The funeral was this last Wednesday. This is what I said:
One of my earliest memories is just an image, a moment from when I was not even walking yet, but crawling, on the kitchen floor of our old house. I was over by the doorway, and saw feet on the other side of the baby gate. I looked up, and it was Grandma! Yay, Grandma!
It seems a bit strange that I could remember even a brief moment from when I was so young. But that’s the power of Grandma-love. All of us know that it just overflowed out of her like sunlight every time she smiled; it shone out of her whole face. Everybody’s face, I think, reveals their general personality over time. Her wrinkles were smiley ones.
Thank you, Grandma, for the ginger ale, the salmon patties, the small change in the little boxes with our names on them, the peanut butter cookies, the beautiful flower-print dress that fit me just right and that I wore every chance I could for years, until the shoulders were sunbleached and worn and the fabric finally gave way.
I loved that dress. But the real reason I loved it so much, the reason I have kept it and will always keep it, is that it was Grandma-love made visible. Every time I see it I feel an echo of her and of the same emotion from my first memory: the joy of seeing Grandma.
I love you, Grandma.
She was my mom's mom, the only grandma I ever knew. Both my dad's parents died before I was born. Grandpa died ten years ago. I don't have any grandparents any more. at least that I can talk with.
I looked at the flower-print dress after the funeral. It took me a while to actually find the rip; it was lower than I'd thought, and not as big. Maybe it would be fixable, sometime: not to perfect, but not immediately noticeable amidst the flower print.