A Mother’s Eulogy.

By Megan

I always lamented not having a chance to really know Al’s mother. Although I did spend many hours in her quiet, restful company, she’d been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years before Al and I married, and by the time we met, she was very ill.

I do feel blessed I got to tell her at least once that Al talked about her all the time – how much he loved her, and how thankful he was for her wisdom and encouragement, and WHAT A GREAT COOK SHE WAS. I’ve soaked up the stories as he’s shared them, trying to cobble them together and make a mother-in-law I could call my own, whom I could fully know and understand.

And then I realized at the funeral, sitting among her children and watching their faces as they sang and cried and held on to one another, that I actually do know Grandma. The pastor’s glowing eulogy described not only Grandma Carrie, but also each of her eight children in his or her own individual way. In Gloria’s fierce loyalty and determination, in Selma’s contagious energy and love of music, in Andrew’s quiet thoughtfulness and especially, of course, in my husband’s wit, wisdom and selflessness. She’s there, every day, her light shining bright from inside these amazing people she raised.

Which has lead me, in the inevitable contemplation of my own mortality that comes with such a loss, to ponder this:  What parts of me will shine on in my own children? More than anything in the world, I want my children to have hearts full of joy, minds full of understanding, hands that pitch in and do more than their share, and words that inspire and encourage the people around them. Not because I want to be remembered and eulogized as a saint, like Grandma Carrie was and surely deserved, but because these are the attributes that will give them rich, full, God-honoring lives.

Thanks to Grandma Carrie, I understand more deeply now that I need to live my life in a way that shows my own kids the best parts of me, and that how I live out my life in front of them will shape who they become and HOW they’ll be after I’m gone. I bet she’d be delighted to know she taught me something so valuable.

Thanks for the lesson, Grandma Carrie. I’m so thankful I got to know you.

Megan also blogs at FriedOkra.

13 Responses to A Mother’s Eulogy.
  1. Jenn
    July 13, 2009 | 10:25 am

    This was very touching, it sounds like she was an amazing woman.

  2. Kelly
    July 13, 2009 | 12:26 pm

    Sweet post, Megan. I believe that’s called a legacy.

  3. Kat
    July 13, 2009 | 2:06 pm

    What a beautiful post!
    My father just passed away after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s and I found this post to be very comforting.

  4. Melissa
    July 13, 2009 | 2:35 pm

    The words and sentiment about Grandma Carrie are beautiful, but so is your desire to lead your kids to be wonderful (just like their Mama). :o)

  5. candace
    July 13, 2009 | 4:01 pm

    A great post! I love my MIL almost as much as my own mother. I see in my husband just how she and my FIL raised their boys..especially my husband. Because I have a son that legacy will carry on especially in name.

  6. Courtney
    July 14, 2009 | 7:04 am

    This is such a beautiful post! Thank you for passing on such a great lesson for us all! It is so hard to show our best side everyday and i know on some days i need to try a lot harder.

  7. Megan
    July 14, 2009 | 7:58 am

    Powerful and thought-provoking reminder of what is really important that we impart to our children daily. I look forward to hearing more of what you have been learning through this time of loss.

  8. Katie
    July 14, 2009 | 11:36 am

    So sorry for your loss – and so grateful that a wonderful, godly woman is now dancing in heaven!

    What a sweet reminder too – that we will be reflected in our children in so many ways… and to be careful of the things we are and do and become. They really are watching us!!

  9. Nana
    July 14, 2009 | 4:25 pm

    Thanks Megan for another great post! You are so talented. This was, indeed, a thought provoking post. Can we live up to the challenge your words have given us?

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