Saturday, August 18, 2007

She Tuned the Orchestra of Our Lives

I cry tears of joy for the one who tuned the orchestra of my life…

Before the gift of Kayla came to us, I remember that Tammy had a "gig" as she called it. She had been asked to play principle oboe for a classical concert in Tucson. By some strange arrangement of our lives, it happened to fall on "Take Your Daughter to Work Day." That was the Feminist movement's way of glorifying a woman's role far away from home.

That night at the concert, I held a squirmy little Josh on one knee (well, you can imagine how difficult that would have been) and Tyler on the other. As the oboe began to tune the orchestra, I whispered, "Boys, listen."

They both stopped squirming. Simultaneously they looked up at me. It was the sound they'd heard in our house so many times as Tammy made reeds and practiced.

"Mom!" They knew who was playing the oboe. It was their mother.

As the symphony tuned to Tammy, I pulled the boys closer to me. "Your mother could tune the greatest orchestras in the world,” I whispered into their little ears, “but she chose to stay at home and raise two boys for the glory of God."

I don't know if that memory or my ambitious words have a place in their minds today. But I will never forget how she tuned our lives. How she played in perfect pitch the melody that made life worth living.

Ed

29 comments:

Patricia said...

From leading me in worship when I was a teenager at Mountain View Baptist Church in Tucson to singing at my wedding in Mobile, AL in 1999 to this day in 2007, words can not express the impact that your dear wife had on my life. She is a beautiful soul. Our temporary loss here on earth is Heaven's gain. Please know that you, Josh, Tyler, Kayla and the rest of the family are in my thoughts and prayers.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Love from your sister in Christ,
Patricia O'Donnell

brogreg said...

I haven't met you yet, but I pastor in the same city and took the same picture with my wife in front of the Alamo. I am so sorry for your loss, and our church will be lifting you and your family up in prayer during these next few days. May God give you His grace during this time.

Dr. Greg Pouncey
First Baptist Tillman's Corner

Anonymous said...

Dear Ed,

Your wife was was beautiful and talented person. I was in awe of her beautiful voice. I am so very sorry for your loss I myself will be praying for you and your family. I loved sitting next to Tammy in the choir she was a joy to be around, her smiling face made my day!!
God Bless You
Susan Cook Tyler and Alexandra Cook Tucson Arizona 08/18/2007

David Simpson said...

We have been grieving this weekend along with so many others, from Tucson to Alabama... Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and the thousands that Tammy's life touched.
David & Annette, Connor, Chloe & Caleb Simpson

Andy Thompson said...

I don't know you -- but tonight, I prayed for you.

Shannon Holmes said...

Pastor Ed,
I can not get my mind and heart off of you and your children. I did not have the joy of knowing Tammy personally, but I do remember how you spoke of her often in your sermons. There is a love for your wife like I never heard anyone express for another soul mate. Thank you for sharing fun stories of her b/c I feel like I knew her that way! Bruce and I love you and are praying for you whenever we think of you.
Shannon Holmes

Anonymous said...

"Eddie"...From Our Daily Bread written Thursday..."One of the most precious gifts God has given us is the ability to remember. ...good memories become a treasure chest of pricelss reminders of relatioanships shared and joys experienced." Phil.1:3
We are still hurting....and we remember always. Thanks for sharing your heart with everyone.

Love, Martha Schmidt
(childhood friend)
Arlington, TX

Shane & Tabitha Philen said...

Oh, that it might be said of me that I left such a heritage of faith when the time comes that God calls me home. I am so inspired by the life that Tammy lived and the impact she had on so many lives for the glory of our Father. Shane and I grieve with you and for you, praying that God would shelter you and the children under the shadow of His Almighty wings. Shane has even felt God lead him to dedicate his upcoming album (Heritage) to Tammy because of the imprint that God placed on his life through her. Please know that we pray for you often.

~Tabitha & Shane Philen

Anonymous said...

Pastor Ed,
You and Tammy made me feel so at "home" when I attended North Mobile when I was in med school in Alabama. It pained me to leave as I loved the two of you so much. I was so heartbroken for you last night when a friend called and told me, the two of you have the most amazing love story, that has not ended, it is still continuing only in a different way. I am praying for you constantly that the Lord Jesus and His Strong and mighty hands will hold you up during these most difficult of days. I love you so much as you and Tammy are the ones that taught me to love Jesus more, how can you ever repay a debt like that? Please know that I am praying for you constantly.

