My husband made this video for his Grandmother's funeral. Below is the tribute to his Grandma that he did at the funeral. Family and friends asked for a copy, so we are posting for them to be able to see whenever they wanted.
I will be telling you about the 5 areas of Grandma’s life that were important to her. And I will be doing these in descending order.
Number 5 is her love of Food.
Catherine and Lenny loved hosting get-togethers at their house and those get-togethers always revolved around a meal. Especially the holidays! Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Arbor Day. And for some of us, Sundays, when she was cooking an Italian dinner. I can close my eyes, and see us all sitting around her dining room table, Pop at the end of the table by the windows, the smell of her sauce and the conversations that took place. Then, after dinner, coffee for the adults and coffee-milk for the kids. And if wasn’t a meal, it was her offering a cookies, candy, snack. This was a guaranteed quote you would hear, if you visited her house. “Can I get you anything?” “No, I am fine” “well there must be something I can get you, I have chocolate here in the dishes, or cokes out in the fridge.” But when it came to her favorite foods, her taste pallet changed as she went through life. When she was young, she loved Virginia ham. Then in the 1940’s she and Pop discovered Hogate’s and Flagship. She would order a crab imperial for dinner and instead of bread with dinner, she would get the Flagship Rum Buns.
Later in life she started to eat more steak. But only if it was, “crispy on the outside and juicy in the middle.” She also loved bacon. While at the Annapolitin, she was asking for bacon at every breakfast. Oh, and everything she ate, had to have salt on it.
Number 4 is her love for Traveling.
When they were younger, Grandma and Pop used to take day trips. Either with friends or just together. But when they had Uncle John and Mom, they continued to take those day trips, but also added some overnight trips to the shores and to family’s homes. Once Uncle John and mom started their own families, Grandma and Pop, really started to see the world. Over the last 45 years of her life, Grandma traveled to 29 states and 15 countries. But one of her regrets was that she never saw Hawaii. On the flip side though, she did see hundreds of different animals, oceans, glaciers, crystal blue waters in the Caribbean, watched her favorite sports team, the Washington Redskins play at Super Bowl 7, she saw the snowcapped mountains of the Alps and Rockies, shopped all over the world, ate hundreds of different types of meals, oh…and once when they were visiting Morocco, Grandma rode on a camel. Recently I asked her what her fondest vacations were and she said two stand out as her favorites. It was the first cruise that she ever went on and she was with Pop, and their friends Helena and Bus. That was 1974. The other, was her cruise with mom to Alaska.
Number 3 is her strong Faith
I was blessed to have some amazing conversations with Grandma about her faith in God and her perfect little Episcopal church, All Hallows Parish. We had conversations about some of the services and the messages. When Father Alistair, was brought up in conversation, she would go on and on. About 7 years ago, mom, my wife Julie and I, and our 2 year old daughter Katelynn, were able to attend a Christmas Eve service with Grandma here at the church. She was so excited that we came with her and it was a beautiful mass. Our highlight of the mass was when Katelynn, in a very sweet and innocent voice asked if Jesus was on the cross. Grandma didn’t hear her correctly, but answered her with, “Why yes, Honey. He is always here.” From our entire family, we want to thank Father Alistair, and all the members and community of All Hallows Parish. You all loved and embraced Catherine, and I know she felt home here.
And that leads me into Number 2. Grandma Loved People
Grandma always showed love and respect to those around her. In fact, I think it is safe to say that Grandma lived the Golden Rule. “Do unto others, as you would have done to you.” In my 38 years with her, I can’t remember a single time where she acted or showed any malcontent for a single person. Of course that being said, she would from time to time, give her opinion about something, for example, Grandma really didn’t like it when I would grow out my beard, and she would always tell me how much she didn’t like it. Also, Grandma had a way of making anyone who she was around feel as if they were very special to her. And I know that to many people in here right now, Catherine or Mrs. C, was a motherly figure in their lives. To those people and the countless others who visited, or cared, or prayed for her in the last years of her life, I can tell that she was incredibly thankful and appreciative. She would often tell me that she was lucky to have people who were so nice to her. But I like to think about how truly lucky we were to have her in ours.
Lastly, but defiantly the most important in her life was her family.
Grandma loved her family. She once told me that the greatest gift in life was having a family to love! She loved her Nieces and Nephews so much and would often tell us about their lives and what they were doing, and of course what her great nieces and nephews were doing too. Grandma had 8 great grandchildren who were able to spend lots of time with her. What an amazing opportunity for these children to not only share time with their great grandmother, but also have lasting memories of her. Then when it came to her grandsons, David, Mike and I; Well, rumor has it that grandma bragged about us, all the time. She and Pop loved to spoil us, because that is what grandparents do. They took us on trips, individually and all together. Isn’t it funny how she never said that any of those trips were her favorites?
Then there was her son John and daughter Sue. She was so proud of both of you and the lives that you have made for yourselves. And mom, I know you know this, but Grandma was so thankful for the way you and dad cared for her, in these last two years. Every time I would talk to her, she would always say, “Danny, treat your parents well, because they treat me so well.” And then there was the love of her life, Lenny. My Pop. Most people don’t know this, but they met at a dance, even though Pop hated to dance. They dated for several years and often talked about getting married, but it wasn’t until December 7th, 1941, that they decided that they couldn’t wait any longer. They were married ten days later in a very little service. Here on earth, they were married for 49 years. But now, they are back together again after 22 years apart. And I am confident to say that they will be together forever.
Thank you for letting me share this time with you.