Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful we put the FUN in Funeral

We flew out to Texas on Friday night. Grandma’s 94th birthday.
We brought a birthday cake with us and candles, thanks for my sweet friend, Si who gave us a beautiful Backer's Bakery Birthday cake for this occasion.
Once at the hotel, We sang Happy Birthday and Wayne went to the pop machine and got diet Pepsi and Pepsi – Grandma’s “sweet aloha” . We poured paper cups for everyone and raised a toast to Grandma. Monson read Gma’s obituary to all of us. Mom wrote it and it’s beautiful, and funny and just a perfect honor for a great lady. Then we went around while eating our birthday cake and shared memories and stories and feelings about Grandma.
Laila loved doing puzzles and dancing to the music box and having Gma give her humbugs. She also loves swimming at grandmas.
Monson said he was her automatic favorite because of his red hair. Plus she loved hearing him sing. So double favorite. He also liked that she loved sports….Jazz and football.
Truman loved all of the big family functions at grandma’s house…the Bash and Christmas Eve parties. She always had licorice to share.
Landon shared about Grandma’s crooked middle finger, and giving people “the bird” too much. He loved her funny sayings, and just talking to her when he gave her lunch. He remembered her jumping into the pool with all of her clothes on. She was very happy when Landon moved out of scary down town SLC.
Addison shared how she pretend strip teased to Steve playing his trumpet at the Bash, and shopping for “gourmet” shoes with her. She made him laugh and always felt like he was the most talented and THE star of the show. He loved to sing for her.
Wayne said he always felt welcome, from day one. She hated when he went to China and worried about him til he returned. (WE stopped telling her about his travels.) He learned Grandmas napkin trick—turning a napkin into a bra and telling a funny story along the way. He has used it all over, from his mission, where he got into trouble, to dinners around the globe. When he tells people his grandma taught it to him....they laugh even harder. LOVE it!
I tried to share some funny things that my kids didn’t already know. I loved when my mom had a baby so we could have sleep overs at Grandma’s house. We also had many cousin sleep overs in the summer time, swimming and skinny dipping in the pool at night, then sleeping on the back patio.
They think grandma never got mad…..well When I was a teenager, Marcie and Krystin and I had just finished painting the bath houses with turquoise paint. It was now sitting on the ledge of the breeze way waiting to be put away. The lid wasn’t on very tight, and Krystin accidentally tipped it over and it spilled all over the flagstone in the breezeway. Grandma came out and screamed and hollered….we were all shocked…. Within 5 minutes she was apologizing and laughing about having scared her grand kids so much and she kept repeating, “People are more important than things.” Over and over, like she was trying to remember it. SO funny. This is a legend in the family now.
Grandma and Grandpa took me and Marcie and Krystin on a trip to California to see cousin Cindy the summer I turned 16. It was a road trip and most of the way we had grandma trying to teach us all how to sing Barbershop. It was a nightmare. I survived, because I got to sing the Lead, but Krystin as an alto and Marcie as second soprano….it was not as fun. We got through the song, “We shall meet, but we shall miss him. There will be a vacant chair. We shall linger to caress him, while we kneel each hour in prayer. “ An old funeral dirge. The lyrics are still very vivid for all of us. Grandpa Butters was such a good sport about all of this…he really just wanted us to be quiet. We sang this over and over , hour after hour.

I remember being in Grandma’s ward choir, as we prepared for a Christmas program. No one was looking up at her as she directed a song. She was getting frustrated. When I glanced up she was doing a strip tease…taking off her jacket and twirling it, seeing if anyone was noticing. So funny.
Anytime we said, Grandma we can see your underwear, or you are untucked, thinking we were helping her. Grandma just went the opposite…she would become more untucked, or pull her pants down more, to show us her underwear. So funny. I was even “mooned” one time by her in the motor home on a family road trip to Disney land. Couldn’t stop laughing!
The kids were amazed and laughing over my tales…and we had a great time remembering her.

1 comment:

MCC said...

Welcome back.
We are so lucky to have been part of Grandma's life......Our memories are the best. The funeral was bittersweet....we laughed more than at any other funeral service I have ever attended. I am glad you did your own memorial service. What a wonderful example Grandma was to us. Such a great legacy we have been left with.
Love ya!