Monday, August 27, 2012

Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire

Not feeling so doubty today as the reality of life and death and heaven have been much too close. Things are too emotional for me right now to even care about philosophy or theology. All I know is I have a very firm conviction that I will see my grandma again and an even more real assurance that she's in total happiness, with Jesus, seated in heavenly places.

The purpose of this post is to publish the eulogy I spoke at my grandma's memorial. The reason I want to share it is because I'm proud of my grandma Lilly and want to use this platform to broadcast the impact she made on my life and the life of others. I also know that some people were not able to make it to the memorial, so here is a little bit of what went on. This is it verbatim.

"Grandma’s Eulogy

On Wednesday night I got a call from my mom that my grandma wouldn’t wake up. My heart sank. I knew right away she was in real trouble.

On the drive to the hospital I was in a panic and began bargaining with God, begging him for more time with her. I said “God, please let her be okay. Just 10 more years… no no no… just 20 more years… no not that either, just 100 more years.

And then I realized that only heaven could give me what I really wanted… unlimited time with her in perfect health. That’s when my prayer became a little less selfish.

I said “God, I want her to make it, but only if she’ll be restored to the quality of life that she would be happy with. I don’t want her to stay with me at the expense of her happiness.”

You have no idea how badly I wish she was still with us but I am comforted by the fact that she is in perfect paradise now with Jesus by her side. I really understand now why people say things like “we cry for ourselves” when their loved-ones pass away. I cry because I know I’ve lost one of the deepest relationships I’ve ever had. I cry because I still need my grandma. I cry because I can’t believe she’s really gone.

But it’s not all misery. I can still see her in my papa who made her so happy. Papa, you know you were her hero. She used to tell me you were the smartest person in the world. Yours was the kind of marriage we all hope for.

Our time with Grandma was a gift.
• I’ll never forget the way her hands smelled when she touched my face, like Jafra lotions and chopped vegetables because she was always cooking…
• the way she’d let me crawl in bed with her when I was a little girl afraid of the dark,
• how she forgave me even when I made really stupid mistakes.
• How she gave me her honest opinion about things that other people would’ve humored me about.
• I love that she loved Nacho Libre and Elf. When I moved into my house she found out my neighbors name was Francisco and she quoted Elf with Will Ferell saying “OOoo Francisco, that’s a fun name to say”. My grandma was funny and feisty. I loved that about her.

I can still see her in so many ways. I can see her in myself when I show love to my kids and I can hear her firm tone when I need to put them back in line.
I see her in the faces of my aunts and uncles and mom.

Uncle Pat I see grandma in your self-discipline and drive for excellence.

Aunt Jackie I see grandma in your sense of humor and passion for life.

Mom, I see grandma in your eyes and strength you have to keep working even when you’re exhausted.

Uncle Mickey I see grandma in your faithfulness and loyalty to family and the way you show such loving respect to grandma and papa.

And Aunt Laurie, I see grandma in your ability to love and sacrifice for your children and how you do the same for your grand daughter, like she was your own.

We thank God for you guys and for papa. You will keep grandmas memory fresh in our minds just by being yourselves.

My grandma was compassionate, generous and truly loving. When we made stupid decisions she never enabled us or gave excuses for us because she really believed we were capable of much better. She had a way of bringing us up to a higher, better level.

My grandma was beautiful. She took care of herself and it showed. She was an elegant person and showed each woman in the family that you can be a strong, powerful woman in a delicate and dignified way.

My grandma taught us the meaning of respect and gratitude. She never minimized our struggles but always reminded us that it could be so much worse. My grandma and papa both built this lesson into me at a young age and it has saved me from the misery of pity parties. I truly believe that lesson will make my life a better, happier one until the day I see her again.

My grandma taught us the importance of family. During the past few months my conversations with my grandma centered mainly around her sisters. She loved you three deeply and wanted the very best for you. My grandma loved family more than anyone else I know. She prayed for us… A LOT. She adored papa. She was proud of her children. She showed and told us how to respect others and put family first and always.

I think the best way we can honor my grandma’s memory is to remember the things she told us and do them.

Ask yourself, “What did mom always tell me? What did Lilly always want me to do? How did grandma show me how to be a better person?” My grandma has already shaped us but when we ask ourselves those questions she’ll continue to guide us."