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my friend, edie

I didn’t feel right when we first moved here.

In the twelve years that we’d been together, we had moved every one-to-three years, knowing upon each landing, that it was just temporary. And that was good, because it was fun. We were dirt poor, and we purged with each move, so we didn’t have a lot to move each time, and each move was full of new opportunities… New jobs, new friends, new places to see, new foods to eat, things to learn… But this move, this was where we intended to stay. And it didn’t feel quite right to me.

My husband, thinking he would bring some sort of comfort to me, took me to the local mall. It was anchored by a Walmart. {No.Lie.} I had envisioned life in a small big city somewhere in the southeast, like Richmond or Knoxville or Athens, and here we were, in a small country town, in the mountains of East Tennessee, with a mall that was anchored by a Walmart. I had about given up all hope, when we walked into Sears, and there they were… she was pregnant out to here, hair up but spiking out of it’s clip, blonde and cute as all get out, and dressed as only Edie can dress. And no lie, I think she was reading a book as they walked. He was ever handsome, and the young man with them had electric blue hair (seriously), and was good-looking, too. My husband knew them, he would be working with them, so he introduced me and conversation was oh-so easy, so easy that I couldn’t believe it later when he told me she was a doctor. I don’t even remember what we talked about- what could we have, it was so brief!  But it was a moment for me…

As we walked away that day, I breathed easier. I knew it was going to be okay. I finally felt at home.

I can’t say enough about Edie. She is a woman of which any other woman would be proud. She’s intelligent and warm, humorous and hard-working, giving and compassionate. She’s a trained physician who set that aside to raise her family. And is humbled to do so. She’s deep and she’s real and she knows no stranger. She calls everyone honey, and she’ll cry and she’ll laugh and she’ll cook or bake you the best anything ever. She’s scary crafty with anything paint (do NOT leave her alone in a room with ANY FORM of paint-just sayin’.) And she can make you feel at home in the middle of a mall anchored by a Walmart. I am so grateful to call her friend.

Just before Christmas, Edie and her family suffered a huge loss. For someone who spends her days and nights nurturing and teaching her family in their home, this was a devastating loss. She is rich in faith and praises God for delivering her family. I won’t write more about this; this is not my story to tell. {She has so eloquently done so here.} I also won’t post pictures of what was. Instead, I chose these, because they so exemplify this beautiful woman… Not afraid of the hard work and long haul ahead of her; she’s worked hard and long before. She’s creative and will bring beauty and warmth, and just a little umm, je ne sais quoi that only Edie can to make their next home just perfect. She’s attentive to detail, and intentional with her choices. She will craft their future diligently. I am full of joyful anticipation for her, to see how she paints this new blank canvas.

(Bring on the paint!)

This is my friend Edie, and these are photos of her previous –the infamous turquoise– kitchen (I swear, the paint in this room is 7 layers deep!). She made this beautiful kitchen!! I stole the photos from her blog. In fact, today, I am a co-conspirator and in on a plan to high-jack her blog. I hope she’ll forgive us. But the blog world was yelling out to us, DO something! Do SOMEthing! And today’s her birthday. So we did what any good girlfriends would do… We snuck into her place and we’re throwing a surprise party in her honor. So she can’t even gracefully say no. Now, if only there was some chocolate mocha cake

life in grace+

Come, help us surprise her!

As a gift of encouragement and support for her, please link a post on your blog about how she or her blog has positively affected you. If you don’t have a blog, or are just going over there right now to first meet her, please leave her words of encouragement in her comments. If you can’t figure out how to do that, send her a brief note by email (you can find the email link at her blog). You can also copy and paste her button to your blog post, so your readers will go visit her, and the circle of love will grow ’round and ’round this family, as it can only do in the blog world.

  • January 4, 2011 - 5:34 am
  • January 4, 2011 - 5:48 am

    melissa stover - this is lovely. how lucky you are to know her so well.

  • January 4, 2011 - 10:21 am

    Cate - You are such a beautiful friend Patty – to such a beautiful lady.

    Love and blessings to both of you


  • January 4, 2011 - 11:28 am

    Denise Voccola - Beautifully written, Patty, as only you can do! I am thankful that Edie has a friend like you during this time. Thanks for organizing the party in blogland.

  • January 4, 2011 - 11:31 am

    deb @ talk at the table - It’s perfect Patty.

