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Two weeks ago my grandma, Gaye, passed away. She lived a powerful 93 years with days that were full until the very end. Her website (yes, she has her own website, and yes, her funeral was streamed throughout the world) is proof that she touched and loved many. Last week I had the honor of giving a tribute at her funeral along with other family members. Below I’ve posted my tribute.

I could feel the dirty looks coming at me from across the table. I learned to expect them when we sat down for a meal at Gaye’s house.  Because once again… Gaye had remembered.
While the smell seemed to indicate that dinner was going to be a typical meal of Brunswick stew – a delicious, hearty soup the taste of which made the presence of lima beans bearable for most… I knew better.
Somewhere Gaye had found out that I not only loved Brunswick Stew, but that those lima beans, the very ones that other cousins and siblings were trying to pick around, were my favorite part. She discovered that I was a lover of lima beans and perhaps even suspected that I had experienced a slight depravity of lima beans at home.
So as visits went by, Gaye gradually began increasing the proportion of lima beans in the stew until it became a bowl of lima beans with a little Brunswick stew on the side.
When we sat at the table our bowls confirmed what I had hoped and my family dreaded. This meant much more to me than a delicious dinner. It meant I was remembered. Known.
Somehow though I lived hundreds of miles away, had 19 cousins to contend with, and grew up seventy years after her own childhood. She made the effort, took the time, to know, to celebrate, to remember. This wasn’t an exception in the life of Grace Wolgemuth. I’ve heard stories from countless individuals this week – though your moments with her may have been few you felt as if you had a true friend, a deep relationship. She knew, celebrated, and remembered you as well.
She did what it took to know others. Conversations were intentional and her attention was fully yours. Beyond phone calls and visits as a 93 year old woman, she was able to keep up with e-mails and follow blogs. I think given another year, she probably would have tweeted.
When I called to tell her I was engaged. She said, “We’re kindred spirits. We both found our soul mates in Lancaster.”
I desperately want to be a kindred spirit with her.  But I’m afraid it’ll take a lot more than marrying a Lancaster boy. Today, I reflect on a life spent knowing, celebrating, and remembering. And it begs the questions. Do I know? Do I take the time? When the moment comes, will I know whose bowl to put extra lima beans in?