Friday, August 28, 2015

A Eulogy for Grandma Jean

My grandma passed away on Saturday. It's been a bittersweet week as we said our final goodbyes but also got to enjoy visiting with family that we don't see often enough.

I had the privilege of giving the eulogy at Grandma's funeral and just wanted to share that with you all today... a small piece of who Grandma was.


Some of you called her mom.
Most of you called her Jean.
I always called her Grandma... that is, until the great grandkids came along. Then, all of a sudden, she was Grandma Jean.

There are many of us in this room today and we all had a different relationship and connection with Grandma Jean. But there is one thing we all know to be true about her... Grandma Jean knew everyone.

When she met someone, she wanted to know their name and where they live and what they did... and then she would tell them about how she knew their mom or uncle or sister or neighbor.

Grandma Jean knew everyone.

One time she told me she wanted to be one of those Walmart greeters. I thought no way! People would never be able to get their shopping done because when they walked past Grandma Jean they would have to stop and talk for a while... because Grandma Jean knows everyone and she wants to know how their mom or uncle or sister or neighbor is doing. Eventually people would have tried to learn her schedule so they wouldn't shop when she was there... just so they could get in the store... or out before all their frozen groceries thawed. And if they happened to show up one day to find her working they would likely turn around and use the other door or try to dodge past her while she had someone else cornered.

Grandma Jean liked people and she liked to talk to them.

One day I was at a gathering with Grandma Jean. We were at the same table and talking. She brought up wanting to be a Walmart greeter again and that time I shared my thoughts with her about how I didn't think it would go as well as she thought.

She laughed and laughed. She thought it was hysterical... because I was right.

Then she said she also thought she would like to be the person who answered 911 calls. I said, “Oh no! That would be worse! You would answer a call and find out their name. They would say their name and you would get off track and say OH! I know your family! And then start talking about how you know who they know while someone really had an emergency!”

Again, she laughed and laughed.

The following day she told me I needed to share those stories at her funeral and tell people how she would do certain jobs.

So here I am.
Telling you about the jobs that Grandma Jean should never do.

I hope at least in your heart you chuckled a little as you pictured yourself trying to sneak your way into Walmart because you were in a hurry and just knew that if Grandma Jean stopped you, you would be there for a while... talking about all your connections and learning new things about all the people she knew that you knew.

Because that's what Grandma Jean did.

She's no longer here to do that.
But I imagine she went to heaven the other day, met Jesus and then her husband.

And then she started finding and meeting other people.

I imagine she's up there asking their names and where they are from.

And then she's telling them about us.
She's telling them about their loved ones that they too left behind. Their mothers and uncles and sisters and neighbors. She is telling them about you and how she knows you and what you have been up to.

I imagine that Grandma Jean is still being Grandma Jean and doing what she does.
She's just doing it in a far better place.

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