My eulogy.

on August 24, 2009 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 41 comments by

I couldn’t speak at the funeral. I’m just not that strong and I don’t prefer blubbering in public. So instead, in true Annie fashion, I wrote my eulogy to my grandmother. Probably more for my own sake than for your’s, I’m posting it today.

__________

Annie with Ma at SHSMa and Colonel didn’t know what they were signing up for, having three granddaughters living across the driveway. We constantly invaded their home to play games, help Ma with a puzzle, or use her salon-style hair dryer to be an astronaut. As we passed their home each morning headed towards the bus stop, Ma would often meet us at the end of her sidewalk in her housecoat with a sausage biscuit. And after school, Ma would sit with her legs crossed and watch silently and intently as I did ballet moves to the old Disney song “Lavender Blue.” I guess we always considered their house merely an extension of our own.

In the 7th grade, I temporarily emancipated myself and moved out. A woman of 12, I was ready to be on my own. So I packed my belongings in a wagon and made Sally pull it across the driveway. Ma helped me concoct the emancipation plan and when I arrived, she received me with open arms and escorted me to my new room upstairs. It was a short-lived change of address, merely two days, but it is one of those memories that solidified Ma as the coolest grandmother on the Earth.

I loved talking to Ma because no matter what was going on, she was either HIGHLY excited with you or DEEPLY disappointed with you. Whatever emotion I was feeling in the story, she was feeling it too. Whether at home or in the nursing home, she wanted us to sit down and tell her all about our day, including the minute details. Even the mundane was important to her because we were important. I would bore myself long before I bored her.

For two years, I had the privilege of living across the road from Ma while she was in the nursing home. On one of my last visits, Ma took the opportunity to remind me to flour a pan before I baked a cake and to make sure I watered my plants in the morning and evening, NOT the afternoon. And she also asked would I please to be sure to bring her two cookies next time (not only one, but not three- she didn’t want to get fat). She also told me to make sure when I planted tulip bulbs in the fall that I planted some red ones because they are “beautiful beautiful beautiful“.

Of all the conversations I had with Ma over the years, the most effective are the ones I never heard. The conversations Ma had that changed things were with the Lord. If there is one thing I will remember her for, it will be her praying heart and her heart for God. I could tell you many heartwarming stories of the nice things she did or the kind things she said, but when you remember her, I want you to remember that she knew God- she studied His Word with passion and she prayed with equal passion.

I remember a time, maybe a year ago, when I asked Ma how she knew what to pray. And with full clarity she told me that “you ask God for His heart then you just pray. Trust that He knows.”  Ma loved to pray. And she loved to pray because she loved God. I can only imagine the unparalleled conversations she is having today in Heaven. I’m jealous, to be honest. What we call praying is foreign to her now; she is now having a face-to-face conversation with a God who has known her voice for a long time. And I would bet it’s pretty easy for her to recognize His voice as well. She always was a good listener.

Ruth_J_StrotherI learned a lot from Ma, from how to be a good Southern lady to how to cross-stitch Christmas ornaments. (Tatum is the one who learned the secret Thanksgiving dressing recipe. I insist she share.) And I think that, though the list goes on and on of things I gained from Ma, this is what I will always remember – a woman of prayer makes a difference in the lives around her. And I want to be like her- on my knees in the garden, and on my knees in prayer.

This fall, when I plant the red tulips, I will not only be reminded of a loving grandmother, I will be reminded of our loving God- who hears us when we pray and loves us with an everlasting love.

__________

Sorry for the length, but thank you for understanding my desire to post this.

Also, today, my dear friend Sarah starts a series on her blog that is amazing. Prepare your heart, then go read.

41 comments

  1. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 8:01 AM  |  reply

    Thanks for sharing your Ma with us…and your heart. I was taken right back in time…

    To my own written eulogy when my Grandma passed.

    To the time summer after 8th grade, when I too, “emancipated” and moved to her place.

    Right back in time to the joys and the sadness…my heart’s with you sister.

