Life Celebration

 

Note: This page was written by Bernadine's son, Bradley Ward after Bernadine had passed on to Glory.

Per Mother's written instructions, her earthly body was cremated soon after her passing. Mother's attitude towards her own death can best be described by her own words about her memorial service that she had previously prepared for Margie and I to read after her passing:

"Attached are suggestions of scripture and music from which you may choose. Feel free to add your favorites. It won’t matter to me because I will be with the One who originated these scriptures, listening to more beautiful music than you will be hearing."

A celebration of Mother's life was held in the sanctuary at the Johns Creek Baptist Church on Monday, May 24th, 2010. This is where she had worshipped nearly every Sunday since moving to Alpharetta in 1994. The service was officiated by Bill Self, the senior pastor at Johns Creek, and by David White, the pastoral minister at Johns Creek.

Per the families wishes, the service was designed to be as uplifting as possible, and there were many laughs as the various memories of Mother were shared by the ministers and the family members who delivered heart felt eulogies. Mother's son-in-law Tim read scripture, and eulogies were delivered by her grandaughter Amy Dale, by her cousin Mike McDaniel (who represented her beloved West Texas roots), and finally by her grandson Matthew Ward.

The text of each eulogy can be read by clicking on the following links:

Eulogy by Amy Dale View Download
Eulogy by Mike McDaniel View Download
Eulogy by Matthew Ward View Download

To conclude the memorial service, Bill Self read scripture and spoke of a life well lived. Some of the scripture that was read was from the apostle John's book of Revelation where the wonderful creatures of Heaven were revealed to John. These scriptures comforted the many friends and family that attended the service as they envisioned Mother exploring these new beauties in her new Heavenly body.

The service was concluded in the same manner that each Sunday morning service is concluded at Johns Creek Baptist Church, and that was with the audience joining hands and singing one of Mother's favorite songs, Because He Lives:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
and I can face tomorrow just because He lives.

A large number of Mother's peers from the Progressive Sunday School class at John's Creek attended the service, where they sat together as a block. We asked Edith Bond, one of Mother's closest friends in the Progressive class to sit with the family. This was to honor the love and friendship Mother had shared with not only Mrs. Bond, but many other members of the Progressive class.

Mother was equally as unconcerned with her own internment as illustrated in her own words:

 

"One option would be to FedEx (my remains) to Greenlawn Cemetery (in Greenville). However, I suspect that some of you might choose to make the long trip to Mississippi to see that I take my place by Daddy."