Grammy’s Eulogy by Emily Brown

Hi everyone, my name is Emily Brown and I am Benny’s granddaughter.

Do you like my dress? Grammy got it for me. Yes, it’s definitely not the most traditional thing to wear to a funeral, but it was the last thing that she gave me.

Grammy was a number of things. She was strong, resilient, positive and always encouraging. As I began to reflect on my life with her, it hit me how incredibly lucky I have been to have a grandmother such as her. I’m sure each of you feel fortunate and have your own fond memories of my grandmother; I would love to share one specific memory from only two months ago that I feel captures who she was.

It was a day just like this, sunny with clouds scattering the sky, when my mom and I took my grandmother to a doctor’s appointment for one of her many checkups. I rolled Grammy in her wheelchair through the sliding hospital doors and parked her outside on the sidewalk near a flower bed. I remained standing behind her while my mom left us to go get the car. Grammy and I stood in silence for a moment and I watched as she looked around at the bright pink and yellow flowers to our right. She took in a large breath of summer air and said,

“The flowers are beautiful aren’t they?” “You always have to appreciate the little things in life.”

In that moment, I was reminded, as we all often were, of the way Grammy viewed life. She endured more than I could imagine, undergoing multiple car accidents, over 30 surgeries, and even lung cancer. And yet, she always thanked God for every day she was given, and constantly reminded me to appreciate the little things that most of us fail to recognize in our ever busy lives.

And it was the little things about my grandmother that stood out most– the altoids she always had to offer in her “book bag”, the songs she used to sing to us as kids, her purple eggs and hungarian keeflies, her colorful garden. (Oh and her to die for Hungarian meatballs I’m sure some of you have had.)

Back at the hospital, her gaze left the flowers and went to the sky. It was a bright cool blue filled with the kind of clouds that look as though they are made with huge balls of cotton. She pointed up at the sky and asked me, “what do you see?” I looked for a moment and said [[with a nervous laugh]], “hmm, I’m not sure…”
“Well come on!” she said with a smile. “You must see something. It is so important to use your imagination. You have to push your thinking…”

I looked at the sky again and searched a little harder. My eyes landed on a large cumulus cloud and I made out an outline of our labradoodle at home. I bent down near her head and pointed, “I see Cody right there, can you see him?” She laughed and smiled at the thought of our dog at home.

Her grand imagination is what allowed her to be the wonderful artist we all knew her to be. Her paintings often depicted landscapes with bright natural scenery that left you with a warm feeling of comfort. As a young girl, I would stare into her lively paintings and let them consume me. Every painting was fabricated with the keenest eye for detail. Each was a perfect world of naturalistic beauty and it wasn’t long before my two-year-old self was trying to pick up a paintbrush to do the same.

My grandmother taught me to paint, among many other things, and helped shape who I am. She influenced all of us in a way I could never have dreamed possible.

Grammy, now when I look into the sky, I will carry you with me as I pick out the pictures. I will always love you as I knew you loved me and we will miss you every day of our lives.

Thank you.