Remembering Gram

8.29.23 – 7.17.12

Gram’s memorial service is on Friday, 7/20/12.  I decided to write something up and see if the officiant will be able to read it during the service, and I wanted to share with everyone.

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My mom asked me if I wanted to say anything, and I do, but it’s been rather a rough week so I have to type this up.  I know you guys don’t want to sit there and watch someone weep when they should be talking, so a very kind person has offered to say these words in my spot.  For those of you who sat and talked with me through my tears, reminiscing about the past or thinking about the future, I appreciate it.  I can’t express it right now – or perhaps really ever, in any proper fashion – but I appreciate it.
I consider myself a decent writer, but this is one of those times when I came up totally blank.  It took me the better part of an hour to even start typing.
As I sat in the hospital over the past week – a place NO one ever really wants to be – my phone beeped with notifications that were so much more meaningful than just a card from the Hallmark store.  Friends and family saw my updates, my sadness, and took time from their day to send a quick “thinking of you”.  Those little bits of data meant so much to me, and helped me to remember that just when you think you’re most alone, someone else is going through or has been through this very same feeling – these same tears and crazy mix of emotions.  That’s what keeps me in check when my normally optimistic and cheerful personality goes out the window, lost in all these tears.  I take a breath, and remember that every moment brings me a tiny step closer to not hurting so much.  Every minute is a minute moving forward.  This doesn’t mean anything is being taken away from her passing on, it means that we are learning. We are growing, and hopefully healing.  You just take another step.
I keep staring at this keyboard, trying to think of what the perfect combination of words would be, but nothing seems right.  I could tell you about the good times that Gram and I had – the games we played, the puzzles we solved, the things we made together.  She didn’t always let me win, by the way.  J  I could tell you about the many Sundays we enjoyed with our House of Prayer church family, or about how she used to drive me to school in that big blue boat of a Buick.  Gram was a pretty alright lady.  J
Mom and I discussed reading from cards or condolences sent, but what else can one say?  “I’m sorry” doesn’t cover it.  “I’m sorry” is one of those funny phrases that seems to fit in everywhere and nowhere.  It’s a tough one.
Don’t get me wrong – we appreciate it!  If you’ve known any of us that lived in “That House on The Corner”, then you know that if there’s one thing we love, it’s talking to everyone.  Those words, those “I’m Sorry’s”, sent across the miles from one ear to another, they mean SO much, but they are one of those things to say when you don’t have anything else.  So we don’t want you to be sorry.  If you’re sad right now, if you’re struggling, don’t be sorry.  Be happy.  Take a breath and think, “Would Larine be sad right now?’
I think she’d only be sad to see us all sitting here sadly, when we should be celebrating.  We should be celebrating the fact that we’re here being family in so many senses of the word.  We should be celebrating each moment that we have with each other, strengthening our relationships and family ties – celebrating the fact that she no longer has to struggle with health problems.  There are no more doctors, no more pills, no more problems.  Only peace.
Look at us.  There have been more people hugging and visiting with each other than I can recall in any memory.  We’re a bit more teary-eyed than we should be, but we’re alive, and we’re here, and we’re loved.  The people who have come out to show support have been completely amazing. They’ve raised the bar.  They’ve BEEN the bar.  I have so much love for and am incredibly impressed by so many people right now that I don’t have words for it.  I love and appreciate ALL of you who’ve shown support, but a special mention goes to my dearest friends Brandi, Miss Ella, Lindsay, Daren, India, Toni, Maria, Wanda, Vic, and also the RMU crew.  Also, so much love goes to my wonderful husband Jason, who has supported me beyond words found even in the Scrabble dictionaries.
Gram would be so happy right now to see everyone; all of us talking, laughing, having a good time.  It would be like Christmas from twenty years ago; brothers – cousins – uncles – all in the living room, candy dishes out, jokes all around.  I think she’d be so surprised and so excited to see all the people in one spot, getting along and just having a good time.  If you ever told her (for example) that her husband’s sister and her granddaughter’s husband would one day sit down and chat like old friends, I think she would have been just pleased as punch.  She might have made some cookies, and asked – or maybe demanded – that we all sit down and have some right now (before the dog got to them).
So that’s what we’re getting at here.  This event is sad, it’s traumatic, but it’s not the end.  It’s the beginning – the beginning of remembering good times and hopefully making many more.  If she could, I know she’d walk in, clapping her hands, and tell us in that excited voice about how happy she is to see us all.  So remember the good times with Mom… with Gram…  with Larine.

Don’t be sad.  Just take a breath, and know how much you are loved.  It’s what she would want.

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