I was asked to share some thoughts with the pastor back home on grandma, thought I would post them here as well. It helps with the grieving process as well. But they might be a bit scattered, at best.
Grandma was a magnanimous woman. She was large in personality, large in generosity, large in spirit. She was very quick with a smile and laugh, even in her later days when most things passed her by. The pastor back home remarked that he got her to crack a smile and a laugh just a few short weeks ago.
Grandma certainly loved life, and her dinner table was always well stocked. Mom used to get mad at the holidays at the amount of food that was served, but dad just shrugged. (Mom has now turned into her mother-in-law, but I would never tell her that!) Also, to Grandma, ‘home cooking’ involved making scalloped potatoes from a box: “hey, I mixed it up!” I guess that constitutes home cooking. Also, Grandma wasn’t too keen on that whole ‘no meat on Friday’s’ thing, so chicken didn’t quite constitute meat. (She didn’t much care for feesh, as she said, but you already ‘knowed’ that, in her colloquialism.)
Her generosity was marked in many different ways. She supported several different charities, and supported the local St. Vincent de Paul Society. I think her and Grandpa were the co-presidents for quite the while. From the time I entered the seminary, she was very proud and looked forward to my ordination. (She didn’t quite make it, but over the last few years she recognized that I was the one that did religious type work. In fact, she purchased a white vestment for ordination, which I plan to wear for the funeral Mass. I figure that this is a good tribute and honor for her.)
Grandpa always seemed to me to be the more outgoing of the two, yet her dedication as she cared for him in his last days was very admirable. Her dedication and love allowed him to stay at home to his last days. Unfortunately, we could not provide the same for her. She lovingly cared for Grandpa as he slowly succumbed to cancer. As we’ve come to learn now, it was about this time that she began her downward spiral with Alzheimer’s.
I certainly will miss her. She was a very gregarious person, and her vitality, though diminished over the last years, still shone through. We spent many summers swimming between her place and ours on Indian Lake. She would pull us out of the lake, feed us if necessary, throw us back in the water to swim the four doors back to mom and dad’s. On the times we would walk down, you would hear Marty and Joe calling the Reds game as they sat together watching the water, maybe a fishing pole or two in the water. It was the simple life, and a life that was certainly enjoyed.
God rest, Grandma. We all love you, and will miss you. Pray for us, give us guidance and prepare us a place when we meet our reward.