I debated about whether or not to post this deeply personal piece. Bam passed away on January 19th, and I chose to speak at her service. Public speaking is far from my forte, and I wasn’t certain that I could stop crying long enough to share. I managed to do it, between tears and sniffles. I want to share it with everyone because Bam meant the world to me.
I’ll celebrate you…
I’ll try not to cry today…because I want to tell you what Bam meant to me, and because I want to celebrate her and all of her special gifts.
Bam, I’ll celebrate you, smiling at the thought of your rose garden, those fragrant, vivid blossoms that you tended so lovingly. Not only did you have a green thumb, but you could create almost anything with your hands.
You made me Raggedy Ann dolls with a matching costume, a Hershey Kiss costume, and a dollhouse by hand, complete with working lights, cross stitch rug, and wallpaper.
I’ll celebrate you for driving me around on the HoJo seat in your pretty blue Cadillac.
I’ll celebrate you for singing the single saddest lullaby I’ve ever heard…Go Tell Aunt Tabby.
I’ll celebrate you, for piercing my ears, for picking me up each day from daycare so I didn’t have to take naps, for cutting up my Weyman’s chicken perfectly on Friday nights.
I’ll celebrate you for giving me a cross to wear since you thought I shouldn’t wait to inherit yours when you were gone.
I’ll celebrate you for teaching me how to love animals, especially poodles and cocker spaniels.
I’ll celebrate you for teaching me how to embroider, even if I swore I’d never do it again.
I’ll celebrate our beach trips to St. Simons, with Donnie, Mom, and Papa, where we lounged in the “kajuzzi” and ate pink starburst candies.
I’ll celebrate you for all of the inspiration and encouragement you have given me in support of my artistic endeavors.
I’ll celebrate you for giving me my first sewing machine when I was FINALLY patient enough to learn from you.
I’ll celebrate you and our obsessive love of quilting, for our many excursions to Little Quilts, Quilting by the Sea, Intown Quilters, and Discover Sewing.
I’ll celebrate you for our tea parties, both at home and at Tea Leaves & Thyme, where we dined on scones and Sugar Plum Fairy Tea.
I’ll celebrate you and all of the time we have spent together in my adult years and think how precious it is that we are best friends. You would laugh with me over silly websites, pop stars, and fashion…always far cooler than any other grandmother.
I’ll celebrate you, realizing that most people don’t get to know their grandparents very well, yet I was blessed with years together visiting the beauty shop, quilting, shopping and enjoying wonderful meals together.
I’ll celebrate you for teaching me that you are never too old to learn new things, to tackle big challenges, to use a dongle. You embraced technology better than most teenagers.
I’ll celebrate you and our beach memories, years spent having family time at Seagrove, driving down in caravans, gathering for meals, laughter and joy.
I’ll celebrate you for loving babies and children so much, for nurturing us all. You gave each of us special time and attention, making sure we all knew how much you love us.
I’ll celebrate you for how you could always keep a secret and never betray a confidence.
I’ll celebrate you for your sense of humor, your iron will, your wisdom, your ferocious loyalty, your brilliant mind, your glowing presence and your steadfast faith. If Bam ever made up her mind about something, you could consider it done.
I’ll celebrate you for loving Papa for 67 years. In my entire life, I can’t ever recall a cross word between the two of you, except maybe for when Papa would call you “Patsy”.
I’ll celebrate you for being such an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
I’ll celebrate you for giving us the greatest gift of all…each other. You and Papa built this wonderful family together. We will honor you and celebrate you by loving each other always. We celebrate you with our stories and fond memories. We celebrate you with our love.