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Diamonds are forever


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When I read Becky's diamond gift to our dear Fay, I thought it was time to share this tribute that my sister's granddaughter read at my sister's funeral. There was not a dry eye in the place. My sister was one hell of a woman. She died of throat cancer not quite 3 months before my Earl.

When most grandmothers were teaching their grandchildren the ABC’s, mine was teaching me “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Quite apropos in retrospect, for as I look back on my 21 years knowing Meme, it seems as if her life resembled something very much like a diamond. You see, diamonds, like Meme, are brilliant. There was something truly special about the way Meme walked into a room. Her hair perfectly done up. Her lipstick matching her nail polish. Her new pant suit or sweater set. The genuine smile on her face that always translated, “It is so good to see you my darling.” This was the radiance of Meme. And as a granddaughter, I looked up to her and hung on every word she spoke. So worldly, she always had the most fascinating stories, one of my favorites being the time she played field hockey with Grace Kelly. And her intellect was incredible. She read books as fast as I read chapters, and I remember sitting with her many an episode of Jeopardy and being floored as she answered practically every question correctly. And when we shared our two hour lunches together, giggling incessantly, she always had an amazing way of making me feel as if the two of us, in that moment, were the only people that mattered. She truly had this capacity to dazzle in such a way that at times she was nothing but captivating…breathless. She was the diamond of her family.

However, I must not get too quixotic in my portrayal, for Meme would never have it this way. The shape of a diamond is not always smooth. There are sharp edges and the surface, at times, can get scratched. While Meme lived an incredibly full and truly happy life, she had her share of difficult times. In complete honesty, it was not until the death of Papa that I really understood, really appreciated, the inherent strength that Meme possessed, for after his passing, Meme faced an onslaught of turmoil. She was dealt a hand that seemed nothing but relentless and unfair, and while we all struggled with doubt and questioning, Meme was able to draw from her inner strength and serve as a pillar, an example, and an inspiration for this family. For someone so seemingly frail, for someone whose body had physically and emotionally endured more than a single person I know, she handled her toughest moments with grace. Like a dull diamond, she buffed her scratches and was able to recover and shine again. And when another scratch came her way, she buffed some more, always without complaint. Unfortunately, diamonds are not perfect, and there is only so much buffing one can do. I would like to think that after buffing the scratches of loved ones’ deaths, cancers, heart attacks, and minor scuffs in between, Meme tired of buffing. It was time to move on to Heaven where no buffing is required.

And as the quote goes, “Diamonds are forever.” Meme will live on forever in our hearts, for her place in this world is revered and priceless. And while her name may fade generations from now, I have no doubt in my mind that her multi-faceted existence of love for family, devout values, and passion for life will influence my children and my children’s children, and any future member of this blessed family who has the honor to share a lineage with Toni Curry. So when night falls and you see a star twinkling as bright as a diamond in the sky, think of Meme and say a little prayer. And to you Meme, you were right, diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and always remember, there are no rhinestones in Heaven.

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Wow, I am breathless... that was so incredibly beautiful. Her graandaughter is well beyond her years. She has incredible insite for writing. She made us understand and know Meme better.

What a beautiful soul!! You were so lucky to have her in your life.

Thank you for letting us share and certainly getting to know your siser and niece. She reminds me of Addie.

Also, I had no idea you lost your sister right before your beloved Earl. How horrible that was for you. I am so glad that is all behind you now. Even though it hurts to think of them. But for you I feel you are moving on and I know you will be fine.

Thanks again Gin, for letting me know of this wonderful siser you had.

Maybe one day you can share what Earl was like. I would really like to know him.

He was your Eerl your dukedome... I know he must have been so special to you.

I feel good changes for you.

Maryanne :wink:

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A little clarification of my sisters life - Her husband died from esophageal cancer, she had 5 children - 3 boys and 2 girls. All of her sons died before she. In the last 5 years of her life she had: geardia (sp), then calcium poisoning, then breast cancer, then a major heart attack and then throat cancer. It was actually sepsis from which she died. She lived in Tulsa OK so we did most of our visiting on the phone. We laughed most of the time. Life - no matter what - is wonderful and to be enjoyed.

And MaryAnn, one of my best friends died 2 days after Earl from ALS. It was not a good summer.

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How proud your sister must have been to have looked down from heaven and listened in as her granddaughter spoke so eloquently of her. How proud she was to know what a huge part she had in the molding of your niece. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

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