Rable Vaden was described by her grandson Danny Vaden as incredible, special, unique, fired-up, honorary at times, strong, hard worker, straight- forward, funny, affectionate, loyal and generous. During her funeral service last Tuesday, it was heartwarming to hear his stories, feel his deep love, laugh at his observations and share in the time of honor.
August Ruff, of the Green Hill congregation, who preached at Hermitage for 13 years, eloquently shared history, love and admiration during the service. Rable was born and raised on a farm in Enders, Arkansas. She was the oldest of eight children. She had four brothers and three sisters. She helped care for her younger siblings molding her into a responsible, hard working woman. As a young woman she finished furniture at Davis Furniture. She would come home picking out the tiny pieces of steel wool that made its way through her gloves and into her hands. Later on in life she served for one year as a dorm mother at Freed-Hardeman University. Due to a broken hip, she was only there one year. Throughout her life, she lived her faith. This created a strong value system. She was faithful to God, to her husband of 31 years, to her children and God’s family, the church. Her faithfulness persevered even through very dark valleys. She knew the valley of the shadow of death too well as throughout her life she buried a husband, two sons and a son-in-law. Her perseverance stands as a monument of strong faith for all of us to appreciate.
Rable was a wonderful lady! Her personality was vibrant. She loved the widows group at Hermitage who enjoyed each other and leaned upon each other. She loved to do various types of handwork. Often when she was crocheting she would make several of each item so each family member would have one. Danny spoke of the toboggans she made throughout his life. He humorously explained how when he was a child it wasn’t exciting receiving homemade gifts, but as an adult they were the most special gifts received. He still loves to wear them explaining to peoples comments by telling them his grandmother made it. She also crocheted many small hats for babies in Vanderbilt Medical Center as a member of the Knit Wit Club. She also was skilled in embroidery work. Her work was beautiful. A few other facts that warm the heart of family and close friends are things like: her grand-daughter’s hope chests were filled even when they were still young. Holidays, especially Christmas was a festive and special time. Her banana pudding and stew were a delicious part of home. She loved tracing genealogies. She called “dogs”, “hounds” and “Dollar General”, “General Dollar.” Spatulas were “egg turners” and each family member answered to other names including the often time “sister” or “brother.” All the family remembers her affectionate hugs, kisses and warmth. But most important, they appreciate that she prepared her soul for eternity.
God designed a special gift when he gave families mothers and grandmothers. Rable Vaden blessed her family richly as a godly woman, mother, grand-mother, sister and friend. Last Tuesday was a wonderful time to hear “her children rise up and call her blessed” ultimately because “a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised” (Pr 31:28, 30). The final sentence of this chapter says, “And let her own works praise her in the gates.” As we walked into the door (gates) of the service yesterday there were tables full of her works she had made for others. Just as God said thousands of years ago, her works praised her as well as the words from her wonderful family. Pictured below are just a few of her works. The warmth and peace we felt at her funeral service was the direct result of the fruit of her life. She will be missed, but not hopelessly. By faith, we believe she is better than she has ever been. As Marilyn said yesterday when I said, “I am sorry” her reply was, “Don’t be sorry. Mother is in such a better place.”
To Marilyn, Joyce and all the family we extend our prayers and sympathy, but also rejoice in hope.