It’s been a rough week but we had the chance to celebrate the life of my grandma, together as a family.
Here is the reflection my mom read at the service:
We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of Elsie and are speaking on behalf of Terry, Debbie, Alicia, and the rest of the Hogan family. Being part of such a fun and loving family is an honor.
From the first time we met Elsie 45 years ago, her warm, welcoming, loving personality has been a constant in our lives.
Did you ever meet a gentler person? She was the most caring, selfless person I’ve ever met.
From the fun days of Bills tailgates, hunters’ breakfasts on Thanksgiving mornings, parents weekends at college and elegant Christmas dinners, Elsie could do it all. She was truly a classy lady.
After being married to Don for 42 years, Elsie mastered the art of staying calm in any circumstance. Their three kids fell in love and three grew to six, and before they knew it, there were 8 grandchildren running around. Easter Egg hunts have progressed to weddings, and now there are 13. Five new little ones made Gram a Gi-Gi.
The back door was always open and welcoming to everyone who came by. When you walked in, you were greeted with such a warm smile. She loved to have visitors and the coffee pot was always on.
Elsie was talented and enjoyed so many hobbies. She loved gardening. She and Don had a big vegetable garden and her beautiful and bright flowers brought her and others so much joy.
She was an amazing seamstress; the mother who could make both of her daughters elegant wedding dresses within the same year and the bridesmaids dresses. That is truly remarkable. One Christmas, she surprised each family with a beautiful, hand -made, cozy flannel quilt. Everyone loved them. Before she knew it, she started a tradition, and all eight grandchildren received one of her quilts for high school graduation.
Listening was an art form for her. She always made you feel like what you were saying was the most important thing. Never the loudest voice in the room, but always was heard. Whether it was a witty one liner or a smirk – you knew exactly what she was thinking. She was the ultimate information hub for the family – Everyone wanted to share with her and everyone called in to get the latest family scoop. She really kept us connected.
Her kindness and caring were never more evident than in Don’s 11 year battle with cancer. She never left his side, never gave up hope that he would win the fight. Although he’s been gone from us for 17 years, it’s still hard not to think of them as a couple – Don and Elsie. Now they’re together again. She had her own 15 year struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. She never complained and handled it with grace and dignity. She didn’t back off any of her activities. She continued to go out to lunch with her friends, play cards with the 500 Club and sneak in an occasional round of golf. The Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions continued and aroma of freshly baked cookies and pies continued to fill the house.
We will, each one of us, pass on a more tender kindness and compassion because we have been graced by her wisdom, care and values.