The Eulogy of Viola Haw - Eulogy for a Grandmother - Eulogy by a Granddaughter
I want to begin by thanking you all for coming today to join us in saying a final farewell to our grandmother. She was the kind of woman who touched a lot of lives in her 88 years – more than any of us will ever know. Your presence today honors her life and her work and the person she was in our world.
Grandma Vie was, first and foremost, a woman of faith. It is her belief in Jesus that gives all of us comfort today. These past few years have been difficult with her increasing dementia. Three years ago she began losing her precious memories – forgetting people and places that meant so much to her… and then by last year she was bed ridden. But we know that, because of her faith, grandma is with the savior she loved and her memories are now crisp and bright and her body has been renewed and she is strong. It is because of her faith that we have confidence that she is with all her loved ones who have gone before and that we will see her someday again.
Grandma Vie’s first priority in life was her family. She had seven children: Lebert, Madge, Gerald, Anthony, Gerda, Joan and Lenroy. She poured her life into those seven. She watched them grow and become adults she was immensely proud of. When Gerda passed she was devastated. A child should always outlive a parent… I don’t suppose she ever got over losing her. Grandma had twenty grandchildren and a dozen great grandkids. What an amazing family – what a heritage to leave the world! All of us grandkids are so fortunate to have known our grandmother and to have felt her love. Each one of us have, in our own beings, a part of who she was – some of her love, some of her grace, some of her love for life…
Grandpa died just eleven months after Lenroy was born. That was tragic. The young mother would have to raise her children as best she could all alone – a very difficult thing to do… But grandma had a strong work ethic and she went to work – and from then on she worked hard all her life. She cooked. Over her lifetime she probably cooked several tons of food for people. She enjoyed it, but it was hard work with sometimes long hours. When she worked here at Lime Hall she walked over six miles round trip every day from and back to St. Ann’s Bay. She told us that she never missed a day. But that hard work and that sacrifice was never too much for her family. She would do whatever was necessary to clothe them and put food on the table. In addition to working here, she worked at several guest houses - as a cook – over the years.
In those child-raising years grandma gained some other skills, too. She became quite a good seamstress. When we grandkids were growing up she would often make us dresses and underwear. Sometimes, when we were young, we preferred store-bought things, but we knew, even back then, that the things grandma made were made with something retail stores can never provide. Her clothes were made for us with love.
One of the things we will all remember about our grandmother was her attitude toward others. She was always gracious. She was always pleasant. She never said a cross word to anyone. And she was generous. I think one of the greatest lessons she taught us was that we can help another person or give someone something they need and that we ought to do those acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. She taught us kindness for kindness sake… a life lesson that is so rare in today’s world.
Grandma was a member at Faith Temple Pentecostal Church. She used to tell the story of how the church ended up where it is. It seems that, before it was a church, it was an export house for coconuts. One night Anthony was preaching there and the owner, a Mr. Nathan, lived close by and heard him. He called the pastor of the church and offered to sell the property to have the church there. Grandma wasn’t a member at the time, but she was so proud of her son and knew that God had arranged the whole thing. She baked cakes and cookies as a kind of celebration and volunteered her time and energies to seek donations from guests that might come in so that they could purchase the land. She says that she re-dedicated her life to the Lord in 1999 and was the head cook in God’s house from that day on. When she was too old for the job, she graciously trained several of her church sisters on how to cook and how to set up the tables… To this day grandma’s name is said with reverence at the church. They all remember her devotion and her faithfulness.
Our grandmother was a woman willing to give of herself to others and, without doubt, to her family. We all owe her so much for who we are and what we’ve become. She taught us life lessons that will go on in this generation and in the next… Grandma we have loved you and we know that our lives have been richer having had you in them. We will remember your sacrifices and you love forever.
Eulogy for a grandmother. Eulogy for a grandma. Eulogy by granddaughter.
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