The Eulogy of Lynn Brady - Eulogy for a Cousin - Eulogy by a Cousin
I’d like to start off by saying thank you all for being here today as we say a final farewell to Stephanie. These past days have been so very hard for the whole family and especially Aunt Patty. Aunt Patty, we are all here for you. You have been in everyone’s thoughts and prayers and you will continue to be. Steph loved you so much… All of you who have taken time out today to be here or who have sent cards or phoned or sent emails… thank you so much. Your support has been felt and is so appreciated.
My sister, Danielle, is standing here with me to give me support and just in case I can’t get through this. Saying good-bye to Steph is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do… but I am honored to be standing here this morning telling you about my remarkable cousin.
When it comes to cousins, there are seven of us who are all about the same age who grew up together. Actually, we didn’t grow up together. We lived in different places when we were young but for a few weeks every summer and every winter we were together. We were like a little posse of cousins who invaded our grandparents farm. Step lived just up the hill from them, but the rest of us came from out of town. Those weeks of wandering through the pastures and exploring old farm houses and playing in the underground storm shelter and catching frogs in the stream were some of the best childhood memories any of us could ever imagine. Since Steph was the local girl and knew all the best places to explore – and because she was always the one with most energy and enthusiasm and the loudest of any of us – she tended to be the ring leader. Danielle was the oldest, but we all followed Steph’s lead – Danielle, me, Stacey, Mitchell, Tynan and Kattina. We never really got into any real trouble, but we looked everywhere we could to find it.
We all remember how we’d walk up the hill to Aunt Patty and Uncle Jim’s house. We’d blast Achey Breaky Heart and Tempted. The girls would play the Girl Talk – Dateline board game, arguing over who got to date Kirk or Jason… We probably drove our Aunt and Uncle crazy, but we had such a good time.
Once Uncle Jim got in on the fun in that classic story that gets better with every telling… It was Christmas time and Uncle Jim tied an old bathtub to the back of his Skidoo and pulled us around the pasture fields… All seven of us smooshed in screaming with joy.
One of Steph’s special talents when we were together was sneaking into grandma’s garage freezer and stealing baked goods for all of us. We suspected that she did that even when we weren’t around.
We all loved Steph. You all did. To know her was to love her. She was the biggest sweetheart you will ever meet. She bubbled with personality. She was the eternal optimist. No matter what was going on in her life or in your life, she tried to find the bright side and to share it. She refused to dwell on failures or mistakes. She knew life was more than those and that, if we can learn from them, we’ll do better next time. Her goal in life was to see the best in every person she knew. Steph loved to be active. One of her favorite things was to play softball. She was pretty good at it. Just being out there in the sunshine on a beautiful day, playing with friends, gave her pleasure. And she was obsessed with chick flicks. It didn’t matter if they were good or bad. Any movie with a romantic storyline found Steph in front of the screen… or she’d love any Country song with cheesy lyrics and sappy music. She was a die-hard romantic at heart.
Steph had such a tender heart. Sometimes that made life hard. When Uncle Jim passed away in 2007 she was devastated. She loved her dad SO much. He was her hero and to lose him was devastating. I don’t think she ever truly got over it…
But her love in these past couple of years found the perfect outlet – little Kenleigh. It would hard to imagine a mother more in love with her little girl. If you go to Steph’s Facebook page, you’ll see dozens of pictures and just about every one of them has Kenleigh in it. When that little one was born, everything else in her life took a back seat. When they were together Steph was always smiling.
In the past few days I’ve been struck with the thought that, for the most part, Kenleigh is too young to have memories of her mother implanted in her brain. She won’t remember much about her mother’s exuberance for life, how child-like she was around children, all of whom she adored as much as they adored her. She won’t remember the love and devotion or the laughter and joy…
I’m going to ask you all to do something for Kenleigh, if you would. Would each of you who knew Steph write a brief note to Kenleigh telling a little bit about her mother? Tell of something you did together. Tell of something she once said to you that encouraged you or touched your life. Tell her of her mother’s optimism and courage and passion for life. Then send those notes – just a few sentences each – to Aunt Patty. Do that before the sun comes up tomorrow… Do it this afternoon. Steph was noted for making picture collages – sort of like scrapbooking. I’m hoping Aunt Patty will put your notes into that kind of keepsake book so Kenleigh can know her mother through your words…
We’re all going to miss Steph’s being our cheerleader – how she always managed to make everyone feel loved and appreciated and encouraged. We’re going to miss simply knowing that she loved us. I wish we had all told her more of our own love and respect we had for her… I’ll mostly miss her laugh and her beautiful heart.
Steph – you’ve made so many memories with us. We will never forget you. We will always love you. You will always have a place in our hearts.
Eulogy for a cousin... Eulogy by a cousin
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