I Love You & Who You Taught Me to Be (A Eulogy)

What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:50-57

My family has been grieving the unexpected passing of my sweet Meme last Sunday. Since this blog is a place where I strive to be transparent and vulnerable, I want to share the eulogy I wrote for her:

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Norma Faye Barker Rollins had a lot of nicknames, but to us grandkids she was Meme. My mama may have given us life, but it was Meme who gave us candy. It was Meme who taught us that you could eat ice cream right out of the carton, that bedtimes were negotiable, and that your earrings should always match your shoes. It was Meme who entertained us for hours with her golden sunshine necklace, her never-ending gum supply, and her killer dance moves. For anyone who hasn’t seen the video of her breaking it down to Aaron Carter, come and see me after the service.

Meme was strong and stubborn and yet still unpredictable. She once took me to the drive-in theater, and as a special treat, she brought us a shrimp platter to snack on. She told me I could throw the shrimp tails out the window, but I missed the part about the tails, assumed she was telling me the shrimp was no good, and ended up throwing the whole tray of shrimp out the window. As we both silently stared at the 30+ shrimp laying in the cold, wet grass I just knew that she was going to be mad, but instead, she dissolved into hysterical laughter and kept laughing about it for twenty years.

The love of a grandmother is a special kind of love because it gives so much of itself without asking for anything in return. It doesn’t demand or expect anything from you, and it rejoices over every simple phone call, kiss on the cheek, and smile.

These are some of my favorite memories, but they are only a small snapshot of the woman she was. She told me multiple times how having grandchildren changed her life, and I hope she knew just how much she impacted ours in return. I may not remember the way she looked at me when I was born, but I did get to see the way she looked at my daughter, and—while no love can match the love shown on the cross—I’m convinced that a grandmother’s love is a close second.

I’m sure everyone here has their own special memories of her. She was the type of person who believed in going above and beyond for anyone: family, friend, or stranger. She lived out her faith by radiating Christ’s selfless love, and I learned a lot about Jesus sitting underneath the piano during church services while she played.

I can’t think of Meme without thinking of her lullabies and how she would sing to us for hours when we couldn’t sleep. Between the church choir and her grandkids, she probably spent 85% of her life singing and I know that now she’s exactly where she would want to be—with my Papaw, singing before the throne.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7

 

8 thoughts on “I Love You & Who You Taught Me to Be (A Eulogy)

  1. Sorry for your loss but what great memories…that’s wonderful. I have great memories of my Granny that are so special. What an honor for you to write the eulogy. I’ve always said I wanted to be a grandmother like mine. 💕

  2. “Her killer dance moves … ” That made me laugh. Jordan, I am so sorry for your families loss last weekend! Your Meme was a special lady! You will treasure her memories forever!! Hugs and blessings sweet Sister Friend! ❤

  3. Oh Jordan, I’m so sorry for your great loss! Last week marked one year from losing my grandmother, whom I loved more than words can say. She was the kind of grandmother that you describe your Meme as being, and the world will ache without their sweet spirits. That is a lovely eulogy that you wrote for her, and it really paints a picture of the wonderful woman that she was. While we can all rejoice for her that she is finally home, I know your hearts will ache for her. I’ll be praying for your family as you try to pick up the pieces and find healing. The Lord heals the broken-hearted, and He binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3) 💙

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