Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Celebration and Words of Remembrance

Wow, these past few months have been a real kick in the gut for me and my family. In August, I lost my grandfather to skin cancer. In September, I lost my mother-in-law to uterine cancer. Two weeks ago, a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. Last week, my grandmother passed due to old age.

My grandmother's memorial service was this past Sunday. During the service, I got up and said a few words of remembrance. Here they are:

As a military brat, there was a lot of change in my life. One of the few things that stayed constant was Gramma. You could always count on certain things when going to visit Gramma:

· You were going to be fed. From the moment you walked in the door, she was offering to make a sandwich, heat up some leftovers or get out some Fig Newtons and milk.

· You should not walk around the house without shoes. With all her sewing, needles always seemed to find their way to the floor.

· You were going to be fed. When mealtimes came around, there was barely enough room for plates, glasses, and utensils on the table. It was often filled with enough food to feed an army even though there were only 6 to 10 people to feed.

· If you got in trouble (which we rarely did when she was around), she would take your hand in hers and slap her hand as if she was punishing you.

· You were going to be fed (are you noticing a pattern here?). She always had five or more pies baking or cooling at any given time. Pumpkin, lemon meringue, blueberry, Boston cream, cherry, and her specialty, apple. If not pies, she had crème puffs, pistachio pudding or homemade cookies. It’s amazing our family isn’t in the running for the reality show, “The Biggest Loser.”

I kid about Gramma and food, but you always knew she loved you. The twinkle in her eye as she pseudo-punished you was enough to tell you that she wasn’t really mad, she really loved you enough to teach you how to be better.

Gramma also shared her love of learning. She was such a voracious reader; you never saw her without a book nearby. She impressed upon me at an early age how important education was. I’d like to believe that I teach much in the same way she did, with a twinkle in her eye and a passion for the subject.

I’m so lucky that I knew her for 30 years. I know that she’s happier now; she’s with Grampa and she’s free from a body that no longer allowed her to live as she wanted. I can’t wait to tell my kids one day about their Great-Gramma McCarthy.

1 comment:

Shennie said...

Kudos for a job well done on Sunday. We'll probably toast Mabel once while at sea. How's the shawl?