Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Goodbye Grandma

I’m a little late putting up my weekly blog. Yesterday, I was at my grandmother’s funeral. She passed away on Saturday after over 99 years upon this earth. In six months she would have hit the century mark, but it was not to be.

As I had done with my last three grandparents, I gave a eulogy at the funeral. That went okay though I found out later that my voice was competing with traffic from the street as well as with fans set up around the church to cool off the congregation amidst our miserable heat wave. Sometimes the outside noise won out, I understand.

I was glad to say a few words on grandma’s behalf, but just as glad when I could exit the pulpit as I’m not too crazy about speaking in public. It was a relief to sit down and know it was over. But there was a surprise to come.

As the priest was preparing the Eucharist, a lay minister looked my way and beckoned me to come forward. I’ve never seen a minister do that ever before at a Catholic mass and I’ve been a Catholic all my life.

I pressed my index finger to my chest and made an expression that said something to the effect, “You want me????”

As my brother later said, there wasn’t anybody sitting behind me. So I walked forward and joined the priest and other ministers at the altar. Nervous moment. The minister who motioned me up said, “Have you ever been a Euchuristic minister before?” I said no. Never even thought of becoming one. Well, he said I was about to become one.

Nobody in the congregation knew why I was up there either. My cousin later said to me, “I said to myself, is Dave up there AGAIN??!!” My sentiments exactly.

I’m not sure if any of my blogging buddies has ever performed ministerial duties during a church service but it’s NOT the type of thing you want to be suddenly blindsided to learn by doing. But, for grandma, of course I would do it.

My ministerial duty was to hold the wine chalice during the sacrament of communion for those who wanted to partake. Communicants all drink from the same chalice, so I needed to wipe and turn the cup after each person drank. Not too hard, though I got flustered a couple times. And a couple in my family chided me for not genuflecting in front of the altar when I returned to my pew afterwards.

I sure under the circumstances, God would forgive me. And I think grandma would as well. My guess is she was smiling over me the whole time.


Blogger Lynilu said...

Something we forget is that Christianity is all about forgiveness. Yes, I think you're forgiven from "up there," and the rest doesn't matter, right?

How nice that you could give the eulogy for all your grandparents. I'm not sure I could have kept my voice steady. You're my hero, and I'll bet your grandma's, too. :)

8:10 PM  
Blogger TechnoBabe said...

Wow, you are still young enough to have a grandparent who just passed away. And she was six months from turning a hundred. What a long life.

My mom turned ninety this month and I thought that was amazing. She is older than any of my friends' moms.

You participated in the services for your grandma even more during communion, something to add to the memories for you. You were a good grandson.

3:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BDD here,oooh I so wanted to get in your line,but Sue kept pushing me into the other line, I knew you never did that before,

5:49 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LYNILU--Keeping my voice steady wasn't the problem. It was keeping my voice loud. Probably didn't help that I was the first one to use the pulpit during the service. Maybe the microphone wasn't adjusted. Thanks for the compliment.

TECHNOBABE--My mother turns 79 this year and is very healthy. Maybe she'll have a run at a hundred. Thanks for your kind comment.

DAD--I had enough people in my line. That was making me nervous too. A lot of Catholics in the family, I guess.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Nankin said...

Sorry to read about your grandma, but it was great that you could be part of her service. I'm sure it was a tough thing to do.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Carine said...

Big hugs to you Dave, I'm so sorry for your loss. Lost all my grandparents many years ago. 2 worthy of eulogies, 2 not. but a loss still hurts and I hope you will be okay as time goes by. You were lucky to have your grandmother all these years. Nice that she got to know about her great-great grandson too.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

NANKIN--It wasn't too tough but I'm hoping I don't have to attend another funeral anytime soon.

CARINE--I believe my grandma had something like ten great-great grandchildren. What was sad was that we missed a chance to get a five generation photo with our grandson.

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Enforcer said...

Believe it or not Kym and I were having dinner last night and I recognized a guy at the bar as the Euchuristic minister at Grandma's funeral!I thanked him for choosing you!

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanked him, Enforcer? you probably bought his dinner and a few beers.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

ENFORCER--If I go before you, it's going to be in my will that you do the eulogy, readings, flowers, etc.

ANONYMOUS--You'd think with a Miller distributor in the family that the Enforcer wouldn't have to pay for beer.

11:46 AM  
Blogger CAROLDEE said...

So sorry for your loss Dave..She surely lived a great life to have lived that long. Glad you came through all that "ministering" okay. Hugs to you! : )

6:24 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CAROLDEE--Thanks. It's sad, true, but we should all be so lucky to live that long. And she was mentally strong to the end.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Sad to hear that Grandma has departed... and so close to the 100 mark too, congratulations on the eulogy and your other ministerial duties.

1:11 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

PETER--Thanks. I'm her oldest grandson so maybe it was fitting that I had to represent my generation at the service honoring her life.

3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blog, I wouldn't be such a successful beer salesman if it weren't for the Enforcer. He is my largest account.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

ANONYMOUS--I still can't believe that Busch's is beating you guys. I've never seen anybody order Busch's at the bars around here. You need to work harder. The Enforcer alone can't keep Miller in business.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ Congrats on your eulogy and I am sure Grandma would be proud of you.
I am glad your father liked my comment about she had a good run. I think anyone who lives to 99 has done quite well, don't you?
You have done very well giving
eulogies to all your grandparents.
Well done my friend, Regards, Merle.

4:50 AM  

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