Author’s Note: This post is for my family. It is a re-post of the eulogy read at grandma’s funeral one year ago. She is still great and still missed. Her knick knacks sit on shelves and her plants live in sunny corners of my house, comforting me with her memory and presence.
Great Grandma is great because the title in and of itself makes her so. She makes faces at you while you sit on her lap and pull tissues from her sleeve. She proudly watches you play with a bucket full of Legos, decorate her Christmas tree or hide behind her curtains and affirms that you must be “just the cutest thing.” After you leave, she is constantly reminded of you. Your handmaid projects and photos cover her fridge and her dining room hutch and fireplace mantel. Your pictures sit next to her bed and in a rocking chair and even in the living room window, facing outward for her neighbors to see. You are the newest and most exciting part of her family and you are probably her favorite.
If you are her great grandchildren, you know that Great Grandma is great.
Great Grandma is great because she is also Grandma. Actually, she is the #1 Grandma. The sign you made hangs on her bedroom door. The type has faded on the yellow paper but the message is still clearly printed on your mind. She plays countless games of Sorry! and lets you watch Soap Operas and takes you to lunch. When you walk down the stairs on Christmas Eve to a full table of treats and presents under the tree, you wonder how Grandma convinced Santa to come when you had actually been awake the whole time? Your parents knocking glasses together and talking loudly makes sleep impossible. When you buy her a sweater, a purse or a card, she opens her mouth wide and exclaims, “That is darling.” You are her children’s children and your voice is the brightest part of her day.
If you are her grandchildren, you know that Grandma is great.
Grandma is great because she is also Mom. She types your papers for you. She cares for you well into your adult years. She puts your needs and concerns on her prayer list, so often so that there are complaints of the prayer list being too long, with too many things and people to pray for. She has such satisfaction in her voice when she tells people that you are a College Professor now. When you go out with her, your daughter and your daughter’s children, you are four generations in one place. You try to pay for lunch but it always seems like it is her turn to take the check. You surprise her on her 80th birthday. You are the reason why she says, “I’ve lived a blessed life.”
If you are her children, you know that Mom is great.
Mom is great because she is Charlotte. You are the Love of Her Life. She saves your spot at the head of the table and fills your Scotch glass. She loves you unconditionally. She comforts and cares for you when you get sick. The memory of you sits on her bedroom dresser and she misses you every day.
If you are her husband, you know that Charlotte is great.
Today, we know that Charlotte & Tom are joyfully reunited in heaven. Eternal life allows her to be places and see things that are not accessible to her here. She will be at your wedding, she will wish you a happy birthday and attend your retirement party. No need to send an invitation, just keep calling her great grandma, grandma, mom or Charlotte and she will be there.