The eulogy story

Today would have been my Auntie Martha’s birthday. She was one of my grama’s many sisters.

When I was little she took care of me after school. She and her husband had raised five children and were the heart of the home for their grand- and great-grandchildren too.

When Martha was at the end, everyone went to the hospital. I was wearing mules — a hybrid between those things the dutch wear and boots. My daughter calls them ‘shoots.’ There is no back strap over the heel. As I stepped onto a grassy island in the parking lot, my heel came off the shoot sideways. Down I went, and I couldn’t get up.

My whole family was a few yards away, and all of them with their phones off — hospital rules. I sat there for 45 minutes. I was afraid I would miss my chance to say goodbye.

As it turns out, I had three more days.

Even though she died in her 90s, her babies and their babies were devastated by it. Consequently, her daughter asked me to write a speech for the service.

I had a lot to write, about the nurturing I felt in that home. Among the things they taught me was how to play poker. We gathered around the kitchen table one night with plastic chips after dinner when I was 12 and I got hooked.

On the day of the service I limped to the altar of the church.

In the middle of my eulogy I mentioned the poker and had to lower my eyes a moment. The podium was empty, I noticed, but for four plastic poker chips tucked under the shelf.

Auntie Martha calls.

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4 Responses to “The eulogy story”

  1. The tube top story « Stories O’ Mine Says:

    […] grama’s older sister learned a lesson about tube-top wearing. About 25 years ago Auntie Martha was wearing one in a Lake Tahoe casino. She was about 70, but she had famously great […]

  2. An anniversary « Stories O’ Mine Says:

    […] Auntie Martha, whom she had called, had gotten to my grandparents’ house in five minutes and called an ambulance. […]

  3. The tube top story « Stories O' Mine Says:

    […] grama’s older sister learned a lesson about tube-top wearing. About 25 years ago Auntie Martha was wearing one in a Lake Tahoe casino. She was about 70, but she had famously great […]

  4. An anniversary « Stories O' Mine Says:

    […] Auntie Martha, whom Mom had called, had gotten to my grandparents’ house in five minutes and called an ambulance. […]

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