On Christmas night, 2013, my grandmother, Roselyn Joyce Ball, passed away at the age of 85. We received the call after dinner in Memphis, as we were preparing to open presents with my family in Memphis. I had the honor to have a great 30 minute phone conversation with her the week before she passed. We were planning on going to visit her in Springfield, Missouri on December 26th. We still made the journey to my mother’s hometown in the heartland of America, but instead of celebrating with her, we celebrated her life instead. After Jeremy shared his reflections on his grandmother’s life earlier this year, I thought the best way to commemorate my Grandma’s life would be to share the eulogy I gave at her funeral. Goodbye, Grandma. I’ll miss you, but I’ll see you later.
It only feels appropriate that we gather here today, a few days after Christmas, to mourn, remember, lay to rest, and celebrate the life of Grandma. Many of us knew her by different names.
Rosalyn. Joyce. Mom. Grandma. Wild Crazy Grandma… the nickname Derek gave her because we always joked with her that she dressed up nicer than everyone else for her Oasis Ministry (the seniors ministry at their church) adventures, which I always said were just her and Grandpa’s excuse to party like rockstars. Grandma took that as a badge of honor.
But it’s only appropriate that we are here after Christmas because it was this time of the year in which her family would always gather around Grandma and Grandpa and spend quality time together. I have many memories of opening presents on Christmas morning and then hopping in the car within 24 hours to go to Springfield. Or sometimes Grandma and Grandpa would come to Memphis at Christmas time.