Although Jeff told me I could take the time to go to the funeral, I felt I could not afford the time, or the cost for last minute plane tickets, to go. I knew she would have understood; funerals are for the living, not the dead.
I still wanted to be a part of the day and to let everyone know what a very special person she was to me, so I share with you a portion of my Eulogy.
“You have all gathered here today to celebrate the life of Mary Murphy, my Grandma. Although I could not be here, l would like to share with you some of the memories of the Mary Murphy I knew and love.
"After we moved out east, I spent many summers on the farm with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma was not known for her cooking. Her cooking was purely utilitarian, but there was one thing that she made that brings back memories of good times and wonderful aromas. Baked bread! As children, she gave us our own piece of dough to shape into whatever we liked, bake and enjoy. As we got older, we weren’t so interested in the process as we were the product. When the smell of hot bread wafted out the doors we came running! Grandma let us cut the hot crusty loaf, slather it in butter and eat the whole thing if we wanted to.
“The sound of a piano playing was also a common event at Grandma’s house. We would beg her to play and tip toe to see her fingers touch the keys and dance around the living room to every song. Later, my own children did the same. What is most amazing to me is that she never learned a note of music in her life. She played by ear and only played the black keys, yet oh, the beautiful music she made!
“I remember going off to college and feeling very alone until I opened my mailbox to find a letter from Grandma, followed by a Halloween Card from Grandma, and many other letters and cards, missing not one holiday! Her letters would be filled with every detail of every event she went to, right down to the ‘wonderful spice cake and ice cream’ they had for dessert. And every letter and card was signed with x’s and o’s, ‘Bushels of Love, Hugs and Kisses, Love, Grandma and Grandpa’, later to be just Grandma. Every card and letter made me feel like she was right there giving me those hugs and kisses. Grandma never forgot you, no matter how many miles away you lived.
“She also never forgot you in her prayers. When Mary Murphy said she was going to pray for you, they were not just empty words, they were fact. Religion was both a blessing and a curse for her. She believed strongly in prayer. She had a great faith in God, but not in that she herself was worthy of him. Sadly, her biggest fear at the end was that she would not go to heaven. I’ve got news for you Grandma, if you didn’t, the rest of us are in real trouble!
“I could go on for hours about my Grandma. I was blessed to have her for 50 years in my life. I hope that I can be as wonderful a Grandma and leave my grandchildren the precious gift of the love she gave me.
“I will miss you, Grandma. XXX OOO With Bushels of Love, Hugs and Kisses, Missy.”
My Grandparents didn’t have a lot, but what they did have was love. And THAT is the best legacy of all.
Michelle Poole, Director of Community Outreach