Edith Byrd Summerford with a copy of her new book, “Mama’s Blessings.” | Clif Knight

Archived Story

Mama’s Blessings

Published 12:15pm Thursday, October 11, 2012

How hard is it for a loving mother to cope with the tragic illness and death of her only two children?

That question is answered by Hartselle’s Edith Summerford in a paperback book she wrote and entitled “Mama’s Blessings.”

The book was released Sept. 17 and is available at Lifeway Christian Book Store in Decatur and Remembering the Moments New 2 You Consignment Shop at 3440 Hwy. 36 W., Hartselle. She will be available there to autograph copies at her book on Sat., Oct. 13, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Summerford, a devout Christian, writes of the tumultuous journey she traveled for 18 years caring for her son, Mike, and daughter, Bonnie, both of whom suffered from muscular dystrophy until their deaths at ages 48 and 45, respectively, in 2009 and 2010.

Miraculously, she was able to provide for her family even though she was a single mother and had to stay home to take care of her bed-ridden children. She sold Avon products and baked pies and cakes and sold them to the public. Family members, her fellow church members and neighbors were also good to help.

“The grace of God is what pulled me through,” she said. “The Lord was always on time to meet our needs.”

Summerford said she was blessed by her children even when they were very ill and demanded most of her attention.

“I would make up gospel songs and sing them to them even though I can’t carry a tune,” she recalled. “They couldn’t move their arms or legs, only their heads. But they could smile and it made my day to see the smiles on their faces.”

The idea of writing a book to share her life experiences with others came from an evangelist, Jimmy M, Cark of Lexington, N.C., Summerford said.

“Bro. Clark was preaching a revival at Bible Baptist Church and I had him over for supper,” she stated. “He suggested that I ought to write a book about by experiences with my children and name it “Mama’s Blessings.”

Later, after the death of her daughter, she picked up a composition notebook and pencil and started penning her thoughts on paper.

“”I wrote in bits and pieces and later organized them in chronological order,” she pointed out. “It took me two and one-half years to compete the hand-written manuscript and my niece, Nora Livingston, provided me with a computer copy.”

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