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Getting Easier, But God it still Hurts


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When I first joined this forum, and wrote about my grandmothers death, someone suggested I do a tribute of some sort to help myself move on. well this week, my speech project is a Eulogy, and it was teh perfect oppourtunity. So i jsut wanted to post this coppy of my speech (lots of typos because it is a speech not a paper). Thanks to all of you for the support, and while it doesnt get better it hurts a lot less. talking about it makes it easier.

To many on you, Denise Harden was a friend, a co-worker, a mentor, or teacher, but to me she was my Grandma. But more than that. I once wrote in a paper, "most people think of heros as men and women in tights with flowing capes, saving to world from ruin, but the closest thing my hero wears to tights are panty hose to sunday morning church and capes really arent her thing. either way she saves my heart from ruin everyday." thats exactly what my Grandma was, a hero, and I am sure most of you agree. I believe she was a hero because of her love, her faith, her character and her strength.

If you ever met my grandma, you could see her love radiating off of her. For me, her love was being at every event of mine and brothers she could be, wheter it be cheerleading, band, music, awards ceremonies, pre-homecoming night, she was always there. We also knew that if we ever needed to jsut get away, there was always an open bed or 3 at grandmas house. We were always welcome. Grandma just always had a way of letting us know she loved us. I often thought she was pschycic, because she always knew when i was having a bad day with out even talking or seeing me. One time, this last summer, I hadnt been over to see her in a while, and that day i had had a fight with my mom, and i went to work and everything was going wrong. On break i checked my phone and i had a text message from her. It was a picture of her, and it simply said I love you.

One thing my grandma was known for, was her faith. Everyone knew she loved God more than anything in the world. She was a very active member at Hazel Creek Free Will Baptised Church, but she didnt stop there. My grandma knew how important it was for church to be part of mine and coltons lives as well. At an early age she would pick us up every sunday and take us to church. She then was a big part in starting the churches youth group PACK. She would not only pick up my brother and I, but would go miles out of her way to pick up kids and take them to church on sundays and to pack on wednsdays. She loved children and she loved spreading the word of gods love to them. Witht the help of some others in the church, She took us all to numerous camps, retreats, competitions and such, helping expand us in our faith. every year we would go to camp and competition in the summer. Those trips were always great becasue it was a week long stay with my grandma. we also had windermere youth retreat in the fall. That willa lways be teh most memorable to me because of a special one we shared just recently. Last year, we couldnt go. I was grounded and she was in the hospital, just months before we discovered her disease. The nexxt summer she after she had as she was still going through treatment, she stopped me, and was like "we're going to windermere this year. Its your senior year, so even if i am in the hospital, i will check myself out and take you down there." She kept this promise. That november, we traveled down to teh ozarks to the retreat, and we spent one of our best weekends together. We did everything we ever said we were going to on that trip. We stopped at the big red barn in camdenton, and we went up to the steeple on the hill. My grandma loved god and wanted to make sure I as well as every other child on earth knew about him. many of you here are some of the children she served .In you she formed her ministry. In you her ministry lives on.

Grandma had such a strange personality. She put a lot of thoguht into looks, and what people think. which i think is good especailly in the area we live. But once you got to know her, she didnt really care about it when your alone. There are so many things about her character that might surprise you, like the fact that she loved to make sure she looked good. And she taught me about that since i was younger. She put a big emmphasis on manner when you are around strangers or people you dont knwo very well. But get her in a cabin full of girls, and she is a completely differnt person. Farts and burps and slobs, totally acceptable. One thing that really gets people, is what a prankster she truly is. While we would be in session, grandma would sneak into our cabina dn put rocks in our beds or toothpaste in oreos. She especailly loved whent eh girls would team up against the boys and sneak into their cabin with things like shaving cream and glitter and stink bate. All these tricks we learned from her. On that final trip i took with her to windermere, she found this toy worm, with like little hairs and feeler hanging off of it. she said "remember those tiems when we went camping and colton would wake up thinking there were bugs in his bed?" Laughing i answered "yeah grandma why?" "if i buy this will you put it in his bed?" She got so much joy out of pranking people, and loved when they would retaliate, starting full on prank wars. Lets just say, stephanie and brian sevits may have finally learned their lesson.

the final thing i love about my grandma is her strength. This last year, life dealt her a pretty crappy hand. In Febuary 2011 we found out she had stage for ovarian cancer. When she found out she was determined she was going to fight this war. After the inital shock of the changes to her body and life, oh buddy did she fight. She did the whole chemo thing, and it worked for a while, she got herself stable, to the point of where we knew we would have her longer than they had orgianlly said. All along during this fight, she took extra time to perrepare me for the ultimate outcome, death, little did i know it at the time. She talked to me about god and heaven more and more. On easter when i was so upset i couldnt even worship, i was so mad at god for doing this to her, she could tell, pulled me aside and talked to me, telling me god had told her it was all gonna be alright. taking me on that finaly trip to windermere, being sure i wouldnt ever regret not going or not spending more time with her. She made sure to see me at least once a week, even if that meant she dropped by unannounced. Christmas rolled around, and she was glowing, saying "Its christmas. they told me i wouldnt make it here. Nah nah nah nah nah nah." Everything she did, everything she went through, she did it with asmile, just to know we were gonna be alright, and to skip around on christmas "nah nah nah nah nah nah nah."

The very last time i saw these traits in my grandma, was on her death bed. We had broght her home on hospice. She had been there a few days. It was friday and i was supposed to leave for a church trip that night, and mom was making me go to school. I knew grandma wouldnt make it till i got back from the trip, so i had palnned to say my final goodbyes after school that day, but mom made me say good bye that morning just in case. I leaned over when no one was looking and kissed her head and asked her to please wait till i got back from school so i could say it the way i wanted. School was torture that day but when i got there after she was still there. After a lot of delay and jumping back and forth on wheter i should leave for the trip or not, my family took a vote and said i had to go, its what she would want. I read her my paper about being my hero and kissed her goodbye. I got in the car and cried. My phone rang 3 minutes after i arrived at the camp. Grandma was gone. She held on until she was sure i was at camp, where she knew i could spend the weekend with god. in her final moments she shared her faith, strength, and love.

With her death, the world lost a wonderful woman, but heaven gained an angel. As we say goodbye to her today, dont just remember My Grandma Denise, as your friend, family member, mentor, or co-worker, but try to use those qualitys that i know she shined into everyone of your lives in a way not only to glorify you or her, to glorify god as well.

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