I first want to say how honored I am to speak about my Grandma today and how honored I am to be her granddaughter. I just want to say a few words about my Grandma today.
Anyone who knows the Creekmurs knows that we love soda, we are loud, sarcastic, and we are opinionated, and I like to think we are incredibly funny. And none of us possessed those traits more than my Grandma. She was funny. But the kind of funny that doesn’t even know it’s funny. I remember one time we were at breakfast and there was a group of high school kids at a table not too far away and she said just real loud “not the best looking group of kids”. I still laugh about that. I appreciate honesty. And she delivered that. A few years ago when I took my pictures of my trip to Hawaii to show her, she first told me that she hated Hawaii and then voiced her disapproval of every bathing suit I was wearing in the pictures. I loved that about her. The family was at an event one time and someone asked my cousin Beth when she was going to have a baby and my Grandma said from across the room “Beth isn’t having a baby until she is thirty.” You always knew where you stood with her. But one thing was for sure you never doubted that she loved you. She was a passionate person and she was passionate about her family. She had pictures of all the grandkids hanging on the wall and she would always say that she had the most beautiful grandchildren. After my niece was born, and I was visiting my Grandma she told me she had the most beautiful great-granddaughter. She was happy just to have us all. And the feeling was certainly mutual.
I have so many fun memories of her that I will carry with me. She would always tell me that when I was little I would talk like Donald Duck and I would sit in my room by myself waiting for my Mom to come home. I remember one time she walked with Vickie and I to the grocery store and bought me a chocolate éclair. Or when she would watch us overnight and take us shopping with the money my parents left and there wasn’t a single minute that she spent with us that she wasn’t smiling or laughing.
Other things I will remember are that every Easter she would wake up VERY early and drop off stuffed bunnies to all of her grandchildren. We would go to her house for every Thanksgiving and I will always remember the way she made gravy by putting flour in the turkey pan. And I will remember her plates with the green flowers around the edges. When Christmastime came my family would take her to dinner and to buy a Christmas tree for her house, and then she would let us decorate it. Every Fourth of July of my childhood was spent at her house. We would watch the fireworks being lit on an old wooden crate. And what I wouldn’t give to go back for one day to those simple times. I hope that we gave her as many happy memories as she gave us.
When it became clear that we were going to lose my Grandma my thoughts turned to how truly sad I am that my children will never meet her. You see I want my children to learn the things that I learned from her. She has this strength that has guided me through every step of my life. So much of who I am as a woman is her. Her independence, her sarcasm, her passion. She lived alone. So I had to live alone. I had to be okay by myself because she was okay by herself. She was an example of how a woman should be. Full of dignity, full of pride.
After she had a stroke and wasn’t able to express everything she wanted and I would call her on the phone she was always so happy to hear from me and she started to say things that she hadn’t always said before. At the end of the conversation she would say “I love you baby”. That’s all it would take to make my day.
The last few years she would always say to me “be happy” or to “stay happy”. And I would think that maybe she couldn’t elaborate because of her speech limitations but then I started to think maybe with age comes this need to just simplify. And what better advice is there than to “be happy”. I learned from her that happiness is a choice and it’s the choice she would now want us all to make.
The last conversation I had with her she told me to “have a happy life” and I told her I loved her and gave her a kiss on the head. That’s how I will remember her.
There won’t be a day that goes by that I won’t think of my Grandma. Of the woman she was. Of everything she taught me. Of what she meant to our family. I will always be so grateful that she lived long enough to be at my wedding where she told me “don’t listen to what anyone says just do what’s right for you and Rodger”. I will take her with me everywhere I go and in everything I do. Every time I see a bulldog, every time I eat a chocolate éclair, every time I turn on the television and Matlock or The Andy Griffith show is on.
And she will be with me every day when I chose to be happy.
I am sure that all of you know how much my Grandma loved peppermint patties. She even named one of her dogs after them. I thought it would be a really nice tribute to her if we all ate one. I think she would really like that.
And these are some of the pictures that we put out at the service.