Genevee N Smith's Eulogy
There are stories I could tell you about being left in a pumpkin patch, but I do not honestly remember that day. I could go on about the tigers that now mark my parents driveway. I went with my grandparents the day they picked them out, but that is not one of the memories that bring the essence of my Grandma. I could talk about her brownies, but all of us in this room have eaten them. But, I think she is explained best when I simply say she is my Grandma. She was “Grandma” to everyone. My friends, my children, and everyone she met called her Grandma.
I was here in October to say my good-byes, so when I heard she was about to pass I did not know if I would make the long journey from Florida to repeat a good-bye she cannot hear. I secretly have this belief that if I had not come she would have haunted me saying, “You went to your other Grandma’s funeral.” But the reason I am here is because no one else could have impacted my life the way she did.
I received a text at 3:34 in the morning informing me of the news. I read the text about 4 a.m. just minutes after my boyfriend had left for work. As I lay alone in my bed and cried the morning away all I wanted to do was jump up onto my kitchen counter and eat graham crackers and milk.
I remember the lilac bushes around her front porch. They were purple and white, but mostly purple. I have always loved the smell of lilacs. In Florida lilacs do not grow. There is a nice smelling impostor, but to those of us who have experience of the lure of a lilac know it smells just a smidgen differently.
My cousins and I would play every Sunday while the entire family gathered in the garage and ate all the good cooking. The one thing my family does well is eating. The porch was surrounded almost completely with bushes, trees, and lilacs like a secret garden. I have countless hours of play on that porch. I think of the lilacs every time I drive by the old house. I have realized as I have gathered with family I only see at events like this that even now Grandma is holding this family together. She would be happy to see all of you here today and the past few days getting reacquainted, talking, laughing, and remembering.
April said it best when she said, “ She was the glue that held our family together and in this sad time that has never been more obvious. I have caught up with my cousins who I have lost contact with for many years and it saddens me that it has been so long. They were my first friends and it hardens my heart we have let Grandmas traditions go as we have gotten older.” We all have memories of her dear to our heart. I remember writing mystery stories with my cousin. I remember picking rhubarb and making rhubarb pie with my grandma. All of us sat on her counter and ate bowls of graham crackers and milk. I remember playing hide and seek in her boiler room and putting on plays for all of the adults in the basement. For years, every single grandkid hid Scott’s little grey mouse around the house and then her apartment. Amanda remembers making pancakes with Tammy while Grandma patiently watched from the little yellow table giving advice. “We were making a terrible mess in her kitchen creating something that was never gonna be edible.”
Her patients did not stop there. April too remembers a patient helpful Grandma, “She taught me to sew buttons. She would be so patient as I learned and would sit for hours as I practiced. She always made sure we had the best time while we were with her and she always played with us. It was nothing to be able to play restaurant and take any order to her and just like a restaurant you would get your order. She would do my hair and let me sit under the dryer. One time the curler got stuck in my hair. She would always chuckle telling that story because we had to cut it out of my hair. “
Grandma was always there for me whenever I needed her. When I was younger Stacey and I would leave her letters on the bed asking to stay the night with her and she would always ask our parents for the okay like it was her idea. When I was sick she gave me Verner’s floats, and when I needed a babysitter she watched my children.
Her legacy lives through me and it lives through them. She spent hours sewing, crocheting, and knitting with Amber and Amber now teaches her girls. When Ania came to visitation yesterday she sang a song to Grandma. My Grandma sang songs to me about whatever we were doing at the time and I sang songs to my granddaughter about whatever we were dong at the time. Now Ania sings her goodbye.
Many of us have used “Pee-Pee corns” to potty train our children. Some of us did not discover they were not called “Pee-Pee corns” until we were adults. I am willing to bet every one of us in this room has something Grandma made or a treasured recipe she has shared. It sure would be nice to have measurements for the ingredients.
I remember my grandma fondly. Over the years, I have traveled farther and farther away from those lilacs, but I think of her every time I smell lilacs. I think about the way she would crinkle up her nose and smile from across the room. That crinkle was the same as a kiss or a hug. She passed that onto my father; He too crinkles his nose.
I cannot hold her hand and tell her to quit worrying. I can’t crinkle my nose for her. But I can write this eulogy for her. Because we all know she wanted nothing more than to feel the love we have brought here today and to see us all together being family.
April writes my closing when she says, “Going to grandmas was just like all the stories you read, it was always the whole family there. The adults upstairs and the kids playing in the basement with plenty of treats and games to be done.
No matter what anyone can say she was the best grandma we all could have asked for and my life is richer and more joyful with her being such a part of it.”