my brother's tribute

I want to thank everyone that was a part of grandmas life and everyone that was there today. You didn't have to be in attendance to be there trust me you were all there. A special thanks to my sister for being nothing short of an angel and to Ken, Loretta, Auntie Trish, Dan and Jim for somehow finding a way to make the ending the best I could have possibly imagined....
I Love you Gramma!
*If I were to tell you all to “pinch your nose” what would you think?????? YEP! Me too. When I was 7 I used to hear Ken tell the girls as they left for the day to “pinch their nose”….. I once asked Pam what it meant and she said “that is our secret way to say I love you”. Even at 7, much like the rest of you, I always considered this to be more of a WARNING and certainly nothing associated with endearment!!! But I couldn’t have been more wrong…. In a moment you will all learn the significance of this story but before I proceed…. And I think I speak for everyone here when I say…Seriously Ken? Pinch your nose? THAT was the best you could come up with?*
We are all here to celebrate the life of your mother, your sister, your aunt, your friend, our gramma and a truly GREAT gramma in every sense of the word… Every new day we all pick up new things, sometimes minute, other times much larger, but those things, those experiences are the very building blocks that make each and everyone of us who we are…… We are all here because at least in some capacity gramma has given you some of those blocks.
I am not here to eulogize gramma, I cede that to much more capable hands than mine. I’m here because she is NOT DONE. I am here to give you all a few more blocks from her I know she would want me to share.
When I was around 8 gramma started to realize I wasn’t big on hugs. So one day, before school, she looked at me and said… “Devin, I know you are not a fan of hugs, and I know why, because I’m not either, so when I pat you on the back that is OUR HUG, that is our secret”. After that every morning before school she would pat me on the back and say “I love you kid”!
The greatest things in life; the things that truly inspire; the things that we hold most dear have nothing to do with words or actions… but are a result of intentions. To all of you that witnessed our “HUG” it was a simple pat on the back, but to gramma and I it was so much more.
With that I give you all grammas first block! So if you could all look at the person next to you and pat them on the back that is grammas FINAL hug to all of you.
I am going to fast forward 10 years to my 18th birthday. As a child growing up you look forward to that birthday as a bit of a milestone… Well this particular birthday happened to be on a weekday and there wasn’t much going on, it was an average day; I went to school and when I got home gramma asked what my plans were, I told her I really didn’t have any. She said “How about I make you a jello cake and we play cribbage?” “Sure Gramma that would be fun!”…. After countless cribbage games, nearly all of the cake and stories of old… I got up to go to bed. But I paused, turned around, smiled, and said “gramma, that was the greatest birthday I’ve ever had”. She gave me a smile, a now very familiar pat on the back and another “I love you kid” and went off to bed……. She loved that story! That an 18 year old kid full of energy, with typically endless things to do could have the greatest birthday ever hanging out with gramma. Well I did, even to this day it is; and that, my friends is grammas second block. Never underestimate the size of the wave that can be created by the smallest of pebbles. It might surprise you.
We all knew her well and all have our own experiences with her, no one more important than the other. However, gramma always wanted to leave a legacy and she never realized that what she left was absolutely priceless; she left behind so many blocks. 
So now I am going to ask you all to close your eyes and think of the blocks she left you and your unique relationship with her that no one else had while I give you grammas final blocks.
- Gramma taught us all to LIVE life to its fullest and that odds mean nothing.
- Gramma taught us to LAUGH even on cloudy days
- Gramma taught us to LOVE unconditionally
And finally, Gramma taught us that no matter how good, how bad, how old or how young a person is…. At the card table you KICK THEIR BUTT!
“Goodbye Gramma, I Love you Kid, I'll see you after school”