Our Friend Elizabeth

Elizabeth Royster James
October, 9, 2015
It’s been just over a week since we lost one of our own, unexpectedly. We grieve the death of an incredible woman and long-time Nashville Food Project volunteer, Elizabeth Royster James. Elizabeth served on a monthly food truck with four friends from her beloved St. Augustine’s Chapel. She chopped vegetables in our prep room and enthusiastically supported our annual fundraising event, Nourish.
Rev. Becca Stevens spoke eloquently at Elizabeth’s funeral about her penchant for lavishly celebrating even the least of these—preparing beef tenderloin for Room in the Inn guests on Christmas Eve, wrapping up high-quality stationary and colorful pens for a Magdalene pen pal program for women in prison, and here at the food project, adorning every table with flowers and a table cloth for meals shared with homeless and indigent residents of Mercury Court on Murfreesboro Road.
Elizabeth literally shined. She was the warmest, most generous friend. She loved people and showed her love in extraordinary ways. She sent gifts through snail mail for no special occasion but the occasion of life. She liked her meat well-done and recorded her appointments in pencil in a gorgeous leather-bound date book. She was always praying for others and doing for others with kindness and joy. She was hilarious and lit up any room she walked into. She was an angel on this earth, and we will miss her terribly.
It will take a long time for those of us deeply grieving Elizabeth’s death to process this enormous loss in our lives and community. But I understand grief is a passage and not a place to stay. As we grieve and carry on, we at The Nashville Food Project will do many wonderful things in Elizabeth’s memory, guided by the indelible marks of her enormous love, contagious laughter and devoted life.