Thursday, May 31, 2007

Goodbye to Grammy

Grammy's funeral was yesterday and it went as well as something like this can go. Family & friends have been incredibly supportive. They have made this sad time so much easier for my immediate family and we're really grateful.

I couldn't think of a better way to write about Grammy than to post her eulogy. I somehow managed to avoid crying while I gave it, which is pretty amazing. I think she was there to help give me strength. :)

Requiscat in Pace - Eleanor Jean MacLeod
December 8, 1929 - May 26, 2007

"We've come together today to honor and remember Eleanor Jean MacLeod, also known as Ellie Jean, Mum, Grammy, and Great-Grammy. The qualities that I found most extraordinary about Grammy were her selflessness and her sense of humor. It is these qualities that help us to remember her with love and joy mixed with our sadness.

Grammy's selflessness was well known to all of us. She always put others first, to the point where we had to remind her to think of herself. She carried what I used to call a "grammy purse." It was a purse filled with anything that her children, grandchildren, and other's children might need: gum, nail clippers, Kleenex, pens, band aids, dollar bills for the offering plate, and mints. For many years, at some point during Sunday service, either Kristen or I would ask her, "Can I have a mint?" She would pass that silver foil roll of Lifesavers and it would often come back empty. Many people got a mint just by virtue of being in the same pew as her!

As most of you know, she also had a great sense of humor. Despite having known her as well as we did, she was still able to surprise us with her jokes and her silliness. When we were kids, she used to roller skate down Lincoln St. with Kristen and me. She also used to hike with us up a nearby hill. We called it "Picnic Rock," for the picnics that the three of us shared up there. Every Halloween when we were young, she dressed up when we went to their house for candy. One year she was a witch, with a tall pointy hat and long warty nose; another year, she was a cheerleader, with a short pleated skirt and pom-poms. Her silliness and her sense of humor taught us that it was ok to cut loose and have fun with your family.

At the end of her life, Grammy's selflessness and her sense of humor were as evident as they had always been. On Friday night, my sister, parents, and I visited her at the hospital for what we thought would probably be the last time. When we walked into her room, she said "Oh, you didn't have to come." My dad joked with her, saying "Well, the Red Sox were in rain delay, so we had nothing else to do." She looked up at her son-in-law and laughed.

We spent a couple of hours with her that night, talking and holding her hand. When it was time to go, we told her we loved her and began to walk out of the room, tears running down our faces. She looked at Kristen and me, the last ones to leave, and said "Don't cry." That was Grammy - thinking of others to the last.

She went through a lot over the last year or so. She finally decided to leave things up to God and He decided it was her time to go. My mother said to me the other day, "Grammy definitely left the world a better place."

Now, we are left to honor and remember her. One way we can do that is to continue her legacy and try to make the world a better place. We can show others the same compassion that Grammy showed to everyone she met. And we can always remember to leave room for a little silliness."

1 comment:

Lori said...

That was beautiful.