Summary: This is a very personal funeral message written for my grandmother, but could be adapted for anyone.

Grandma Geri’s Message

Pancakes and Peanut Butter

December 17, 2008

I have had the honor of performing many funerals. Whether I know the person who has passed away or not it is always difficult to watch a family mourn. It’s always difficult to see them in pain, wishing they could have their loved one return even for just a minute. It is not very often that I find myself in their shoes. Where it is my turn to mourn the loss of someone within my own family who was dearly loved and who loved so dearly.

The loss of my grandmother has been a very difficult one to deal with. Coming to grips with the fact that I no longer will hear her classic laugh, no longer will feel her warm embrace and kiss when I walk through the door to her home is tough. It’s difficult to accept that I no longer will be able to speak to her, laugh with her, or share stories with her.

I do take some comfort in knowing that I can carry with me for the rest of my life some amazing memories of our time together. When I came a few weeks ago to say my good-bye’s I was given the opportunity to tell grandma just how much she has meant to me. She was the best grandmother a grandchild could ever ask for. You have already heard the stories today about how she has impacted all of us. She not only impacted us, her family, but she impacted everyone she knew in a way that all of us should hope and dream to impact humanity. There is no question; no doubt, this woman knew how to love.

To me there is no greater earthly example of love than Geri Sonnenberg. Even when I was a little boy and got into some big trouble while staying the weekend at grandma and grandpa’s which was quite often I always walked away from getting my spanking or getting sternly corrected feeling loved.

When grandma was working full time and traveling all over the country it could have been very easy for her when she was home to just want to relax and recoup from her trips. But those were the times that we got to spend the weekends with them. Sabrina and me always looked forward to going to grandmas. It was the same thing every visit. Mom would drop us off. Grandma would be standing at the door really excited to see us. Ready with her kiss and hug. We’d put our stuff in our room then we’d jump right back in the car, remember their old AMC eagle, and go rent a movie. She would let us pick it out of course. Usually I would get a movie and Sabrina would get a movie. We had to get two because it was a given Sabrina’s wouldn’t be any good. ☺

We’d go back to the house where grandma would make us spaghetti and garlic bread or as grandma would call it, sgetti. We’d sit in the kitchen with grandpa at this little breakfast table while grandma would cook or I would go over and push that button to the appliance in their super bright orange countertop. You remember that appliance that you could push the button and it would pop up? I was always fascinated with it and grandma would let me push it as much as I wanted. You hear all the time that no one cook’s like momma, and no offense to my momma who is an amazing cook in her own right, but no one cooked spaghetti and garlic bread like grandma. For all I know her secret recipe was that it was store bought or premade but it wouldn’t matter. It was always the best. And I can never forget grandpa always trying to get us to eat his crazy red radishes with our dinner. I always thought he had this weird radish fetish, but who knows. After dinner grandpa would play pool with us while grandma would clean up then we’d watch our movies and grandma would send us to bed but grandpa made sure we once again understood how to properly flush his toilet. He would say, “Make sure you hold the handle down for at least 3 seconds.”

In the morning grandma would make us pancakes with peanut butter. I always tell people that it was my grandma who introduced me to pancakes with peanut butter and to this very day I will not eat pancakes without peanut butter. And it was always without fail that grandma had some new toys for us to play with or she bought us something so simple yet it was just awesome to us. And of course we had to get a ride on grandpa’s tractor. And our weekends would never have been complete if we didn’t sit down to watch the game show network with them. If you knew them together you knew they loved the game show network and were glued to that thing constantly.

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