by Rachel and Gabe
I’ve been asked to speak on behalf of the 11 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. My name is Rachel; I'm one of the lucky 11.
Before sitting down to write, I asked each grandchild to share one's thoughts and memories on what made Grandma so amazing. I tried to simplify these memories into a lasting legacy of three things: family, faith, and cleanliness.
Initially, I was surprised that as the dozens of memories poured in, very few of them overlapped. As I thought about why, though, it makes sense; Grandma always had a way to make each of us feel special. This was her gift.
For example, Mares fondly remembered such activities as Easter egg hunts and swimming. Mark immediately recalled thoughts of board games and cards, including Grandma's mischievous knack for winning while pretending to be completely unaware that she was ever holding a decent hand. Matt and I remembered the sleepovers and waking up to the smell of eggs and toaster waffles in the morning.
Realistically, it was simply that she wanted nothing but the best for her family. In fact, as Christine, Kyle, and Jack noted, "She was always concerned with us doing what made us happy."
Whatever the memories, it's hard to argue that our passions became her passions.
Second, I'd like to confirm her unwavering 'faith'.
In spite of a tough life, Grandma was a rock. Seldom overly vocal, it was her sound actions, backed by a strong faith life, that spoke for her. Maggie commented, "The past couple days as I have been thinking about her a lot, I have been trying to "be like Grandma" and quit my complaining."
This isn't to say that Grandma didn't vocalize her thoughts when deemed necessary. In fact, Jack remembers Grandma consistently reminding him to sing at church because it counted as praying twice!
A quote I love sums up Grandma's faith well. It states, "The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the woman that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but she whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves her conduct, will pursue her principles unto death."
Lastly, I'd like to touch on her love of cleanliness.
If you know our Grandma, I'm sure you understand why 'cleanliness' is getting the same attention as 'family' and 'faith' in her eulogy. I don't know if it was living through the Great Depression--where she learned the importance of taking care of things--or if it was simply her God-given personality, but whatever it was, Grandma was obsessed with cleanliness. In fact, she was one of the tidiest people I've ever met, even through her final days; a sentiment echoed by many of the grandchildren. Says Maggie, "The few times that my house is super clean and well organized, I think of Grandma and think maybe it would be up to her standards--if only for an hour or so."
Grandma-it's safe to say that you will never be forgotten. Your love for family brought us together today, your passion for faith is the shining example that will keep us moving forward, and your love of cleanliness, well, it taught us to care.
Thank you for everything. We love you.