On October 26th, 2012 I had the honour of giving the eulogy for my grandmother at her memorial service. But after a few requests to send the document by email failed, (you would think that Microsoft would have figured out how to allow their users to read Open Office documents sent via Mac easily by now) I decided to post it here on the blog so more people could have access to it. Here it is.
Eulogy for my Grandmother
Today we mark the passing of a very special woman, my grandmother. My name is Lee-Anne and I am her eldest granddaughter. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say a few words to honour her life.
I want to take this time to tell you a little about her and how her life has made mine what it is today. My grandmother was a voracious reader in her younger years, which certainly rubbed off on me. She loved to share what she read and would often clip articles out of the newspaper and send them to family members if she thought they were helpful or inspirational in some way.
There’s a book that my grandma referred to often. She shared it with my mother and today I would like to share a piece of it with you. It’s called “The Power of Positive Thinking” and was one of those books that influenced her life, and in turn my own. Here’s a quote taken directly.
‘Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities. Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. But with a sound self-confidence, you can succeed.’
She believed in herself. She believed she could make a better life and had the courage to brave the war-torn times in the hope of a brighter future for herself and the family that would be blessed by her presence. She married my grandfather in 1946 and set off to Canada a young war bride full of the promise and adventure. Without you Grandma, and without your faith in yourself, your family wouldn’t have arrived in this time and in this place and felt the freedom we have today.
Thank you for the life you made possible for your family.
After my grandfather passed and her two daughters had grown, Grandma became an independent working woman who adored the work she did and loved to travel. She was the epitome of success and exuded a happy, carefree demeanor. She was in no hurry to remarry,but had faith she would find love when the time was right.
Many years later she would marry the love of her life, Dwight Beattie. I remember their wedding day as one of the happiest days for her. She was 61 years old, a not so young bride but her smile was that of a woman whose life was beginning anew. And it did. Dwight and my grandma went on many adventures together. I would often talk to her on the phone from 29 Palms or other places they decided to hang their hats as they travelled in search of sun and a good round of golf.
Thank you Grandma, for the adventurous spirit I find in myself and the independence that has served me well.
Thank you for giving me the faith that love would find me later in life.
In the years when Grandma’s health started to decline, she developed a wickedly dry sense of humour. She would often surprise us with her witty inserts, letting us know she was still full of beans and very much paying attention.
Thank you for your strength and your smile and your humour.
When I arrived at Grandma’s bedside that final day, I was sad to see that her spirit had already left her body but she was there still in body. She waited for me, for the family that could come that day, so we could gather to say goodbye. But I couldn’t say that. Instead I said “See you soon” as I always did when I visited her.
And I did see you that day, didn’t I Grandma? As I drove away down the highway I looked up to see that the blanket of clouds above had parted and the sun was shining down. It made me feel better thinking it was you. Later I was told that she passed away around the same time.
Thank you for waiting Grandma.
To me, this is grandma’s legacy. Her ability to stay focused on what was good and what made her happy was her goal. She lived a full life, complete with laughter and sorrow.
As we gather today, although we will miss her physical presence in our lives, let’s not just grieve, but also celebrate her life as it was fully lived. As we talk and visit, let’s share our memories, as her Spirit continues to live in all of us.
I shared a poem at this point. I posted it last week and you can find it here.
With fond memories of your light. We will all miss you. I love you Grandma.