--Dr. Heather Boda (Foley)

Anonymous said...

Thomas Family

Ed My name is Brian Thomas and i was at MVBC Tucson Az when you started tht church. Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Brian Kristine David Rebecca Leah Thomas

Pam Arroyo said...

The day my husband returned from the war in Iraq, I was saddened to learn the news that Tammy had passed. I stood in the grocery store talking to my sister Brenda Samuels as she told the story of her accident and cried and prayed with her. I met her once but I heard Tammy J. Litton stories for 20 years. My soul knew her. My soul loved her like my own very good friend. I am so sorry. Tammy even impacted those she didnt know!!!

Russ and Mary Lee said...

A smile that was radiant is what we remember most about precious Tammy. Our hearts are breaking for you and Kayla, Tyler and Josh. Please know that our prayers are with you...that God would encapsulate you with His peace.
We love you all so much.
Russ and Mary Lee

Tammy said...

I am in Woodstock, GA and have been praying for you and your family since we heard of Tammy's homegoing yesterday. We will continue to lift you up in prayer and may God make Himself very near to you and minister to you and your children with His peace and grace.

Billy Clark said...

We are praying for you and your family, both immediate and church families, here in Memphis, TN @ Bellevue Baptist Church. I grieve with you in your loss and celebrate with you in heaven's gain. I thank God that we as Christians can grieve with hope that unbelievers do not have and pray that we can continue even in tragedies such as this to spread the gospel.
I will continue to lift you all up in prayer and trust that the God of peace will comfort you.
In Christ,
Billy Clark
Romans 8:18

Anonymous said...

I remember Tammy as a little bitty girl, playing her ukelele and singing for the church. Even as a child she had the most amazing voice and such a gift for music.

Tammy made youth group at First Southern an adventure. She loved life, loved anything to do with music and, most of all, she loved the Lord. It was such a joy to watch her mature from little girl to young woman. She was truly beautiful on the inside and outside.

Those of us who knew Tammy, at any point in her life, can truly feel blessed.

I am lifting all of the Hull and Litton families up in prayer - for strength and comfort in these coming days and months ahead.

Barbara Beckett Stoops

Anonymous said...

I just happened to stumble across the blog...I just looked at my clock. Perhaps it's God's purpose that I am reading through this at high noon on the very day of the funeral. Although I did not personally have the privilege to meet such a wonderful woman of God on earth, I look forward to the day I do. Your influence on our first years of ministry goes way back to your beginnings at FBNM during our college days. I wish I could have attended today, but after reading these comments, I have mourned thru my share of tears yet have unspeakable joy. I know your family is surrounded by love, support, comfort and literally thousands of prayers for you. There's nothing like the comforting nature and presence of the Holy Spirit. May you in this hour experience an overwhelming peace...I now bend my knees. You are loved.

Sammy and Linda Flores said...

Dear Pastor Ed, Wanting you to know that you are in our hearts and prayers as you and your sweet family go through these next few weeks. Take comfort in knowing that there are those who are praying for you and lifting you up all over the country. We claim God's promises. His, Sammy, Linda, April, Andrew and Austin Flores, Miami, Florida, Christ Fellowship

Sharon said...

Ed,Please know that many prayers are being lifted up to our Lord for you and your family from so many here in Tucson who love you all. I know that our family has been greatly blessed in knowing Tammy and experiencing her sweet, caring spirit and beautiful smile. Sitting in the sanctuary at Mountain View yesterday, I thought back to the many times I saw Tammy up there in the choir and what a beautiful voice she had. Your pain is great right now and I know that God is in control and something good will come from this tragedy. I know Tammy's love for people, and her desire that people have a personal relationship with Christ...and I believe that through her death - just as through her life, many lives will be touched by God. Our love, thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Steve, Sharon, James & Shanna Wendling from Tucson and Wayne Wooten from San Antonio.

Anonymous said...

i love you pastor ed. i am so sorry to hear about tammy. my heart is breaking for you and the kids. but i'm praying for God's grace and mercy to cover you all and that you will find comfort in Him. please let the kids know that i love them and wish i could be there to hug them. i will miss tammy dearly and look forward to the day when we will all be together again with our glorious Father in heaven.

amanda michaels
dutchess0880@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

Pastor Ed ...

