I wanted to share the eulogy I wrote for my grandmother. She passed away on May 6th from a battle with Alzheimers and a heart condition over the past year. It was such a privilege to share this in her funeral service. God was most certainly helping me write and read it, as it was quite an emotional weekend. …
When I think about the impact Grandma’s life had on all of us, it’s quite increasingly overwhelming. These past few days have forced me to reflect over our family’s matriarch. I have found my love for her has grown. Never before have I thought of her life as mysterious and full of unknowns, but considering I only knew her 28 of her 90 years, there are bound to be plenty of events that I do not know. But I do know how wonderful she was at filling her role as grandmother.
Marjory Schmidt loved each and every grandchild, no matter the age and no matter where they lived. She and Grandpa traveled to Findlay for possibly all of my brothers’ and my birthdays up until a few years ago when traveling became more of a struggle. Each birthday was so special because we would always have cake and homemade ice cream, and sometimes even play Rumicube or Flinch after each celebration. What a joy it was to be able to spend our special days with family!
The pride Grandma had for each of her grandchildren is especially evident in so many pictures with her. Imagine sitting through numerous concerts, baseball games, basketball games, confirmation services, high school graduations, grandparents’ day celebrations, recitals, and college graduations. Both Grandma and Grandpa held such busy schedules just by how active they were in the community, but having 11 grandchildren’s activities to keep up with, I’m sure would have been exhausting! But the exhaustion and annoyance never showed as Grandma’s bright smile displayed the pride she had for each and every one of us.
As grandchildren we will always remember
- the Honeycomb cereal always in the pantry
- the frozen waffles in the freezer
- the afternoon rides on the school bus
- the black rotary phones in the basement
- the occasional swimming trips with only Grandma
- playing whiffle-ball with the big red or yellow bats
- playing football in the backyard with strict instructions to ask the neighbors permission to use their yard
- The amazing climbing tree in the front yard of 1108 Robin Rd.
- the metal roller-skates that fit all of us because they were adjustable!
- the chalkboard in the basement
- the Necco wafers faithfully included in the bottom of our Christmas stockings and the popcorn balls made with Red-hots and Grandma’s love.
As my cousin Jenney stated last evening, Grandma was always so proud of each of us no matter what we did and made our time with her precious. But not only was she so very loving toward her grandchildren and great grandchildren, she displayed honest sincerity regarding the love she had for each of her 6 children. It was obvious she was pleased of the accomplishments her children made throughout their lives. She worked so very hard earning money for her family by mending others’ clothes, working in a tomato factory, and of course, working on the family farm.
But nothing was more evident to me throughout the past years than the love she had for her groom. 68 years is an incredible milestone, and it takes a person of perseverance and extreme determination to be willing to work through the tough times in a relationship as well as celebrate the good times.
There was nothing like seeing the love between Grandma and Grandpa throughout this last year. When Grandpa would enter into Grandma’s room, he immediately went to her bedside; brought her the paper and mail, filled her in on the local news and gossip, and then sat beside her in that quiet room. The best gift I could have been given is the sight of the two of them holding one another’s hand with the look of concern from Grandma when she didn’t see the love of her life sitting beside her.
What a woman Marjory was! From the woman going to Philburns with three of her dear friends for vacation during a few summers, to the woman who mothered six children and grand-mothered 11 grandchildren, and was a great-grandmother to 13 beautiful children: She poised herself with great pride for family. In one article I found written in the Dayton Daily News, Grandma was quoted as saying this about her personal philosophy of life: “With my own children, first I tried to teach them the love of God. And then an acceptance of all people”.
“This pettiness with people…you must look past little things and accept people. This is our biggest problem. We expect people to be what we think they ought…instead of accepting them for what they are”. What a gift it was to read this as this could stand alone as a personal statement for how Grandma personified herself. What a treasure she was!
It was such a privilege to have had the chance to be touched by this incredible woman! I can only pray that we can take the pride and the love she so faithfully distributed to each one of us, and continue to apply this in our own lives and continue to grow as a family, born of Ray and Marge Schmidt.
In closing, I want to read a statement found in Grandma’s 1934 autograph book, which I believe is so fitting and so profound: It’s dated April 9th.
When the golden sun is sinking,
And your path no more you trod
May your name in gold be written,
In the Autograph of God.
(Signed) Your sister, Lois Westerbeck