I was honored to eulogize my grandmother KK at her funeral mass last week. KK lived a long life and— although the last years were hard and we struggled to get along— I will remember her how she would want to be remembered, as my eight-year-old self excited to see her after school with cookies and card games. Or my eleven-year-old self sharing the recliner in the living room with her watching Wheel of Fortune. Or, hey, even my sixteen-year-old self who was angry with her most the time, but still cherished her support and "trumpet playing."
KK was overly-religious and loud and crazy and nosy and opinionated. And I loved her.
A special thanks to my lovely sister Sarah who read the eulogy on my behalf.
August 17, 2018
My grandmother Kay was a major presence in my life. From daily things, like watching Wheel of Fortune after dinner or playing cards at the kitchen table, to holidays and events like the Chinese Auction, KK was always around while I was growing up, laughing, prayerful, and surrounded by her friends and family. I loved meeting her at the door after school because seeing KK meant game shows, meat and potatoes, and a great time. Seeing KK felt like coming home.
I’m sure we all have great memories with my grandmother. So many people are here from Brooklyn, Beacon Hill Colony, and all over Long Island. We’re all here because we loved Kay, because she brought out the best in us and made us smile. I’ll remember her for all the catechisms she kept in her car, for her mannerisms— how she would say pilla instead of pillow and Satday instead of Saturday. I will remember her as Clearance Kay, always able to find the best bargain and brag about it like she was the first to walk on the moon. We will remember her for many things and I hope those memories will bring us joy and console us when we think of her.
But most importantly, we will remember KK for being kind. The time she gave to the Church, to Mama’s House, and to her family— the laughter she brought with her everywhere she went, that is what we’ll remember about her most. Right now, she must be overjoyed to be reunited with her family in heaven, to see her husband Ed, her parents and her brothers and sisters. Although I miss her dearly, I am happy that she is no longer burdened by her physical body and can be free in heaven with God, whom she loved so much and served so fervently throughout her life. I thank God every day that she was placed in my life and am grateful for the time I spent with her. KK will always be in our hearts— smiling and laughing, with us and at us— just as we remember her. May we be blessed with her indomitable spirit, love, and kindness, just as she blessed us with her life.