Thank you so much for letting Mark and I serve with you on staff at North Mobile. What a priviledge it has been for us to know Tammy and your family. We are so saddened by Tammy's homegoing, although it causes us to look forward to the day we will see her again in Heaven. She has been so special to me and I will miss her dearly. I pray that God gives you all you need as you continue to raise your wonderful children in His grace.

Mark continues to tell me how "proud he is of his pastor." Even during your grief, you have ministered to him. He thinks so much of you and is thankful for your friendship and leadership.

You mean so much to both of us and we are here ... whatever you need.

We love you ...
Mark & Heather Messick (Elyssa and Natalie send hugs to you, too.)

Anonymous said...

Pastor Ed,

Our heart's are broken for you and your children. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. If you need anything please let us know.

Love Your Sister's In Christ,
" Women Of Faith" ABF Class

Janie Johnson said...

Bro. Ed, You have been such a friend to my sweet husband, thank you. As we held you in our arms on Sunday evening, I felt the strength and hedge that God brings in sorrow. In the new October issue of HomeLife (I am sending you one) there is a story you need to stop and read soon. Others who have walked your path are there for you.We love you. Janie Johnson

Andy Knight said...

Pastor Ed,

I couldn't help but break down in tears when my parents told me the news. I remember from listening to many of your sermons, working as an intern at FBNM, and sitting through marriage counseling sessions with you just how MUCH you adored Tammy. We wish we could have made it to the funeral. We have prayed for you, Josh, Tyler, and Kayla so many times over the past few days.

Love,
Andy and Tiffany Knight
Roswell, GA

Joe & Marilyn said...

It was with great sorrow that we received word of Tammy's passing. We didn't have the opportunity of knowing Tammy for very many years, as others have, but the few years we did have with her at Mountain View were a real blessing to us. We have many great memories of her. She was truly a special person and will be deeply missed. Our prayer is that the void her passing leaves in all of your hearts will be filled with God's peace, love and blessings.

Love, Joe & Marilyn Ostrihon

Anonymous said...

We are heart broken over Tammy's death. Even though we do not attend FBNM anymore because we moved to Fairhope and feel we need to attend church in our own community, you will ALWAYS be "one of our Pastors". The kind of love and marriage the two of you had is what we want for our own marriage. What an example and a testomony to our heavenly father. We love you Pastor Ed. Mitch and Lucinda Briggs

Anonymous said...

Rev Ed and Joshua, Tyler and Kayla,
We have never met, but I am on the Baptist Press News email alerts.
I came home this evening and read about your need for special prayer.
The Internet provided me with the Church website, and is allowing me to enter into your lives through prayer. In this way I have learned more about your family and the ministry in Alabama.
Be assured that we do care, and are praying for you.
A sister in Christ,
Alice in Roanoke Virginia

Larry said...

Ed,

You and your family are in my prayers.

May you feel the strong arms of Jesus around you.


In His Wonderful Name,

Larry Mancini
Pastor, Bay Shore Church of the Nazarene, Long Island, NY
http://larrysbackyard.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Pastor Ed,

My prayers are with you and your precious children, and for your extended family and friends that are feeling the loss of your sweet loved one. You are loved by many that you know, and even more that you may never know of, but your love has made an impact on. I've only attended FBNM with family on visits to Mobile, but have never left untouched by your amazing smile and ability to make people feel special.

Love,
A vistor to your blog and your church.

Libby Badon said...

Dear Pastor Ed,
I am so grateful for getting to know Tammy, not long after yall moved to Mobile. Ginger Morrow invited me to speak at a Women's Conference. After I was through speaking, the ladies began to mingle and come up and express appreciation. One of those ladies
was Tammy, but I didn't know who she was at the time, because she just said Tammy. She was interested in the picture of the Shepherd and the Lamb that I had on display.
I told her that I would love to get her a copy of that picture and send it to her if it meant that much to her. Just about the time,
I was going to ask her her name and address, Ginger Morrow came up and said "Libby, I see you have met our pastor's wife?" I was shocked and said, Tammy didn't mention that part. I thought much about that later, how unassuming and humble and how her eyes were so loving as her heart. She was a treasure! One thing I believe with all my heart is that you and those precious children will live off of Tammy's prayers the rest of your lives as they were stored up in heaven. My family and I joined the multitude of others the day we heard of Tammy's home, to pray for you and your family and Church. What a gift God sent you
when he sent Tammy into your lives.
Much Love,
the Badon Family