Eulogy: Rosie Wood

Eulogy: Rosie Wood

Whether you called her Rosie, Mom, Memaw or Grammaw, Rosie Wood was a Great Grandmother. She told me so when my daughter was born, and she became a great-grandmother who we called Gigi.

My Uncle Tom, was the very best son a mother could have. He took such great care of Gigi, that I truly honor and thank him for every phone call, every morning visit and every nightly emergency.

My Aunt Donna was Gigi’s best friend. I know most everything about Donna’s life because Gigi shared it with me.

I am Jimmy’s daughter.

I know Gigi was an amazing mother, a devoted and loving wife. And good friend, wonderful community member, church member, child of God, but she was my grandmother. And I shared her with Jeff and Nik.

As a grandmother, Gigi let us be children. That’s the wrong word. She demanded it.

Children play. We played fiercely and with abandon. No matter what sort of mess we made. Or the look on Jim’s face. We had tennis ball wars, and when someone got hurt, as was usually me, we learned to put ice on wounds. And Myoflex. We played scrabble and hungry, hungry hippos. And aggravation even though it aggravated everyone. 

Children learn. We learned to play tennis. Looked up new words in the dictionary. Learned to polish silver. We learned how to organize and reorganize and clean out the back bedroom. And make dinner. And save food. Putting leftovers inside of smaller and smaller containers. She taught us to hold onto things, and people. We learned to chisel and hammer a turkey. We learned how to buy worms at Otto’s gas station. An important skill if you want to fish. We learned how to care for the sick. And the babies. And the Russians. And just about anyone who needed our help.

Children make up games and make up songs and stories and recipes. They see a box as a circus tent or a house or a Time Machine. They dance and write poetry and paint and tell stories. She once was telling me the story of the burning bush, and changed it a little where Moses replied to God, “bring on the marshmallows!” When Nik and Jeff and I were little, we wanted to make rice Krispie treats. She said yes, and realized she had no rice Krispies. That’s okay, she had cornflakes. And she had no marshmallows. But she had caramel. And coconut. And that was how she was. If we didn’t have the right things, we’d not just make do with what we had, but we’d make something better. It became a recipe we always asked for when we visited. Imaginations run wild.

Children challenge the injustice they see and demand fairness. A child’s courtroom has only one witness. And no technical clauses in the contract. And certainly no force majeure exception because act of God is no excuse for not fulfilling your promises.

Children wear their emotions on their face. You can tell what they’re thinking. And when they’re contemplating something important. Deciding what they think before they say it.

And then children say what they think and what they feel. Honestly. Clearly.

Children believe. They believe the stories you tell them. They trust and have faith. They believe in God. In Jesus. They understand the trinity, a mystery of math to all of the rest of us.

Children love. They love without cause. Without reason. Without expectation or conditions. 

It is we adults who stop playing, we stop writing, we stop learning. We stop believing. We stop saying what we think. And we stop loving with our whole heart. 

My grandmother was 96 years old. And loved in Matthew where Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

My grandmother was a child of God. Gigi is in heaven right now. Jesus loves her, this I know. For my gramma told me so.

My grandmother loved like a child. And that’s how she mothered us all. She demanded that we all be children, as well. But now it’s time to clean out the back bedroom.

2560 1707 Stafford Wood
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