So many positive, quiet, happy, and inspiring words come to mind when I think of Susie Edwards. We mainly know her today as Honey Edwards. However, I knew her first as a beautiful baby girl. I was a young teenager in a small dusty town in South Texas, way south - halfway between Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast and Laredo on the Mexican border - by the name of Premont, when Barbara and Grady West added a beautiful baby daughter to their family.
They named her Barbara Sue West. She was welcomed by brothers Abner and Randy. Within a few days, she was joined by new sister Brownie Lynn. Susie didn’t know it at the time, but she had just joined a remarkable family of faith. A family that lived their faith with joyful appreciation - especially for two wonderful baby girls!
Susie’s parents were stalwart members of the Baptist Church, as well as respected leaders in every community in which they lived. She would observe, as she grew up, a demonstration of a practical, active faith that guided the actions and decisions of her family. Susie had the determination of her mother, the gentleness of her father, the compassion of her grandmother, the tenacity of her uncle, and the joyful attitude of her aunt. Her grandmother, Mama Thompson, was her safe place and compassionate encourager. Susie’s Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Brown demonstrated a loving spiritual guidance that did not require words or sermons.
It is so appropriate that Susie and Mark met at the First Baptist Church in Kerrville TX. And, as they say, the rest is history. Mark quickly observed that Susie was part of a foundation of faith in God that permeated her family. He also observed that faith was as personal and important to Susie as it was to her family.
I was thrilled when Mark and Susie moved to Tennessee and only a few blocks from my home. Susie’s heritage of a strong, active faith guided her own development as she and Mark traveled the Edward’s family journey of faith with Weslee [their daughter] and Nathan [their son] and their families.
My life has been influenced heavily by the West family. It is a privilege to consider myself a part of this families’ faith journey. I was blessed to walk with Mark and Susie through Honey’s cancer battle. Honey battled cancer with a steadfastness that exceeded her body’s capacity to beat the dreaded disease. I’m grateful that Honey’s foundational faith journey gave her the capacity to live and die with an unwavering faith in God.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow…
long-time friend of Susie Edwards