    I want to be more like an Edie with my life.

    maybe with a little less paint, but still:)

    I cried.
    Just sayin’

  • January 4, 2011 - 11:45 am

    Kristi~The Slipcover Girl - Patty,
    Your words of Edie are beautiful. Grateful she has a friend like you.

  • January 4, 2011 - 11:56 am

    Cathy - What a beautiful idea, Patty. You are such a treasure. I can so picture your heavy heart as you see the Walmart anchor store and also picture Edie walking with a book! Really good friends walk down into the valleys with us…you are such a friend. xoxo

  • January 4, 2011 - 12:29 pm

    Amy Avery - Such beautiful inspired words about a dear friend who means so much to all of us. Patty, from my heart, thank you for “hacking” Edie’s blog to allow her to have this warm embrace on her birthday. YOU ARE A TRUE FRIEND!

  • January 4, 2011 - 1:24 pm

    Jennifer - Beautiful words and a fabulous idea. Thanks for inviting total strangers — virtual friends — to the party. I hope it brings smiles and a bit of joy. God bless.

  • January 4, 2011 - 1:43 pm

    elk - what a story.. thank you for the way you give patty .. blessings

  • January 4, 2011 - 2:10 pm

    Laura Hegfield - I think it is time for me to really meet Edie…so I will go visit her blog.

    ps. at one point my kitchen was bright yellow above the chair rail, soft green below…and the rail itself was orange with polka dots of a variety of colors that I created with my finger tips…oh, those were the days….I think I’m going to like Edie!

    pps. it is my daughter’s 17th birthday today!!! My post is dedicated to her:)

  • January 4, 2011 - 2:18 pm

    Beth - Thank you for sharing these photos and starting this link. I am a newcomer to Edie’s blog. In fact, I only started reading her today, because I was curious as to who this woman was that my friends were writing about, and I am already touched. A woman who makes you feel good in a mall anchored by a Wal-mart is an incredible woman. 🙂

  • January 4, 2011 - 2:26 pm

    Susan - Wonderful job, sweet friend! I’ve already left her birthday wishes. Just wish that I could be there in person to give her a hug! Would you do that for me? I fell in love with her after reading that infamous turquoise kitchen make-over post!

    Since our get together last month was not His timing, we need to plan another. We need Edie to come too! That would be fun!

    Thanks for doing this for her! You have a great day!

  • January 4, 2011 - 2:29 pm

    Flower Patch Farmgirl - Patty! I love every word of this post. Love it!!

  • January 4, 2011 - 3:21 pm

    Tara - perfectly written.
    what a tribute to such an incredible woman.
    she will cry rivers over this…the good kind of tears.

  • January 4, 2011 - 4:47 pm

    teresaj - Happy Birthday, Edie! May all the rich blessings of the world come your way as you have blessed so many people. We have never met, but your acquaintance and inspiration through this crazy web thing sustains me and encourages me to be my best. Thank you and enjoy your day!

  • January 4, 2011 - 6:15 pm

    a pocket full of posies - Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!- from the bottom of my heart…what a wonderful way to celebrate such an amazing woman!! I haven’t known what to do, other than pray- without ceasing- for sweet Edie! she is such a joy and a true Blessing!
    Thanks again for throwing the best party of the new year!
    Many Blessings!

  • January 4, 2011 - 6:25 pm

    Kim - Beautiful!! And great idea on how we can celebrate Edie’s birthday!

  • January 4, 2011 - 6:50 pm

    Richella at Imparting Grace - How blessed you are to know Edie in “real life”! This blogging world is “real” in many senses of the word, and so many of us have been touched by Edie. But to be right there with her, able to walk with her and talk with her, especially right now, must be a huge blessing–to both of you!

  • January 4, 2011 - 8:17 pm

    melissa - i love your story of how you met. absolutely. love. it. i can picture it all, clear as a bell, and i’ve lived by plenty of those types of malls. you’re ALWAYS thankful to see a little bit of creativity when it comes along. thankfully for your friendship, it did more than just come along. 😉 i know she as is grateful for you as you are for her, and what a beautiful thing you all did today. you know i’m all about throwing a surprise party!! 😉 thanks for letting us celebrate with you today.

  • January 4, 2011 - 11:13 pm

    olga maria - it´s amazig how God works… she was an angel for you in those days and now you are her angel….
    olga maria

  • January 5, 2011 - 2:53 am

    Trina@JoyAndContentment - How beautifully put! Thank you for hi-jacking Life(in)Grace. Edie and her lovely family are on the hearts of so many. I can’t think of a more fitting tribute.

