Monday, April 6, 2009

Dear Grandma...

Today is my Grandma's funeral service.   She had been struggling with congestive heart failure for quite some time now.  But it was shocking that she died last Thursday as my parents were on the way to the hospital to pick her up as she was being discharged that afternoon.  She passed a half hour before my parents arrived.  It was quick and painless.  What we all wish for our loved ones.

It's been a rough few days.  What upsets me the most is that I'll never have make another memory with her.  But thankfully, I have a million memories to keep a smile on my face.

Her funeral is in NY and I'm still in CA.  But I wanted to be a part of the service so I did what I could do, and wrote her a letter.  My mom will be reading it aloud today for me.

I wanted to share it with all of you.  She means so much to me and I wish you all could have met her.  You'd have loved her after five minutes.  Everybody who met her did.


Dear Grandma,

I’m writing you this letter because it’s how I’ve come to express myself best.  (Well, I also yell pretty good, like all Eolins do, but that seems inappropriate to say the least.)  I wanted to thank you for all the contributions you’ve made in my life, but then realized that would literally take days.  So instead, I’ve compiled a quick “Top Ten List” of my favorite memories of you.   I hope you like them as much as I do. 

#10 – You got me addicted to Olay lotions at the age of 8.  Drugstores across the land thank you for this as well since they will be the only companies to make it through the recession unscathed.  (Oh and also my hairdresser will do pretty well – nothing interferes with Hair-Do Day!)

#9 – You’re one of the best cooks I know.  You’re so good that even our dog, Maggie, knew as soon as we turned onto Oneida Place that we were coming to visit you and she’d start drooling like a crazed maniac.  (Maggie kept hoping you’d drop that entire leg of lamb on the floor, but much to her chagrin, you were pretty nimble and coordinated.)

#8 – Only you knew every butcher’s name in town and would tell them when you weren’t happy with their work.  (I used to be VERY CONCERNED for your safety as a child since they made a living CUTTING things and often had blood on their aprons from a fresh slaughter.)  When I asked you, “Grandma, why did you tell him that?” you said, “Because he needed to know, that’s why!”  (Which, by the way, I came to learn over the years is a phrase that should be on the Eolin Family Crest.)

#7 – You taught me to speak my mind, no matter the issue.  Because, as Eolins, we’re usually right. (But I still wouldn’t tell a butcher off.  But that’s just me…)

#6 – You always wore a piece of jewelry like a necklace or a pin in addition to your rings.  This just added to your graceful demeanor, and to this day, every time I put on a piece of jewelry, I hope that I carry it off as gracefully and beautifully as you.

#5 – I never understood your charity work for the Red Cross as a kid. I really thought a blood bank ran like a “money bank” did (I wasn’t the brightest).  So years later when I figured it out, (I eventually catch on!) I never got to tell you how proud I was of you for doing all the volunteer work you did.   What an enormous and self-less gift.

#4 – You and Grandpa taught me how to play cards.  And every time I see a deck of cards I think of you and how you would give me the stink eye when I “put you in the bucket” score wise.  Or when I would steal your bid.  Or take your ace.  Come to think of it, you spent the most of our card games giving me the stink eye.  And guess what, I loved every minute of it!

#3 – One time when I was 6-years-old or so, I was staying with you and Grandpa.  You asked me what I wanted for dinner and I said, “A Happy Meal!”  So you got in the car and drove me to McDonald’s to get a Happy Meal.  Then when we got back to your house, you let me watch The Brady Bunch in the den for dinner.  This is still one of my top memories from my entire life.  You made me feel very important and loved, simply by letting me do something a little out of the norm. 

#2 – I love that you took time to make clothes for me growing up.  Some of my favorite pictures are of Sara and I in clothes that you made us.  I vividly remember Sara and I wearing our matching pink dresses and going to the Corning Museum.  Everybody in the museum stopped to tell us they loved our dresses and I remember saying proudly, “My Grandma made it for me!” 

#1 – You always had a hug and a kiss for me.  You always had a laugh and one of the warmest smiles I’ve ever encountered.  Your eyes always sparkled.  You always had wisdom and knowledge to bestow.  You always had an answer for everything.  You were strong and were always around to help and support where you could.  You always made me feel loved, even when we were miles away.  You brought light into every room you entered.  You grew the most beautiful flower garden and the healthiest vegetable garden.  In short… you made me want to be a wonderful person who has a positive effect on those around me.  And for that, I can never thank you enough.

I love you with all my heart, Grandma.  You betcha I will.

Love always,


  1. this is so lovely and touching! i'm sure your family will love this! and you're right, your grandmother does sound like someone to be loved by all! i can just imagine her giving me the stink-eye over a game of Uno!

  2. Beautiful piece. Grandmas are so special. Mine passed almost 10 years ago. Your memories of your grandma are so simlar to mine. Tears welled up in my eyes.

  3. ok you made me cry in the airport.. A beautiful & funny/sweet letter, Jenny

  4. oh my just made me miss my granny ada so bad! She passed unexpectedly when I was 14, but we shared the special times it seems you and your grandma did. I know your grandma knew you loved her, and I will pray for you as you cope with your sorrow at her loss.

    Now I need to go call my other Grandma...well, it's late--maybe first thing tomorrow! =)

  5. I'm so sorry about your Grandma. Grandparents are so special. And we were so lucky to have the kind of Grandma's that sewed stuff for us (and mine knitted homemade mittens for me when I was five)

  6. I accidentally posted toooo soon. I just wanted to continue with:

    We'll always have the beautiful memories of them.

    My prayers and sympathies for you and your family, and I'll be thinking of ya'll.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I am sorry about the loss of your Grandma and you will most definitely be in my thoughts and prayers.

    This is one of the most beautiful and touching things I recall reading. Being able to express the beauty in the joy that someone you love brought to your life is a tremendous gift. I'm quite sure she'd be very proud of you. Thank you for sharing this.

  9. excellent job my friend, she would have been and i'm sure is very proud. I feel like i've known her forever just from your list. stay strong, keep the memory alive!

    Marcy (It's easier than logging in)



Related Posts with Thumbnails