Sunday, November 2, 2014

We Will Remember Her, A Eulogy

For My Grandmother, Vivian Willene Cornelius Little

Ecclesiastes 3
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
     2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
        a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
     3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
        a time to break down, and a time to build up;
     4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
        a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
     5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
        a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
     6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
        a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
     7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
        a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
     8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
        a time for war, and a time for peace.

We will remember her in the summer,
     when the days are so hot that the fish refuse to come up from the bottom of
     the lake. We will remember her as we take a break, put our fishing poles down and
     go inside for a sandwich and glass of Coca-Cola. We will remember her as we sit
     around the table and laugh, remembering the times before when we sat around the
     table and laughed. We will remember her as we eat ice cream and play charades and
     tell stories.

We will remember her in the fall,
     as the days start to cool off and we take the year’s last boat rides. We will
     remember her as we plant bulbs in the garden. We will remember her as we prepare
     a meal of thanks, letting the house fill with smells of goodness and invitation. And we
     will remember her as we linger around the table, telling stories and laughing,
     remembering the times before when we sat around the table and laughed.

We will remember her in the winter,
     when we decorate the tree and wrap presents just so. We will make creamed
     corn and fried okra but it won’t quite be the same as hers. We will sing Silent Night
     and read from Luke and ponder, remembering and smiling, just as we have pondered
     and remembered and smiled before.

She will come to mind when we hear a George Strait song or the Gaithers, smell
boiled peanuts, or watch Friday night TV. She will come to mind when we hear Billy
Graham, eat at Waffle House, or tenderly care for our gardens.

We will remember her in the Spring,
     when the bluebirds and robins begin to return to the yard, and the daffodils
     start to rise from the ground, and the willowflies come once again, beckoning children
     to beckon to their parents and grandparents—“teach us how to use this willowfly!
     Bait this hook and teach us to fish.” And we will hear our children’s voices and we will
     hear our voice, and we will hear her voice—sit still, speak softly, watch carefully—the
     fish will bite.
     And then we will go have ham and deviled eggs and potatoes and we will sit
     around the table and laugh, remembering the times before that we’ve sat around the
     table and laughed, and we will give thanks for new life, for resurrected life, and for
     our life with her.