I keep thinking of things that I should have told Pastor Jan about my grandmother to include in the service - she was preceded in death by her two sisters, Helen and Jewel. She is survived by many nieces and nephews, many of whom we were able to see today. She had an interesting education in the western section of Birmingham. She worked at the Alabama Theater. She danced when she was younger. She loved Christmas so much she wrote her own Christmas song. She was an amateur artist and painted works that are in her home and my parent's home to this day. Her favorite thing to say about God was "God is Love" and she often quoted the title of a famous book, Your God is Too Small. She wanted to hand out copies of The Power of Positive Thinking and How to Win Friends and Influence People. Another important book for her was Robert's Rules of Order - she was an expert in parliamentary procedure. She never graduated from high school - which was something she never talked about. She was EMPHATIC about education - to this day I think I failed her because I have merely a bachelor's degree...she always wanted me to go to law school or at the very least get my PhD in something. She lied about her age on her driver's license when she was a married teen so she could get into gambling establishments with her friends who were of age. I went with her to correct this problem because it was effecting her status with something - they thought she was 65 when she was really 62. She always gave everyone the benefit of the doubt, even when they didn't deserve it. She was not a morning person, and when the pastor read from Proverbs 31 about the woman who rises early to toil for her family, I almost laughed out loud. She would get up early, but not without a cup of coffee or two. She loved to shop, and was pretty disappointed that Anna June already had an extremely generous grandmother, so I wouldn't let her buy any baby clothes. You know she did anyway, though.
Overall, the service was short and sweet - a nice celebration of her life. I am glad so many of her friends were able to travel to attend. She served as a mentor to many people and a friend to many more.
One thing Pastor Jan mentioned, though, was how much she loved Anna June. She really did bring light to her life. She loved seeing her whenever she could, even if it was just in the church pew next to her. She got so tickled when AJ would stick her hand out for her check for the offering plate and then deposit it there.
Speaking of getting tickled, my grandmother loved to laugh, especially at herself. She was her own best material. I will close with one more story tonight:
This winter, we had some extremely cold days. One Sunday morning, Grandma got herself up and going to get ready for church. She put on a snazzy blouse, her jewelry, her makeup, her shoes, and left. When she got to church, our friend Wim helped her out of her car. She made an alarming discovery, but since Wim was already there to open her door for her, she felt like she couldn't turn around and go home then. She got in the church, and she tried to tell me something, but she cracked up with laughter. She laughed and laughed. I was laughing at her laughing. We laughed and laughed until finally, she got her breath and told me her shocking secret - the pants she was wearing were to her pajamas! She had just forgotten to take them off. Luckily, they were black velour and they matched her blouse perfectly. No wonder she forgot. But she laughed. And laughed. And then, she told on herself. I told her to hush, please don't tell anyone else. But she did. So, if you've heard this one before, I smile, because I know you had the opportunity to hear it straight from her.