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Archive for February, 2010


My Witness Graphite on Canson paper (11 x 14″)
Also available in a limited edition (350) giclee print on rag paper.

This is a drawing that my mother posed for about 30 years ago. It is the same pose as seen in my oil painting titled “The Witness”. I love the gesture and it is so much my mother, as wonderfully loving and compassionate a person as ever walked the earth.

My dear mother passed away on Feb. 11 of this year after 91 years of blessing all she came to know. My 2 brothers, my sister, and I each spoke at her memorial service of the tremendous impact she had on all our lives. My eulogy to my mother, Edith Mandish (1919-2010) is below. It hardly begins to do her justice.

Eulogy to Edith Mandish

You know, my brothers, my sister, and I have always kidded each other over who was mom’s favorite. But after all these years it is now apparent that the one she loved the most … was the one who needed her most at the time. And we have all had the good fortune to have been in that position on numerous occasions when mom’s prayers regarding our needs were in full array.

Anyone who knew Edith knew that she was a woman of great faith. She was a great prayer warrior and I don’t believe I ever had a conversation with her that she didn’t mention those that she was praying for, including myself. And one less acquainted with her might be inclined to dismiss these reassurances as empty courtesies. But, I had seen all too many times how many of those prospects had actually become realities against all likelihood. Through death, disease, familial strife, or just plain misfortune, mom was knee deep in supplication. I firmly believe my Mother was well connected, not politically or socially, but spiritually with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She didn’t just talk about having a “Personal Savior”, she had an ongoing dialog with Him and we were all the beneficiaries.

Thirty-three years ago my mother was stricken with cancer. When faced with the decision as to whether to begin Chemo Therapy after a rigorous battery of radiation treatments that all but destroyed the viability of a great deal of the tissue in her esophagus and neck she elected to forego the Chemo because she believed it would be more destructive than curative. The doctors were frustrated by her obstinacy and were certain it could only ultimately lead to her death. Despite all the odds Edith believed that God had something else in store for her and prayed with every ounce of strength left in her tiny frame that she would somehow not succumb to the scenario the doctors had outlined.

One night, as she lay awake in bed for the entire evening praying, she began to feel what she later described as an overwhelmingly intense burning sensation that enveloped her completely from head to toe. It was then she clearly heard the words: “Your body is healed.”

At the time she had no idea what was indeed happening. It was only on a subsequent visit to her oncologist that she was informed that the cancer that had relentlessly riddled her body had somehow mysteriously disappeared. Mysterious to all but Edith, for she realized then and was more than willing to testify later to the Almighty Power that had produced this event. She knew her prayers had indeed been answered and, though she had been “struck down, but not destroyed”, as Paul declares in 2nd Corinthians, she would continue to live for decades to come.

The power of an abundant prayer life is something my mother actively modeled for her children as far back as I can remember and each of us has been witness to the power of that prayer in our own lives. This was Edith’s richest legacy to me.

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