for my Grandmother
Dave Gustafson, 2001
Note: This speech was
composed in the form of notes and directions, rather than
written out word-for-word. What you see below is
what I had with me when delivering it; more natural
sentences resulted from it, without feeling
• It’s the job of the grandparent to spoil their grandkids rotten. The grandparents who don’t know what they’re doing do this with money, but the ones who are on the ball – like Nonnie and Papa – do it by simply being amazing grandparents.
• The times when the whole family came together, like we always did for Thanksgiving and summertime, were when she could be everything she was – wife, mother, and grandmother - all at once.
• Timeline: When we were young, she fascinated us with Shel Silverstien books, stories, and magic – I still can’t figure out how she did the famous detaching thumb trick so well. We got a little older, she watched us play our games during summer with endless interest – she seemed to be having more fun watching all of us play softball or volleyball than we were having playing it! The sideline cheering section that she was at these games would’ve made any pro team jealous. We grandkids eventually got a little older and joined in the games of pounce played every summer and Thanksgiving, and Nonnie was perhaps the only player to ever lend us a hand in the game – and we were always happy to return the favor, even though she always got the best seat. Those of us in college every once in a while got a generous shipment of cookies in the mail – she really was always thinking of us.
• I guess I’m saying that she was always there for us, being more than a great matriarch of the family – she was a playmate, a friend, and as wonderful a whole person as we could ever ask.
• During the Thanksgiving blessings every year, we always have everyone say what they’re thankful for. Most of us would make jokes about the turkey, the weather, getting away from work. But Nonnie always got right to the heart of the matter. She was thankful for her family, all of us, and how much we all meant to her, and how happy she was that we could all enjoy our time together.
• And we are truly thankful to have had her as a grandmother, and for everything she’s done and everything she’s been for us. Thanks, Nonnie.