Monday, February 11, 2013

Eulogy for my Grandmama

A week and a half ago now, my dad's mom passed away. We've been close to her our whole lives, and I am hard-pressed to recall childhood memories in which she did not play a significant role. Normally I hate and am terrified of public speaking, but I so passionately wanted to say something in Grandmama's honor that I wasn't even scared a bit. A couple of my family members have asked for a copy, so I figured I'd post it here on this much-neglected blog. 

Just a little bit more. That was billionaire John D. Rockefeller's reply when someone asked him how much money would be enough. When Grandmama finished her time here on earth last week, my mind went to Rockefeller's words. Just a little bit more. Isn't that what we always want?

I have two kids, a two year old son named Brody and a 3 month old baby girl named Lila. For the first year of his life, Brody got to have lots of visits with his great grandmama. He's a little rascal and doesn't want to slow down or sit still for anyone. But he loved to sit with his Grandmama and hold her hand, and he called her "Grandmama" just like I did. I'm so thankful to have seen my son captivated by his great grandma just as I was. But I wanted just a little bit more. I wanted Brody to be old enough to carry memories of her into his adulthood. I especially wanted to introduce Lila to Grandmama. That would be enough, I think. But then after that I know I'd want just a little bit more. I'd want to see Lila and her cousin Pippa sitting down to one of Grandmama's famous tea parties just like I did as a little girl, or maybe sitting in bed listening to her read Horton Hears a Who. 

Everyone who knows Grandmama Margaret knows what a cook she was. Growing up, we enjoyed many a Sunday dinner over at Grandmama and Papa's house. Green beans, macaroni pie, potato rolls (I always had 4 or so), and of course roast beef were always on the menu. We ate well at Grandmama's house. With every season, there were new foods to look forward to: ham biscuits, fried chicken, roast turkey and brown rice, and our favorite savory cheese cookies. Maybe it was just because she made it, but somehow everything Grandmama cooked was better. Her spaghetti was better, her roast potatoes were better, her green beans were better, her scrambled eggs were better. I even remember as a little kid wondering how Grandmama could spread butter on bread better than anyone else. When I did it, the bread would rip but when Grandmama did it, it spread right on like silk. If only I could have just a little bit more.

Grandmama spent many days of my childhood in the kitchen with me, letting me help her beat egg whites to make meringue cookies, or stir icing on the stove to the perfect consistency. But somehow after all those times, I STILL can't make things quite like her. Anyone who knew Grandmama knows it's really hard to help her do anything--she just cheerfully does it herself, no matter how much you offer. I realized that after all those years of letting me "help," really, I was just licking the spoon. If I could have just a little more time, I would MAKE her let me do it. I would pay attention to every detail so that my children could taste Grandmama's greatest hits.

So while the time with her is gone for now, I'm grateful that God will give us not just a little bit more time together, but eternity. Plenty of time for cooking and baking. Plenty of time for tea parties and stories not just with her great-grandchildren, but with THEIR great-grandchildren too! Thanks be to God not only for giving life, but for giving it abundantly. For giving us gifts we can't get enough of, so that we always want just a little bit more. And then for giving us the promise of eternity and fellowship forevermore.

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