A loving and personal tribute to my Mom


12 April 2023

[My personal remarks]

NOTE: Our Mom departed this earthly life and entered the Presence of Christ on Wednesday evening, 5 April 2023. We conducted her Memorial Service on 12 April. Speaking in her service were: Bobby Smith, her church’s Pastor; Daniel Parks, Dave Parks, Philip Parks – all her sons.

We all agreed and prayed together that we would dedicate her service to…

  • Proclaim the Gospel of Christ
  • Honor our Mother in obedience to God’s command
  • Glorify the Grace of God that made her what she was in life … and certainly who she is now

We continue to pray that God was pleased to grant these desires.

As I will note in my remarks below, we, Mom’s six adult children, have a cumulative 417 years of lifetime among us. Even if we could and would say everything we would like to, we still couldn’t fully express her worthiness of the love and honor we could give her. But, we will hold her in our hearts for the rest of our lives – and then continue to share her love for us and our love for her…forever!  

Here is my personal tribute during her service:

I know we brothers want to give our thanks to our sisters who have so lovingly cared for our Mother for all these years since our Dad died, and especially over the past year as she has required such personal and intensive care. You have suspended your own lives to faithfully be with her … and you have given her everything she has ever needed or wanted.

Also, as a family, we want to offer special thanks to sweet Betsy, and for Maryann, who have cared for her as well. And for the physicians who have treated our Mother with personal and professional care:

  • Dr Rubery [who cared for both Dad and Mom for decades]
  • Dr Abbott & Dr Potti [and all the staff at their office – who also cared for both Dad and Mom for decades]
  • The staff at Abbotts Creek Center
  • And for Hospice who were so kind to her during her final days here

>>>>>>>>>> † <<<<<<<<<<

Our Mom not only gave us our lives through physical birth …but she continued to live her life for us … she gave us her life – all of her life … as long as she lived.

So, you have to know that, just in the lives of us Mom’s six children, we have hundreds of years of collective memories we could tell and share with you.

We don’t have opportunity to do that on this occasion. But what we do want to do is leave a testimony with you about what is most important…and where all our hope is grounded:

  • our hope in life and death
  • our hope in eternal life
  • our hope in the resurrection
  • our hope of Heaven
  • our hope of Glory 

I know it is customary to call a service like this ‘A Celebration of Life.’ Well, this is a ‘Celebration of Life’but while we are honoring Mom’s life as a gift of God to us – and her witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to us – the Life we are celebrating is the Life of Jesus Christ who lived in her!

Today’s service is a testimony to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…” / 1 Corinthians 15.3-4.  

And Jesus promised again in John 14.19: “Because I live, you also shall live!”

Mom’s life-confession while she lived among us could be summed up in the apostle Paul’s words in the epistle to the Galatians, chapter 2.20:

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

And that is certainly her life-confession now in the Presence of Christ Himself!

She is rejoicing (again in the words of the apostle Paul in the epistle to the Philippians, chapter 1):

“…as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain … My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.”

>>>>>>>>>> † <<<<<<<<<<

The fruit of Mom’s life will continue to live on in our lives as long as we live … and more, if God is pleased to bless our lives with Gospel-life fruit through our testimony and influence, that, too, will be 2nd and 3rd generation ‘fruit’ that will be springing up into eternal life from the roots that Mom planted in our lives.

It is so common for elderly saints to become discouraged … and even despondent … in their old age and weakness. They have been engaged in active service all their lives – ‘up and at it.’ Then when they become weak and even homebound, they feel like they have been ‘laid aside’ and are no longer useful. Then they begin to start thinking that their ‘fruit-bearing’ years are over.

They wonder out loud why they are even still living, why they are even still here. I know our Mom did.

So, only a month ago, Mom’s church family and friends came into her home for what we older folks used to call a ‘cottage prayer meeting.’ This was their midweek service night, so they all gathered at Mom’s to meet and worship. Pastor Bobby Smith led us as we sang and prayed, and then he had asked me to deliver a message from the Word of God.

