My grandma passed away this week, and my dad asked me to say a few words at the funeral. This is what I said:
Many of my fondest memories of childhood are of time spent with my grandma, and who I am today is in large part because of her attention and care. I suspect she thought I would become an architect, the way we would play with building blocks for hours on end. I'm sure the beginning of my engineering nature can be found in the precise folds of the origami she helped me construct. Most of all I can see her hand in my love of writing. She fostered my imagination, reading to me and encouraging me to come up with my own stories.
I remember some of the things Grandma would feed me. It sounds awful to me now, but at one point I really liked her liver sausage spread on bagels. She always had curious opinions to share when it came to food. I shouldn't have whipped cream on my hot chocolate because the air in it would fill me up before I got to the rest of the meal. And all the vitamins! There was always something I should avoid or be getting more of. But judging by how long she lived a healthy and independent life, she was right more often than not.
The last time I saw Grandma was a few months ago when my wife, Tracy, and I told her that we were expecting a baby. "You're going to be a great-grandma," we said. We had to repeat it a little louder for her to hear. In her spirited way, she quipped, "But I'm already a great grandma."
I'm sorry that Grandma won't have a chance to see the baby after it's born, but I do know that my daughter will see Grandma's mark on my life every day.