Eulogy By Amy Dale

May 24th, 2010


My name is Amy and I am honored to be able to call Bernadine, Grandmother. I am the oldest of her three grandchildren, so I like to brag that I had her all to myself for the first 10 years of my my life. I have often cherished those years.

When deciding what I wanted to share with to you today, I turned to a scrapbook that Uncle Brad helped Grandmother put together. It is filled with pictures and memories as told by Grandmother. As I looked through it, I was reminded that my Grandmother and I had a lot in common…

  • We were both born and raised in Texas.
  • We were both planners and list-makers.
  • We both pursued careers in administrative support roles.
  • We were both an only child.
  • And we were both fiercely independent… with a dash of stubborn.
  • Maybe those are reasons why our bond was so strong.

    I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for my Grandmother. She was the epitome of grace and patience. Even through my teenage years when hanging out with your Grandmother was not a top priority and my sensitivity and tact went out the window. She was incredibly patient with me. I have never in my life heard her raise her voice but there was also never any doubt about when I was in trouble either.

    Whenever I would visit Grandmother, there were always a few things I looked forward to. One of them was breakfast. Always the planner, prior to my arrival she would ask me for ideas of things I would eat. Then every morning during a visit, the day would start with breakfast at Grandmother’s. I would come to the kitchen and find a place neatly set at the table with a folded napkin, freshly cut fruit and sometimes a bowl of cereal already poured just waiting for the milk. As soon as I arrived she would be up making the toast or pouring the juice- everything exactly as I had requested. We would chat about how well we slept and make the plans for the day. To this day, whenever I drink white grape juice, I think of her.

    Another thing I looked forward to was going to her Sunday School class. I could have gone to a class for my own age group, but I knew that Grandmother liked to show off her grandkids. There was always a since of pride when she would say, “This is my granddaughter Amy, she is visiting from Texas.” The response from every person I met was about how much they loved my Grandmother and how sweet she was. So much of this came from the fact that Grandmother remembered everything about her friends. She would take detailed notes so that she knew what they had done before retirement, how many children and grandchildren they had and where they lived. One of Grandmother’s trademarks was her greeting cards. She never missed a birthday. She sent them cards when they were ill or when they had suffered a loss. Even as she aged and writing was a real challenge, the art of the written letter was never lost with Grandmother. So, the class would begin with her introducing me as the proud grandmother, but I always left the class as the proud granddaughter.

    This past week has been so different than I had anticipated. There have been the expected moments of emotion, but I have been amazed by the sense of peace I have felt. Because besides being a beautiful example of how to be a Grandmother, Mother and Mother-in-law, she also was an amazing example of a woman that served her God her entire life. My whole life, I have always believed that Grandmother had some sort of direct line to God and that somehow her prayers were more powerful than anyone else. But in return I always felt like God had a soft spot for Grandmother. He provided for her, protected her and loved her as her reward for her unfailing devotion.

    As Grandmother’s final days were approaching, I made a comment to my mom about how scary it was. Then she reminded me… this wasn’t scary for Grandmother. And that is where the peace comes from. I have no doubt where she is now and that she is happy. And she was welcomed by the family and friends that went before her, included my Granddaddy who probably greeted her in his tilted hat and greasy t-shirt.

    I think my cousin Austin said it best on Facebook the day Grandmother passed away:

    “She now has been given the tour, her treasures in Heaven must be great! Lots of birds and cats…”