Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Tribute to Grams

After 95 years of a well lived life, my grandmother will be laid to rest tomorrow. I am speaking at the services and here is what I plan to say.
Last photo with Grams - Taken Easter Week 2012

As I prepared this tribute to Grams, I thought about all of my FFA speaking events that she had attended. From Penn State to Massachusetts and from Ohio, where we tried our first Hawaiian Pizza, to Kansas City, she and my father, Bob were there. As a child, my memories of Grams involve Barbie dolls and Butterscotch Krimpets, two delights which always came north on her visits from Pennsylvania to New York.  When my grandfather passed away, she joined my father and me on travel adventures. The two most memorable were Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in 1987 where she met folks from New Jersey who she corresponded with every Christmas and the summer of 1996, when Grams, Dad and I traveled across the United States in a mini-van.
When I moved to my own home in New Jersey, I was fortunate to be able to have Grams visit for a week each summer. I'm sure she would have driven over on her own, if Gene and I hadn't insisted that we pick her up so she didn’t have to drive near Philadelphia.  Although pinochle confused me, Grams was able to teach me dominoes and regularly tried to beat Gene and me.  When I'd call to chat, I would hear of a schedule that would make people half her age tired - her card club, being a substitute at someone else's card club, garden club, dominoes with the "girls," bible study at church, and probably a little shopping with Jackie.  Of course, our calls were more frequent from early September to January when we could talk about Penn State and Virginia Tech football, sometimes with phone lines ringing back and forth three or four times during the game.
Grams house was always neat and organized, a trait neither my father nor I inherited. Wednesday, I found a card for her for mother’s day that I hadn’t sent. It sums up who Grams was.
“In every way a grandma could be beautiful, you are. In every way a grandma could be wonderful, you are. In every way a grandma could be loved, admired and appreciated, you are. With love always.”
For the memories I shared with you today and so many more, I will always love the woman who blessed those she encountered for ninety-five years.

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