Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When A Writer Designs A Eulogy

The Eulogy I Gave In Memory of Frances Elizabeth Moulds Marquis on November 20, 2011

Dear Sweet Grandma,

In celebration of life, we gather one final time in honor of your memory. 
I have one final gift for you. It could not have been given at a more perfect time. It is the gift of Significance.

By Significance, I mean that you put things in the right places during your time here.
Today, your children, grandchildren, extended family and friends get to marvel without distraction at the magnificence and legacy of your life.

It’s an individual compliment, the sort of thing only each of our solo journey’s can specifically articulate.  Today, the authority I have is in sharing Significance as it relates to my own life, and the way you put things in the right places during your time here.

You taught me love.
Love is the most important thing in the world.  There was never a day you did not love me.  You lived every day to ensure all of us gathered here could stand on your shoulders , live longer, see further and experience more life than you did.  In the end, Love is all that matters.

You taught me acceptance.
During a particularly ornery time in my life, I brought a dear friend with me to visit you. He was a kind and wonderful person, yet the left side of his body was covered in graphic Daunte Inferno tattoos.  The first thing I said after introducing you was pointed out his tattoos.
“Do you see his tattoos?  What do you think?” I asked, putting you on the spot.
You regarded them for a moment.
“They are beautiful,” you said.
You asked many questions without prejudice and my friend went on to share the poem, Daunte’s Inferno changed his life and gave him a passion for English. Through this poem, he was inspired to study English in College and become an English Teacher.
I learned more from that response than you ever knew.  The many times I’ve come across a someone I didn’t understand, rather than judge them, I remembered your words, “They are beautiful.”
That was the secret to my success in working with so many troubled populations.  For some, it was the first time someone recognizing the light inside them.

You taught me peace.  I would fall asleep when I was young as you rubbed my back, listening to every last word I shared.  Like an oasis no matter the storm, that is something that never left me.  This came full circle on our final day together.  We shared our loving words and held hands and you fell asleep as I kissed your face and demonstrated I’d mastered the peace you shared with me so many years ago. 

You enjoyed my sense of humor. You could appreciate a joke and nothing gave me such joy as to have you rolling on some hilarious statement.  When Mom was there, the laughter and joking was amplified.  There is something so special about three generations being in harmony.  I’m going to be classy enough to not share those jokes here, but know that Grandma’s appreciation for wackiness and being outside the box, was fully intact.

Bonding with nature at the oceans, hiking, boating, and engaging in your passion be it writing, dancing, gymnastics or health supplements.  Thank you for always believing in me and convincing me of my gifts.
You encouraged me no matter how ridiculous some may have considered it.  You were never the person to tell me I couldn’t do something.  When I wanted to read half the books in California, you were the person who took me to the library each day as I attempted to read one book every evening.

You taught me about Bravery.  Our final conversation, I told you, “Grandma, don’t be scared.” For I know there is nothing but love, belonging and light where she would be well received.  Her eyes met mine, clearing for the first time all day. “I’m not.” She said.  

Thank you for being patient with me and sharing in my excitement over any challenge I overcame and being unafraid to face them with me. 

I am grateful for the time I had with you.  You gave me permission to live a greater life than I’d have lived without you being part of it. I miss you and I hope you are proud of me. I hope you feel rewarded for all you accomplished during your lifetime and recognize yours was a life well lived. Thank you for the pieces you put in the right places.

You are loved and remembered for always.

You’re Granddaughter,