  • January 5, 2011 - 3:03 am

    Nuha - I am so moved by the thoughts and actions you have showed towards your friend. You are both a blessing to one another.


  • January 5, 2011 - 3:48 am

    Polly - such an eloquent post! And hey, now we even have a real mall, not attached to walmart. we are so moving up in the world! Thanks for the invitation to participate in Edie’s birthday surprise, how clever are you!!

  • January 5, 2011 - 3:52 am

    Teresa - Beautifully written and what a beautiful person

  • January 5, 2011 - 11:23 am

    edie wadsworth - i don’t even know where to start ms. patty but i do know that you are a one of a kind friend. i have never met anyone like you. i am so incredibly blessed by your friendship and love. i’ve said this before but you have to be the most thoughtful person i have ever met. the things you’ve done for me, the details that never go unnoticed, i will never be able to adequately thank you. you always have just the right words, you know when to speak and when to just hug. you give every perfect gift. i can’t even recount them all over the past two weeks: all the things needed to make pancakes, a cute bag of yarn and knitting needles, CS Lewis books and Bible, a wonderful box of stationary with LOVE stamps (of course), my very own beef stew, mocha cake, visits, calls, texts, emails, many many tears and even more hugs. your heart has been so heavy for me and yet you press on, go without sleep, to be a blessing to a friend in need. there just aren’t very many people like you in the world.
    how did i get so lucky?
    and now this? my very first surprise party.
    i can’t even believe it. it’s a gift that i will treasure always. my favorite one too.
    Words that have been my lifeline and that have encouraged me beyond my wildest dreams.
    i think about all those countless times we’ve been together and we never get all our words out. i always have more to say to you. more to share. more to ask. more to love. you are an incredible woman. an artist in every true sense of the word.

    my friend. and i am full of thanksgiving. and many more tears.
    so love you,

  • January 5, 2011 - 3:20 pm

    Sarah G {austinbygeorge} - Oh Patty this is such a great post! I haven’t stopped by in so long and when I saw that you were the first link on Edie’s blog i was thrilled. What a great friend you are and I continue to pray and think of Edie through this season. She has no idea who I am but I of course fell in love with her style, kitchen and other things like many other people have 🙂
    Give her hugs and please let her know that so many of us are praying for her and her family.


  • January 5, 2011 - 3:50 pm

    Kathleen - I came here from Tidymom and am fighting tears as I read this beautiful post. Life is so fragile, as we know. In the blink of an eye things change. You all are so blessed to have such wonderful relationships. I am sorry to hear of Edie and her family’s loss. Things are just things… memories can’t be taken away and it sounds like there’s a new canvas that will be hold glorious memories and new adventures filled with more and more love.

    hugs and blessings to all!

  • January 5, 2011 - 9:04 pm

    Ruth - Patty

    This is a beautiful post for Edie!! What a wonderful thing you did in setting up our birthday wishes for Edie!! She is so sweet. You are a beautiful friend.


  • January 5, 2011 - 10:48 pm

    abby jenkins - Thank GOD she has her family, her faith and friends like you.

    I am a tabletop prop stylist and would love to put together a couple boxes of cool kitchen stuff for her. Do you know if she is receiving things now? I can wait and she can even tell me what she wants. I have three storage spaces filled to the brim with props.
    Plates, sidetowels, lots of fun vintage stuff….

    I’d love to help.

    Thanks for being such a great friend.

  • January 7, 2011 - 2:06 pm

    Susan - Patty, You are a precious friend. I learned of Edie’s loss late and it has haunted me. Becuase I feel like I know her so much better than I really do because of her blog I have wanted to do something but haven’t known what. Everytime I hear someone complaining about small minutia like the night of the Music City bowl when UT lost, I want to scream! I just know God will use Edie to teach us all how to be ever grateful for our “normal”. She is a remarkable person as are you! BLESS YOU.

  • January 29, 2011 - 8:11 pm

    Ruth - Oh Patty, I remember reading this post on Edie’s birthday and thinking that despite her sorrow, how lucky she was to have such an amazing, kind, generous, and REAL friend in you. This was just beautiful. It made me cry then, and it makes me cry even more today, because having met you and spent such precious time with you, I now know for for sure what a lovely person and true friend you are. I feel blessed for having met you. Thank you again for welcoming me with open arms.

    Much love and many hugs,


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