Dear Granny Amy,
Yesterday, I attended your Memorial Service. So many people shared remembrances about the positive impact you made on so many lives and I am honored to be one of those people. Hearing the stories--some funny, some touching, I began to see the pattern how my interactions with you fit into the beautiful mosaic of your life.
Importance of Connection
Once, you came to my home for dinner and I served a summer salad. I seem to recall it had nectarines, walnuts...maybe some goat cheese? Sharing a meal with friends and family was one way you focused on the importance of connecting with others. You were so flattering and complimentary and asked for the recipe. Yesterday, I learned that you often asked others for recipes. You would recopy them into your own hand, noting who gave it to you, and lovingly store them away. At your service, I skimmed through so many recipe cards, each of them a meaningful memory of a meal shared with a friend. We were invited to take a recipe...after much consideration, I chose Sombrero Dip. It sounds fun--just like you. I picture us dressed festively, wearing sombreros while eating it, and laughing.
Another recurring theme was your laughter. I wasn't surprised to learn you chose the Jester costume for the Henry VIII Ball because that is how I remember you--laughing, colorful. I remember your holiday earrings, your colorful beaded necklaces, and that you always seemed to be smiling. At another table, we were invited to take an item of your costume jewelry. I chose some whimsical earrings made of bottle caps, painted with chickens. They remind me of a blog that Debbie and I love about a metal chicken reminding us that we need to have a sense of humor and that everyone needs some whimsy in their lives. You had so many whimsical collections ranging from hedgehogs to all things Elvis. I think you would approve of a metal chicken collection if I ever started collecting anything.
I remember Katherine and Maggie once got into loom weaving potholders and you brought them several bags of craft loops. Yes, you were generous with gifts, but I was also struck by how many stories were shared of you reaching out to help others. You were generous with your time and your talents, and your values to stand up for that which is right, even when it is difficult. These stories of generosity, to me, are far more valuable than any material gift. Every day, I notice how you passed along these traits of compassion, love and service to your daughter and my dear friend Debbie. She is the most selfless, generous friend I know. I know that she mourns your loss, and lies awake thinking, "I don't have a Momma anymore." I hope she feels and knows that your spirit lives on within her, and within all of us. That, in fact, she has an infinite number of Mommas now, because you have touched all of us, and we carry a bit of your spirit our hearts too.
"A little less fight and a little more spark, close your mouth and open your heart."--Elvis