On Friday, my Grannie – Faye Drury went home to be reunited with her husband and with her creator. She passed peacefully at my parent’s house, after staying with them since this past April. All of our family got to spend some quality time with her over the last few days of her life and we all got to say Happy Thanksgiving to her. I couldn’t have been more thankful for anything else this holiday season. Not only was I happy to spend the holiday with her, but I was also able to say thank you for the wonderful lifetime we shared together. She was a wonderful woman, who I will always love and miss dearly.
Below is what I’ll be sharing at her funeral tomorrow. I hope what I wrote touches you, even if you did not know Grannie. Perhaps it may give you reason to pause and consider the loved ones you hold dear. Thanks for taking the time to read this post.
Grannie was always one to offer advice or a piece of her mind when one of her family members was in need of some guidance. You were always aware that you were about to receive some well intended knowledge, because Grannie would give you fair warning, by starting her lessons with the words: “NOW AS I SAY …”
Once you heard those four words, you might as well get comfortable, because Grannie had something that you needed to understand. You were going to be in it for the long haul, so it was best to just sit there, listen and learn. Whether you expected it or not, at the end of the lesson, you always walked away knowing nothing less than Grannie loved you – regardless the topic of discussion. She revealed that love through the shared lessons of her life experience, and her desire to be a strong matriarch for her family. Through my many visits with Grannie, whether here in Ohio during the summers, or in Florida during the holidays, I came to love hearing the resonation of those four words. Because I knew I was about to get loved on by my Grannie for a while.
To this day, I still have this small piece of paper that Grannie gave to me in a card, the day I graduated from college. In this little note, Grannie provided me with a few of her “ism’s” that will stick with me for the rest of my life – Even if it takes me the rest of my adult life to learn how to live by them. One of my favorites from this note is “Shoot for the moon, because even of you miss, you’ll end up among the stars.”
One of the funnier “Grannie-isms” that we’ve all come to love came around much earlier in my life. My brother (Justin) and I were misbehaving, and Grannie decided to part some wisdom on to my mother. I don’t recall exactly what advice was given for the situation, but my mom dismissed it, telling Grannie that: “They’re just kids, mom.” Now, normally Grannie would not let many people get the last word in these kinds of scenarios, but this time Grannie remained quite. It appeared she said all she had to say … at least that’s what mom thought. There were only a few seconds of silence between them, before Grannie proclaimed – AND I QUOTE – “Penny … YOU NEED TO READ BOOKS.”
For years now, anytime one of us needs a quick reminder about how we don’t know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING, we always fall back to our favorite “Grannie-ism”, telling each other: “YOU NEED TO READ BOOKS.”
Grannie was a schoolteacher, and believed in books. She never quite understood my love for at home entertainment and movies. I always heard from her how she frowned upon how I spent my money on the latest blockbuster, instead of putting it towards something that really mattered, like my mortgage or paying off any debts I had. I understood her concern for my well-being, but I’m also glad that I didn’t always listen to her when it came to my enjoying the magic of story, which I found in the movies.
Not too long ago, I purchased a movie called “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.” If you have not seen it, you really should rent it and share it with your family. It’s helped give me a sense of peace during Grannie’s transition. The story is about a man named Edward Margorium, who owns a little, one of a kind, magical toy store, inconveniently nestled between two sky scrappers, in the heart of a major US city. Although Mr. Magorium appears to be in good health, he somehow knows that he is near to the end of his life. He decides that it’s time for him to leave the toy store to his long time apprentice, and then leave this world. Magorium’s apprentice, who loves her mentor very much, has a very hard time with the revelation of Magorium’s planned passing.
The following is a few lines from Mr. Magorium’s response to his apprentice’s frustration, and has brought me comfort in the recent passing of my Grannie. I’ve taken a few liberties and turned this script into my very own “Grannie-ism” to close my time with you today. In typical Grannie fashion, I’ll start with “NOW AS I SAY …”
When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He’s written, “He dies.” That’s all, nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is “He dies.” It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with “He dies.” And yet every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria. And I know it’s only natural to be sad, but not because of the words “He dies.” but because of the life we saw prior to the words.
Faye Drury lived all five of her acts, friends, and Grannie’s not asking you to be happy that she must go. Grannie is only asking that you turn the page, continue reading, and let the next story begin. And if anybody asks what became of her, you relate Faye Drury’s life in all it’s wonder, and end it with a simple and modest: She died.
“All stories, even the ones we love, must eventually come to an end and when they do, it’s only an opportunity for another story to begin. “ – Mr. Edward Margorium