I chose to do a brief exposition of Psalm 92, especially focusing on the concluding blessing in verses 12-15:

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those who are planted in the house of the LORD
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the LORD is upright;
He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.  

Without giving more details of my remarks, I told those in attendance that I wanted to direct these Scriptures and my words of encouragement to Mom, but that they were welcome to eavesdrop and overhear ;).

Mom was lying in her hospital bed at my left hand, so I turned to spoke lovingly to her.

What I wanted Mom to know is that even then – even in her extreme weakness and affliction – she was still flourishing and bearing fruit in her old age.

All the years of her life [she was 93 years old] –

  • faithful service to Christ,
  • pastor’s wife and mother,
  • witness and testimony to the Gospel both in word and deed

– all of that lifetime of service had not been ‘spent,’ as in ‘gone’ … rather, all the years of her life had been ‘planted’ in the house of the LORD” and was still bearing fruit, even here and then and now in her old age … still ‘flourishing in the courts of our God!’

I further reminded her that we six kids of hers are ‘the fruit of your womb,’ and we are still bearing fruit in our own lives and service to Christ. All of us, Mom’s ‘kids,’ are now old ourselves, and so I had counted up all our ages together: 417 collective years … and still counting!

We, too, are the ‘still-bearing fruit’ of her life.

Psalm 128.3 gives this enduring promise to the faithful husband and his faithful wife:

“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table.”

Our Mom was our ‘fruitful vine’ … and we will continue to proliferate her legacy as her ‘fruitful branches.’

And that is besides all the hundreds of others in whose lives Mom has ‘planted’ hers.

And her Gospel witness and influence will continue to bear fruit on to the 2nd and 3rd generations … and beyond!

I just wanted her to know that even then in her present physical weakness, she was still strong and flourishing, still bearing fruit in her old age.

What we are doing right now is Mom’s ‘still bearing fruit in old age … still being fresh and flourishing … to declare that the LORD is upright – He is our Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.’

 >>>>>>>>>> † <<<<<<<<<<

Christ and Christ alone is our only hope in life and death!

As Jesus said to Martha and Mary at Lazarus’s grave-tomb just before He raised him back to life again:

“I AM the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. […and then speaking directly to Martha and Mary, He asked]  Do you believe this?” / John 11.25-26.

We pray to God you do … and will.

This we believe … therefore we have hope, peace, comfort – and even joy!

>>>>>>>>>> † <<<<<<<<<<

Here is her obituary: https://www.hayworth-miller.com/obituaries/louise-parks

I want to include the full picture we cropped for her obituary profile. This is our Mom in the element, environment, and context of her life’s calling [while also being our Mom]…

The bulletin for her service:



This entry was posted in Funeral/Memorial Tribute, Memorial Tribute, Mom, Tributes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A loving and personal tribute to my Mom

  1. Dorothy Hollander says:

    Thank you for publishing this. I wanted to go to the funeral. But circumstances prevented me from attending. I especially loved all the Psalms references. And I know your mother looking down gave that little smile she was known for. She was an amazing woman to have raised three pastors, six singers and I couldn’t even guess at how many instruments the six of you play. I do remember one of you telling me (I’m sure it was when I was there with the church) that before sitting down for dinner you all say this particular song. I wish I could remember the name of it. But I remember all of you singing the song Acapulco. It was as beautiful as if it was accompanied by a 12 string orchestra. I know your mom had her hands full with six children but she sure did the Lord proud.

    • PastorDave says:

      Thank you, Dorothy – so good to hear from you, and I pray you are doing well. The song that Dad would usually lead us in singing before meals was, believe it or not, “Pass me not, O gentle Savior.” He just always wanted each of us and all of us as a family to recognize our daily and constant need of the mercy of Christ. Also, occasionally, he would lead us in a stanza of his all-time favorite song, “Jesus Paid It All.” He and Mom both were Godly influences on our lives, and we bless God for giving us to them…and them to us.

    • PastorDave says:

      Also, if you’re at all interested, you can go to the “Search” field in the upper right hand column of the post and type in “Dad,” “Mom.” or “Dad and Mom” and some other articles and tributes I have written them will come up. God bless you!

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