    Love you,
    ~V

  2. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 8:08 AM  |  reply

    Ma is an inspiration to all of us to “begin with the end in mind”. I want my children and grandchildren to know how much I love them the way you knew how much Ma loved you… and I hope my children turn out as awesome as you did.

  3. margaret Kirkland
    posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 9:00 AM  |  reply

    Annie, it’s beautiful! As was your Ma as well. I loved seeing Ms. Ruth everytime I go visit my Mom. She was a graceful, tenacious, awesome trooper to the end – which in reality is her true beginning! Hope Ms. Ruth and my Dad have chatted already! Hope I can be as good a Honey to my Grands as Ma was to ya’ll. A great role model! Love you!

  4. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 9:11 AM  |  reply

    Lovely. Special ladies, both of you. Hugs.

  5. Jennifer
    posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 9:20 AM  |  reply

    Annie, I’m sorry about Ma. What sweet memories I have of her helping in the Media Center at MFUMC! I couldn’t have done it without those faithful men and women who volunteered their time every week. Your written eulogy is beautiful and sweet. Thank you for sharing, makes me remember Mimi (& miss her)!!

  6. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 9:29 AM  |  reply

    This is so beautiful Annie – thanks for sharing. you’re in my prayers today!

  7. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 9:50 AM  |  reply

    Beautiful, Annie. And inspiring- I want to be that kind of grandma. Thank you for challenging me. xoxox

  8. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 9:51 AM  |  reply

    Sounds like she was a really special lady and you know how blessed you were to be loved by her.

    Special, special post.

  9. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 10:03 AM  |  reply

    Nothing like a good cry to start my morning!

    Thanks so much for sharing, Annie.

  10. Jennifer C
    posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 10:03 AM  |  reply

    With all my heart, I want to be rememebered well as you have remembered your Ma. Beautiful…

    love you

  11. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 10:14 AM  |  reply

    What a beautiful woman Ma was. Thank you for sharing her eulogy with us. I have been inspired to be a woman who changes things through prayer… that will stick with me a good while.

  12. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 10:26 AM  |  reply

    This is a beautiful tribute, Annie. What a beautiful lady of God’s grace.

  13. Phyllis Vance
    posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 10:46 AM  |  reply

    What a precious eulogy and what sweet grandaughters she has. May God continue to Bless you as the memories stay close to your hearts. One day there will be a meeting in the air. Glory!!

  14. ali
    posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 11:05 AM  |  reply

    Love. Love. Love.

  15. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 11:06 AM  |  reply

    Annie, this was beautiful! Brought tears to my eyes! Praise God for the generous blessing of loving Godly grandmothers. I can’t help but think how the seeds they plant are lasting for generations. Wow!

  16. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 11:13 AM  |  reply

    “you ask God for His heart then you just pray. Trust that He knows.”

    What a wonderful perspective. This tribute is lovely, Annie. May we all seek to be women of God like your grandmother was.

  17. Katie White
    posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 11:18 AM  |  reply

    “You ask God for His heart and then you just pray. Trust that He knows.” I needed to hear that today. Thanks Ma!

  18. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 11:18 AM  |  reply

    I love these kinds of memories. You wrote a beautiful tribute to your beautiful grandmother. I recently wrote about my grandparents’ house as “my favorite place” because it was a place of unconditional love. Sounds like your grandmother’s love was the same.

  19. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 11:22 AM  |  reply

    How sweet and touching. Thanks for writing and sharing.

  20. Stacey in Texas
    posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 11:41 AM  |  reply

    What beautiful memories you have … thank you for sharing her witb us. I still miss my grandmother very much so I know somewhat how you are feeling. God Bless!

  21. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 12:51 PM  |  reply

    that was beautiful annie…i’ve been praying for you and your family. thank you for sharing this…kel

  22. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 1:05 PM  |  reply

    Annie….now you went and made and made me cry…
    What a wonderful Grandmother you had. I’m sure she was incredibly proud of you.

