Hello and good morning friends, family, Father Tuck, and members of the church.
Many of you I already know. For those who don’t know me – my name is Michael, and I am the proud grandson of the woman most all of us knew as Clo.
I’m sure she would be absolutely thrilled to see you all here. And she would say, as she always did, “It you’re coming by to see me – come any time. If you’re coming by to look at my house – make an appointment.
Well Grandma, we came to see you, and to honor you today… and if it weren’t such a formal occasion and I wasn’t standing in the house of the Lord I’d be up here talking to you in a Redskins jersey.
We’re here today to remember, and celebrate the life of a woman who has in so many ways touched the world in which she lived. She would be the first to live without – so that others could live with, the first to give something to someone who had not the power or good fortune to provide it for themselves.
To know Clo – is to know of her commitment to charity. To speak of her, in many ways is to invoke and channel the very essence of charity, kindness, giving, strength, tolerance and common sense understanding. To sit with her for any length of time was to learn these traits from her.
Her life, her spirit, her very being – touched, comforted, warmed and educated us all – over the years – in how to live ones life, how to treat your fellow man – and how to strive for personal beliefs and ideals – with silent dignity, anonymity, and humble intentions.
In the face of adversity and challenge, instead of wrestling with the world around her – she simply, gracefully and quietly adjusted to it, and took of it – all it was willing to give, but never any more than she needed.
To know Clo – is to understand perseverance, independence and determination and a willingness to laugh at one’s self… To remember Clo is to celebrate her life and the love, laughter, happiness and harmony which surrounded her and bound us to her – in ways we have yet to fully recognize.
These are the pictures of her that we cherish. It is the well of her strength and determination, from which we can frequently draw the courage to face the day.
We will not look at your passing as a moment of sorrow, for you let us know that we shouldn’t.
We will not look at your passing as a moment to close down and pull inside ourselves, for you have always shown us the strength to look beyond struggle… to better days.
We will not look at your passing as a moment of tragedy, for you gracefully surrendered your being and that is not an example of tragic.
We will not look at your passing as a moment of emptiness, for you will always fill our hearts with your memory, your spirit, your soul and your love.
Though the years you have taught me, and I see – as I am standing here today, that you are teaching me yet again, for now I completely understand that the world will no longer have to search for a little hope, a little strength, a little decency, a little dignity, a little common sense, a little kindness and inspiration, a little warmth, a little charity, a little peace and subtle understanding – for all of those things – Grandma – you given to all of us – and they will live on and grow from us – as will your memory – and your spirit of kindness and giving.
It is through us that Clo continues to live for it is not the flesh that we were in love with. We were in love with the person, with Clo, with grandma, mom – and great grandma, aunt, sister, cousin and friend. It is through us that she will continue to live – in every person we can touch – in the same way she touched us.
I will go on for the rest of my days, however long that may be, with a tremendous amount of pride in the examples you set for me in life.
I will look to the future, and walk the path of life with that pride, as I strive to be but a fraction of who you were and what you represented to the world.
Thank you for being the nicest, sweetest, most gentle human being I have ever known. And please remember friends and family – and Grandma
That every time we see a butterfly floating among a soft summer breeze – we will know that it is your tender breath which carries him along.
RIP – Clo Kaluta – July. 30, 2010