Emmy Has Gone Home

Eulogy For Emily McGrath by Michael McGrath May 28, 2007
Read At Her Funeral by Michael McGrath and John Elliott

A school photo of a young Emily McGrath in 1934Thank you all for being here today in honour of Emmy. The family wants to thank Doctor Lupien and many nurses for the wonderful care they gave mom over the many months that she was sick. We also want to thank Father Katooka for his assistance with Emmy.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She wanted to be in her living room in her house on old Third Avenue reading her newspaper and sipping her tea. The doorbell might ring and that could be Marilyn Chircoski stopping by on her walk for a visit. It could be Verna Turner or her good neighbor Nancy Breton stopping in to share some good news.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She wanted to be on the phone to Emma Sullivan, her favourite cousin in Pembroke. They would probably be talking about their fabulous trip to Ireland in 1998. Or she might be chatting on the phone with one of the many Girl Guide leaders she kept in touch with over the years.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She wanted to be in her back yard sitting in her swing surrounded by flowers, the swallows darting back and forth from the bird house over the garage and the sounds of her neighbourhood. She might wave to Viv next door or have a little visit with Gaston who would make her laugh with one of his jokes. Robert and Clara might wave from their backyard and come over for a little chat while the kids ran in the back field. The Kataquapits might drop by on their way south or while shopping in Timmins.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She wanted to be on her knees and running her hands through the soil as she planted new flowers and new beginnings in her garden. She might see Ruth and Chris Swartz as they happily walked by with Mila. Terry and Collette Madden might drop by on their way back from some interesting trip. Or she could look up and see Jimmy and Helen sitting on their front porch and sending her a wave. Music could be drifting over from the Soucki’s as they sang and played.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She wanted to be walking down to the post office where she could meet Ruth Jennings or Norma Labelle or Linda Peever and Dave Smith. She could catch up on others lives with these short meetings. She might get a letter from Brooke and Patty with pictures of Jack and Brynn and that would make her day.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She wanted to be able to make her way down to the grocery store and she might stop in at the Pink Store to visit Alana. They might share a cappuccino and make each other feel OK with kind words and a little vitamin G. On her way to the grocery store she could meet up with Rosalee and Huey Madden or Rose and Ron Bernier. She would thank Rose for the wonderful soup and muffins she brought over last week.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She wanted to be in the old truck with me and Xavier heading up to Timmins for the afternoon for a visit with Celia and Johnny. She might see a rabbit or a fox on the side of the road. Celia would have tea and cookies ready and she might even play a tune on the piano. Johnny would make her laugh as usual and Jamie and Anita could stop by with Dylan and Kyle or Graham and Pammy could stop by with Arron or Riley. Marcia and Beech might pull in with news about Nicky and Josh at school. Betty Anne might call from Ottawa with a few good jokes. Patricia might be up from Wawa with news about BJ. And Chippy would hurry in for a quick bite and some warm words and news about his Ryan and Jessie.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She wanted to be at the Iroquois Falls Art Club where she painted and drew while she chatted in comfort with her friends Verna Turner, Christie Riley, Marilyn Chircoski, Therese Bender, Hazel Derbie, Blanche Brindle and Jean Annand.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She wanted to be at a Manor Auxiliary meeting where she reported as the Treasurer. She wanted to share a few moments with other volunteers dedicated to making life better for the pioneers of our community. She might stop by for a visit with her brother in law Everett Eliott or her old neighbour Ruth Larivie, residents of the manor.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She wanted to be at a meeting at the Historical Society that I sometimes refered to as the Hysterical Society. She liked to be called upon for her great memory in assisting the board and staff with her knowledge of the community.

Emmy did not want to be here today. Well at least not like this. She would have wanted to be here on Sunday with her good friends Rhea Pike, Elsie Lowe, Irene Powers and Cec McMillan. Maybe Mrs Shey or Marion Luke would accompany her and the rest of the girls to Randy’s for breakfast after Sunday Mass.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She would rather be stopping in to see Donna McEwan at the Sears store and she might meet up with Don Paquette and his friend Bernie there and they could certainly have a great chat about the new baby Sarah and how happy Andrew and Carmen must be and of course Aunt Kathryn. She might be invited out to Chuck and Jennifer’s cottage to see Daniel, Nicky and Joey. Donna might have news about Cathy in Orillia or Dave and Marci’s daughter Allysandra.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She wanted to be heading down south and arriving at Johnny and Patty’s door where she would be joined by Brooke and Rob Vokes and Jack and Brynn. Judy and Ross would invite her for tea. John and Colleen Elliott might come over for a visit from London and if John brought his keyboard, there would be some singing. Luanne and Chris and the kids might show up with John and Norma Bradley. Lorrie and Fred could stop in with news about Russ and his family. No doubt Ron and Tanner would show up with some treats.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She wanted to be on her way to her see her sister Tessie Ruddy in Cambridge. Tessie could make life exciting as they went here and there shopping and exploring with Iris and Sarah. Terry and Cathy might call while she was visiting with news about Christopher and Brendon.

Emmy did not want to be here today. She wanted to be having a wonderful Sunday supper with Don and Dawn Elliott out at Nellie Lake. Betty and Judd Zadow, or Jane and Pat Eaton might drop in for coffee and dessert and there would be lots of stories told and times remembered.

You know the funny thing is – Emmy is not here today. As a matter of fact she has gone home. She is in the most perfect place. She might be sitting on daddy Jack Dunn’s knee listening to Rita and Sarah play the piano while granny was cooking supper in the kitchen. Uncle Jimmy Melon and his wife Little Annie and their family Jerome, Cassie, Patty and Ralph would show up. Uncle Johnny and Aunt Louisa will be telling stories about life on the farm. She might be having tea with Cec McIntyre, her best friend and her good friend Stella Frederinko. Jean Young might stop by with a new book for her to read and Jamie Bigelow could come in with a jar of Helen’s pickled beets.

Yes Emmy is in her perfect place where Barry Peever might be strumming his guitar. Mr and Mrs Maher would be on the back swing in their yard enjoying the day. Freda Spence, Irene Manders, Mrs Russell, Mrs O’Donnell or Mrs Harkins might be heard coming from a Bingo at the old Moose Hall. Emma Pierini might pull up in front of the house to take Emmy out for a ride. They might go to Tim Hortons. Harvey and Celia Ruddy might be sitting with her in the back yard and Harvey would make them all laugh and keep them busy. Aunt Mary, Agatha and Matt would be coming by to greet Emmy and Mrs Lafortune might be serving all her favourite desserts while Louie teased them all. Mrs Regimbal and Alma and Nipper Naigel would be chatting at the table. Big Jimmy and Nan will be laughing at Jimmy’s jokes along with Dalton Melon and the Lafrenier family. The Lavoies, the Manders, the Russells, the Poriers, the Proulxs, Collelas, Blacks – from the corner store and the Soucys and Tina and Robin Olaveson will be calling in to say hello.

So let’s feel happy for Emmy because she is in her perfect place. She has gone home.

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