As many of you know, my beloved Grandmother, Dana Lamming passed away in early December at the age of 89. We didn’t post an obituary and we haven’t had a service for her yet.
I find writing very therapeutic and wrote both an obituary and eulogy for her. I’ve decided to post them both on my blog in celebration of what would have been her 90th birthday. The eulogy is from my perspective, as her grandchild. I realize that my relationship and appreciation for Gram is unique to me and I don’t wish to speak for any of her other loved ones. These are my words about Gram and they are unique and special to me.
Thank you for all the kinds words, cards, gifts and sympathy in the past few months.
My Obituary for my Grandmother
Dana C. Lamming
A Granddaughter’s Eulogy for Dana C. Lamming.
Isn’t that grand? she would say. I could almost hear her saying those words as we drove home from the hospital. They echoed in my mind as I flashed back through the 32 years I knew her.
Isn’t that grand? She would say this to me with the same enthusiasm no matter the caliber of the good news I was telling her. Gram, I am pregnant; Gram, I’m going to law school; Gram, I’m going to meet some friends for dinner…. Same response: Isn’t that grand? The tone she used when she said the words was a bit dramatic, she empasized the words and sounded truly amazed each time she used them.
As I look back on my Gramma’s life, I cannot think of better words to describe her and her life. Isn’t that grand?
A love story for a romance novel: Isn’t that grand?
Her love story with grandpa was one for a romance novel, they were born in the same hospital just 3 days apart and he was her first and only boyfriend. He took care of her and she took care of him. Somewhere in those close to 60 years between the muddy boots and questionable food choices, they managed to raise 4 children, make a better life for themselves and their children by immigrating to the US and achieve the American dream through hard work, a little luck and a lot of love.
A special relationship with all 7 of her adoring grandchildren: Isn’t that grand?
I was convinced my whole life that I was Gram’s absolute favorite grandchild. How could I not be? She never missed a swim meet or robotics competition of mine, knew my friends, crushes and deepest secrets and loved to gossip with me about them and give me advice. We shared such a special connection. As I looked around the hospital during what would be my last night with her, I realized for the first time in my life at age 32 that I wasn’t her favorite. We all were. Each of my cousins shared the same connection with her, each one loved her the way I did. She had somehow managed to make us each feel special and valued in a unique way that a parent can’t. She provided support and love in the ways that a parent shouldn’t and where we needed it most.
Christmas giving out of a movie: Isn’t that Grand?
Now that I’ve gotten the important things out of the way, let’s talk about what’s really important: Christmas Gifts.
Oh how her and grandpa loved Christmas. I am sure my cousins can agree that we learned early on, “if mom and dad won’t buy it for me, ask Gramma and Grandpa.” I can remember looking through the thanksgiving toy ads and circling things I liked after a big meal. Putting together a Christmas list for Gramma was one of the most important tasks of the year. Unlike other Christmas lists, there was a distinct possibility that you might get anything on the list or even everything on the list. If grandma or grandpa also drew your name? Double jackpot? You’ve won the Christmas gift lottery!
Oh how Gram loved to give Christmas gifts. There was always a gift for everyone. She made sure of it. If you were coming to her family’s Christmas, you were getting a gift and it was going to be wrapped. The gifts under the Christmas tree extended out like a sea into whoever was hosting the party’s living room. Every year it seemed like there were more. She took such joy in watching each of us open special gifts from her.
Speaking of “if mom and dad won’t buy it for me, ask Gramma and Grandpa,” I have noticed something peculiar about her three adult children. It appears that you have secretly had the ability to spoil a child this whole time and somehow held back until you had your own grandchildren. Were onto you, next generation of Gramma and Grandpas…. Apparently, you’ve been holding back the urge to buy children everything until you had a grandchild that you didn’t have to raise to be a responsible adult.
A Family to be Proud of: Isn’t that Grand?
Gram loved to talk. She would talk to anyone who would listen. She would talk to some who were not listening. She loved nothing more than to tell cashiers, the mailman, someone in front of her in line. She loved nothing more than to talk about her children and grandchildren. She was so proud of each of us. When I think about it, she should be. What are the statistical odds that a High School and 8th grade gradate who immigrated from Canada as very young adults would have children and grandchildren who have achieved the lives that we each have? When I think about this, I find it nearly statistically impossible. She did well and should have been proud. I can’t blame her for bragging about us and loving to talk about us.
Pie’s Finer than the Most Famous Pastry Chef: Isn’t that grand?
Gramma’s pies were unbelievably good. Her crust had a certain flakiness that was often attempted, but never replicated. She was very disappointed when Crisco stopped using lard in its product and claimed that it just wasn’t the same.
Isn’t that grand?
I miss you Gram. I am so thankful that I had you as my Gram for 32 years. Thank you for spoiling me, being my flower-gram in my wedding and for always listening. I love you.