Today is my grandmother's funeral. Last night we had visitation, and so many people showed up to honor my grandmother. I was not surprised by this at all. Everyone who knew my grandmother loved her. So many people told me stories about the ugliest things they ever heard my grandmother say. Things like...I think that baby will turn out alright (when the baby wasn't very cute)...I think she could have done better than that (when picking a husband)...and there isn't anyone there but junkie people (talking about why we couldn't go to the arcade in town). I laughed, because my grandmother never said a bad thing about anyone. Even her "ugly" statements weren't really all that bad. She just loved on everyone and served everyone she met.
For several years before her death my grandmother suffered from Alzheimers. While she never did forget who we were she did have problems remembering what she told us. We heard many stories about when she was a little girl...things I had never heard before. It didn't matter that I had never heard them before, because since she was having trouble with her memory I got to hear them over and over anytime we were with her in recent years. I am thankful that my kids will all have memories of my grandmother as well. Granted it may just be the memories of the following poem her daddy taught her when she was a little girl since they got to hear it several times a day, but they will remember it with a smile on their faces.
A Little Bird
A little bird with feathers brown
sat singing in a tree.
It's song was very soft and low,
but sweet as it could be.
"Oh Father," little Gracie cried,
"Where can the birdie be?
If I could sing a song like that
I'd sit where folks could see."