Tara’s Eulogy for Grandma Theresa

As promised yesterday here is the wonderful eulogy that Tara gave, right after mine, for Grandma Theresa. You can read it in its entirety below.

“As Drew mentioned, Theresa Williams had the most tremendous gift for sharing. I’m not talking necessarily about material things, but rather sharing her gifts of talent. She had a talent for cooking and creating a comfortable home. As a result, anyone who ever stepped foot into her house was always fed and welcomed. She imparted this generosity of spirit on her children, grandchildren, family and friends.

With Theresa, there was magic everywhere. Whether it was the star-like glitter in the ceiling of the Wareham house, stars above our head at my wedding or stars on our Christmas trees that she had stitched and starched to perfection, as Shelby said last night, “Grandma made the most ordinary things extraordinary.”

How else other than magic can we explain the way that she created each person’s favorite foods whenever they would arrive. I can’t help but smile when I think of the warm cinnamon toast or crepes that she served up. She made such wonderful foods and in abundance being sure that everyone had what they wanted. She shared recipes with her children and grandchildren so that they could continue to shower people with these wonderful foods.

There was something wonderful about things at Grandma’s house. As a rite of passage, the grandchildren slept in the “Goldilocks bed.” Had she not created magic about the bed, I doubt that anyone would have slept in such a tiny bed at the end of the room farthest from the door. Without a doubt, she loved her children and grandchildren and wanted to make things as special as possible. Easter was a most magical time in their house. Theresa would gather us and send the grandchildren off to collect some of the hundreds of eggs that she’d carefully filled and instructed Grandpa in hiding. Now that was real sharing since Grandma filled the eggs with two of her favorite things: chocolate and quarters

One of Theresa’s greatest talents was knitting and crocheting. She couldn’t wait to make something new for someone else. Hats and mittens, sweaters and blankets, always giving to someone. She used the tightest weave and made perfect stitches. So when you put one of Theresa’s afghans around you, you can feel the warmth and love, as if it were a hug from her. That’s what I loved about learning to crochet from her. It is a way to keep a tradition of sharing talent and comfort and warmth with the people that you love.

However, for Grandma it wasn’t just about making pretty sweaters and blankets, it was about keeping you entirely warm. A staple in our wardrobes has to be the signature slippers. Who out there doesn’t own at least one pair of these?

Grandma loved traditions and she created many wonderful ones. I have the fondest memories of making meat pies with the family and Ellen. We worked late into the evening and everyone had their tasks. Grandma would prepare the meat earlier in the day and then kept watch and made sure things ran smoothly. When we would finish, it was time for strudel. Uncle Richard would come up from downstairs and we would finally rest and enjoy the last scraps of dough transformed into a magnificent dessert as if by magic.

Theresa constantly strived for perfection and this made her the perfect CEO of Williams Pewter. Grandpa may have owned the business, but Grandma was running it. Her motto, if it wasn’t good enough, do it again. I have to admit that I struggled with this mentality on more than one occasion. I can still remember being very proud of my very first part of an afghan. Grandma carefully looked at my stitches and with a few pulls from her hand transformed it back into a pile of yarn. Luckily, my second attempt passed inspection. I now realize the wonderful lesson in this and the importance of perfection since everything she made was a reflection of her.

I think I also understand now where her magic came from. Theresa put a little bit of herself into everything her hands touched and that’s how she made the ordinary truly extraordinary.”

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