Commemorative Speech Sample
Wink: An Online Journal
Commemorative Speech: Casey Kelner
Instructor: Dan Rooney
camp. The camp was only a week long. This very week is when I had my first real connection with her. I
knew that every night before she went to bed, she would lay across her comforter and dangle her feet off
the edge while she did some crossword puzzles.
She would leave the door cracked just a little bit, so I had just enough light in the living room, so I wouldn’t
get scared to fall asleep on the couch. I slowly got up from the couch and tiptoed into her room. She
looked at me and invited me to lay down with her and help her out. We stayed up late, and for the very
first time I felt like I connected with her—a connection that my aunts and uncles never had, because there
were too many of them. As years went by, I prayed that she would be in my life to see me graduate high
school, go to college, find a great job, and, some day, see my children.
Unfortunately, those days fell short. On the last day of finals of my freshman year in high school, I
received a message. When I walked up to my history teacher to hand in my final, the phone rang. It was
my mother, and she was in the office. I knew right away that is was my grandmother. I left school right
away to see her.
When I walked into her room, I didn’t know what to say. I waited a couple minutes to gather my breath
and told her that I loved spending time with her and I was going to miss her. I told her about my day,
because I knew that’s what she would want to hear. Soon after that, my whole family came in. We all
gathered hands and I could feel the love in the room for my grandmother. Her willingness to put anything
before herself, and the love she shined upon us, now shined upon her.
As she slowly slipped away from life, I felt at ease and our family became at peace with one another. I
carry myself today with the same kind of pride my grandmother had. I learned that courageousness,
thoughtfulness and gracefulness go a long ways. Wearing fancy red lipstick looks beautiful, but it’s the
person inside that really counts. Grandmothers don’t mind hearing the same story over and over, but
other people do. Every tear adds to an ocean, making a cake is mostly about licking the bowl, and
making others happy should be everyone’s goal in life.
I’m positive she would be more than happy to hear that if she was here today. Gertrude Harriet Dahl was
a magnificent person. Lucky to be her granddaughter? Yes. Even luckier to learn life lessons from a
distinguished woman? Even better. Thank you.
May 9, 2006
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