her brain tumor diagnosis. Her son and I made all of the funeral arrangements together but he left the planning of her funeral mass to me. Choosing the readings were easy, as were picking out the flowers. Pink roses, baby's breath and white daisies were her favorites. No gladiolas please, let's use pussy willows instead. Music was a huge part of Phyllis's life. Growing up, our Mom always had a stack of records playing on her big stereo. I wanted the music to be old traditional hymns, ones we knew:

Nearer My God to Thee

Softly and Tenderly

O Lord I am Not Worthy

Beautiful Savior

I asked for "His Eye is on the Sparrow" but my friend who was helping with the music didn't think she had the sheet music for it. But after communion, soft piano notes, she played:

Why should I feel discouraged?

Why should the shadows come?

Why should my heart be lonely

and long for heaven and home,

When Jesus is my portion?

My constant friend is He:

His eye is on the sparrow,

and I know He watches me.

refrain:

I sing because I'm happy,

I sing because I'm free,

for His eye is on the sparrow,

and I know He watches me.

Mom and Phyllis

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27 comments:

Lynne said...

On a lighter note, I did take a bit of ribbing later on from friends and family for choosing a "bird song"!

Deb said...

It sounds like you planned a beautiful tribute to your sister. And of course, the choice of a bird song was so appropriate!

RuthieJ said...

Sounds like it was a wonderful celebration of Phyllis's life. That's a nice picture of your mom and Phyllis.

Mary said...

You did good, Linne. I'm sure it was beautiful and peaceful, like you.

Hey, choosing a bird song is OK! Hey, we're all a bunch of wingnuts and we agree! :o)

Hugs,
May

Ruth said...

Your selection of hymns and songs is beautiful. How comforting to know that His eye is on the sparrow. We may not understand when sad things happen, but "I know He watches me".

KGMom said...

Lynne--you certainly have had so much this last year.
I thinks it's wonderful that you picked a bird song. And the particular passage that song is based on should help us all understand the wideness of God's mercy and love. God's regard for creation extends to a small sparrow--then of course so much more to us.
May you be comforted in the great mercy.

Trixie said...

Lynne -- this is lovely! I know I took much comfort in helping with my father's service. I hope this was good for you.

What readings did you choose?

Jayne said...

A perfect bird song indeed, and a beautiful service Lynne. Love and hugs to you and your family.

NatureWoman said...

That's a cool bird song, nothing wrong with it. Oh, a very beautiful photo of your Mom and Sister. {{{Hugs}}} Lynne.

egretsnest said...

It sounds like a lovely send-off, Lynne. Your sister was really loved.

Q said...

Dear Lynne,
His eyes are on you too!
I remember when my sister died.
It is not easy to love deeply but worth it!
I am thinking of you and sending comfort.
Bird songs and butterfly wings,
Sherry

FranIAm said...

Lynne- I come to offer you prayers and wishes for consolation, healing and peace. I am a friend of delia from beginning to bird.

May your sister find peace and rest and may you find hope always.

Marsha said...

Lynne, what a beautiful tribute to your sister in the choosing of those hymns. Wishing you peace and wonderful memories as you grieve.

Linda in Erie said...

Lynne-That is a most beautiful song and the lyrics are so comforting. You've suffered great losses recently and I pray the future will give you much peace. The picture is beautiful of your sister and mother. All of us who have lost close loved ones understand what a difficult time it is for you.

Larry said...

That's beautiful Lynne.I'm sorry you had such a tough year and I'm sorry for your loss.

MojoMan said...

Even in sad tragedy, your sister is doubly blessed. Maybe Jesus is watcing over her soul, but I know you are guarding her memory, and that is a wonderful thing.

Dorothy said...

Lynne, I don't post much, but I read all the bird blogs. I know how hard it is to lose a sibling and a Mom so close together in time. You planned a beautiful service for them. It must be a bit of comfort to know that your mom went ahead to make way for your sister and now they're together. Biggest hugs to you!
Dorothy

gardenpath said...

Sounds like a beautiful service, Lynne. So sorry to hear of your loss, my prayers are with you and your family.

mon@rch said...

So sorry for your loss! This looks like a great service for her!

Susan Gets Native said...

"Nearer My God To Thee" has always been one of my favorite.

"And then sings my soul....my Savior God to thee..."

I've been there with the whole planning a funeral process. When Dad died, my Mom was basically shut down, mentally, so my brother and I made the decisions. I think we put together something that Dad wouldn't have rolled his eyes at too much. : )
I think of you all the time, Lynne. I just wish we lived closer together so we could fall into each other's arms for a good long cry.

Susan Gets Native said...

BTW: A bird song? Darn skippy, a bird song!

Aunt "B's" Backyard said...

Lynne, you are an incredibly stong, beautiful lady!! Your sister was very fortunate to have you in her life. My sincere sympathies to you!!!

Eve said...

Your song sparrow will always bring the happy memories of your sister in its melody each spring. My thoughts are with you and your family at this time Lynne!

Owlman said...

Hi Lynne,

Sorry to hear about your loss. You put a lot of thought into the service and I'm sure your family appreciated it. Losing someone close to you is never easy although it does get easier as you allow yourself to mourn and celebrate their lives.

Nothing wrong with Sparrows they are so cute!

Mel said...

Hi Lynne,
I'm sure your sister loved it. I have you all in my prayers.
Hugs,
Mel

Kathiesbirds said...

Lynne, I'm so glad someone found the sheet music for the song you wanted. How appropriate! I know He is watching over all of you.

Born Again Bird Watcher said...

My sincere condolences Lynne.