As I sit here, lost for words, trying to understand my emotions for which there are none, I simply remember your smile. There is happiness mixed with sadness, all mixed with frustration that I didn’t get to say goodbye or give you one more hug.
I know you are in a better place, still smiling, and I’m so glad that you feel no more pain. I hope that today, for probably the first time, you can finally see how much you are loved. Not because it was never shown to you, but because in your humility you never thought that much of yourself. Because of that, you gave your children and many grandchildren an incredible example of what it looked like to love Jesus with all your heart.
Your faith is something to be admired and sought after. You lived a full and beautiful life, leaving behind the greatest legacy of two generations who just couldn’t move too far away that they wouldn’t see you and your husband at least once a year.
Yes, Christmas. Of all my memories, these bring me the most tears of joy. Since I was a small boy, I remember the excitement you created because you were right next door. I always felt we had a special relationship for one reason or another, but I know that you made everyone who knew you feel that way. People always told me that we celebrated the holidays at our house because of your extra oven. But I think it was because everyone in your family was innately drawn to you and your extra-warm love.
Having you so close for all those years was a blessing in so many ways. You were there whenever we needed someone to talk to after school, and you would just listen to us for hours. We also got to hear so many stories of your travels, including our ancestors in Ireland.
You were also there to help when my Mom was in the hospital. You came and helped with dinner, laundry, and all the other chores without even being asked. You had an amazing ability to know how to help whenever it was needed.
I will always remember how you complained that no one would help you do the dishes after dinner, but if anyone tried, you would tell them to go have fun instead. I only wish I had insisted on helping anyway more often.
I will always remember how you loved seeing my children come over and play. I loved that you called my daughter Evelyn, “Eleanor” and my Dad (Harvey), “Happy” (which just so happened to be our dog’s name). I don’t think you were ever actually confused about that one!
I will always remember your grace, beauty, and youthfulness. You were always accessible and interested in hearing all about the lives of your grandchildren. I hope you know now how much that meant to all of us.
I love you, Grandmother, and can’t wait to see you again in the next life.