  23. Connie Fortney
    posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 1:25 PM  |  reply

    Annie – so sweet and your Ma would be so proud that out of all the things you could have and did glean from her, that you chose her praying heart to learn from! I bet that was an answer to many of her prayers for you! I will pray for yall in this time…..and I am sorry for your loss on earth, but if she had a choice today, no matter how much she loved yall, she wouldn’t chose to come back because now she sits with Jesus face to face…isn’t that amazing???? We love yall

  24. Face
    posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 1:46 PM  |  reply

    Oh– I hope I can be a grandma just like her.

  25. Sharliss Arnold
    posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 4:46 PM  |  reply

    Grandmothers sure have a very important place in each of our lives. I am happy you were very close to yours. I too had a grandmother who lived right in front of me when I was little. She taught me great things like the importance of red lipstick and how to make a pan of corn bread. She also taught me how to love unconditionally. It was an honor to be her grand daughter and I know you feel the same way. Relax and enjoy the memories, she will live on for ever with your heart and words telling us of her. Love you to pieces, thats what my grandmother would say. Sharliss

  26. Garrett
    posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 8:14 PM  |  reply

    Annie, oh, what a dear lady your Ma was…She always showed me love, and I felt like I was the only person in the room when I spoke to her. She made everyone feel special. Your words made me cry. I’m so glad her earthly body is at rest and her spirit is where it has always longed to be. She loved her girls! I love you and your family very much. You are special people in my book!

  27. monore
    posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 9:32 PM  |  reply

    Annie, she sounds as special of a person as I know you to be..<
    mc

  28. posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 10:36 PM  |  reply

    Losing loved ones like Ma is hard. It’s like the whole world turns into a different place…

    God bless you, Annie.

  29. Claudia
    posted on Aug 24, 2009 at 10:54 PM  |  reply

    That was beautiful, Annie. What a wonderful relationship you had with your grandmother. I’m sure she was smiling up in heaven as she watched you write this. I’m sorry for your loss, but happy for her gain.

  30. posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 12:01 PM  |  reply

    Beautiful, Annie….simply beautiful. I’m sure your Ma would be so proud.

  31. Katie
    posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 12:25 PM  |  reply

    …as beautiful as when I read it Saturday. I am so glad we were able to be with all you and Mema as we celebrated Aunt Ruth’s wonderful life. Every now and then Mema will say something, and she’ll sound just like Aunt Ruth. I will forever remember the Christmas celebrations with all of us. Love you, Katie

  32. posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 2:31 PM  |  reply

    oh annie, my heart aches for you. what a blessing she was too you, though , even in her last days. such a wonderful eulogy, it speaks to my heart!! love ya girl, take care!!

  33. posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 3:58 PM  |  reply

    Annie! Thank you for sharing that with us. I love the way you shared your memories of what made your Ma special, but also showed us what really made her special was her love of the Lord. Awesome.

  34. posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 8:21 PM  |  reply

    Very sweet.

  35. Southern Gal
    posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 10:02 PM  |  reply

    Beautiful, Annie.

  36. posted on Aug 26, 2009 at 4:17 PM  |  reply

    I just know your Ma is visiting with my Nanny right now. They were meant to be friends, I’m sure.

  37. posted on Aug 27, 2009 at 4:04 PM  |  reply

    Praying for you Annie!

  38. posted on Aug 27, 2009 at 8:47 PM  |  reply

    That was beautifully written, Annie. And your Ma was sure a special person. My grandma died 11 years ago (can’t believe it!) and she means more to me today than ever–as an example of a gentle, humble, Godly woman. I know your Ma will always be that for you.

  39. posted on Aug 28, 2009 at 12:40 AM  |  reply

    Beautiful.

  40. posted on Aug 28, 2009 at 7:30 AM  |  reply

    […] tribute to her grandmother is […]

  41. Helen Tatum
    posted on Aug 29, 2009 at 9:43 PM  |  reply

    We were sorry to hear that your grandmother had gone to be with the Lord – sorry for you and your family, not for her! What a beautiful tribute you gave to your grandmother!

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