Wednesday, December 27, 2006

His Given Name Was John...

His given name was John - John Mervyn actually. So to many of his friends and family he was just Merv. To all of the guys he played baseball with back in the nineteen teens and twenties, he was known as Bunny. But to me he was always my Gramps. Gramps was married to Gagee. He was a study in contrasts. I was in my early twenties when he died the day after his 83rd birthday. It would be another five years before I would write and deliver my first eulogy. I was old enough then in years, but not in experience, to write a eulogy for Gramps. At the funeral, his parish priest spoke for the family, before Gagee, their friends and the rest of our extended clan laid him to rest. I wouldn’t have known then how to sort out the two sides of Gramps. I probably would have spoken about the way he gave up his dream of professional baseball, to come home off the road and help raise up his two daughters with Gagee. The way he continuously provided for his family, even through the long, lean years of The Great Depression. How much he loved to play golf and how skilled he was at the game. How, long after glaucoma had stopped him from driving, he could still beat every single one of us at lawn darts! But what to say about his cantankerous, curmudgeonly side? Where did that fit in with his warm smile, laughter, generosity and the obvious love he had for his family and friends? Somehow all those facets, the shiny and the tarnished, made up who Gramps was in life. But those negative ones were what I like to think really died back in 1983. Now it’s the love, friendship and loyalty that remain with us, like the Claddagh rings of his mother’s Irish ancestry. Love you Gramps. Nearly a quarter century past your passing, we’re still thankful for all the good you left behind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I'll guaranty that the glass in is right hand has J&B over two ice cubes. He always swore it was the smoothest scotch.

3rd generation Bunny