My Grandma Edna

(A little something I wrote about my Grandma Edna when she died in March 2005. She lived her entire life in Jeffersonville, Indiana.)

Today we put Grandma Edna in the ground. Her full name was Edna Laura Etta Eich.

Everyone loved grandma. The sentimental memories of a grandson? Perhaps. But she did possess angelic qualities that I haven’t encountered in any other person.

Others said so, too. And it wasn’t people just saying nice things because she had passed. Friends and church members who knew her for years cried tears that seemed to come from some deep reservoir of sorrow.

My Uncle Bruce stood up and spoke about his mom. I wish I could tell you what he said. I can tell you it was heartfelt, the humble words of a son who was blessed with a sweet loving mother. (My dad, a former minister accustomed to these occasions, said he couldn’t have done it. Too hard to find words. Too emotional.)

Many others came forward and spoke about how they met grandma and what she meant to them. Then my cousin Tony walked to the front of the church sanctuary and shared a story about our grandma.

Grandma was attending the Ash Wednesday service with Tony when everyone was asked to write down his or her sins on a piece of paper and pass it to the center aisle. All the scraps of paper would be taken up front to the cross and burned. Hard of hearing, it took grandma a few extra moments to understand what was happening. An awkward pause followed.

Finally, after all had passed their slips to the center aisle, grandma leaned toward Tony and whispered, “I don’t have anything to write down.”

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