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Archive for September, 2007

Eulogy

People keep telling us how much of a blessing we were to Elmer – taking him in like we did and making him a part of the family. And we did include him as a part of our family. We shared our home and our meals, vacations and outings, reunions and holidays.

Yet even as people tell us that, it sounds kinda funny to me. Because I think of how much Elmer was a blessing to us. It was fun to have him around and watch him take part in the things we did as a family.

He didn’t believe us that there was such a thing as Cream Soda, until we brought one home to him and he tried it. We introduced him to Bingo nights at the VFW, Pinochle, rolling dice and Longaberger baskets. Every time he would see a basket he would ask, “is that a Longaberger?”

He loved that we would go out for ice cream together, or a trip to the mall, or even just sitting at home playing games. He got a kick out of our family traditions – games at the reunion, picnics and parties and opening gifts Christmas morning. He was always amazed at what Mom could find to put in a Christmas stocking.

He was always talking about Mom’s spaghetti (that comes from a jar), how we always make special cakes and treats and, especially, about Pap’s baked beans. Anytime there was a holiday on the calendar (from Christmas to Columbus Day), Elmer would ask, “Will there be beans? Is Ken making his baked beans?”

It was never his turn to choose the place for Sunday dinner because, “I picked last week, so one of you has to pick this week.” And there was never a dull moment in dinner conversations or car rides (Dad always sat behind Elmer).

We took him on a bike ride (4 person surrey) and down to the waterline at the beach in a special sand wheelchair. He colored eggs with us at Easter. He helped make applesauce one fall and helped with the cookies at Christmas. He joined in the wrapping assembly line at Christmas and was proud to put the bows on top. And if one of us was baking or cooking in the kitchen, Elmer always had to come out and see what we were up to (and sample the goodies, of course).

It was neat to share in these times with Elmer. To watch him as he experienced new things. To share in the everyday family moments with him. Because Elmer was appreciative of life. He liked to do stuff and got excited about even the little things. And that was a blessing to us.

Because of Elmer, I am able to see how blessed I am in my family life. Because of Elmer, I want to take joy in the smallest parts of life. Because of Elmer, I want to be more appreciative and less of a complainer. Because of Elmer, I want to live life to its fullest.

It is the good things we remember. And it is the good things I will choose to remember. I think Elmer blessed everyone he ever came into contact with. I know he did us.

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