"So . . . I was born; I blinked; and it was over." One grandmother who recently passed away left beautiful (and often hilarious) words of wisdom for those she left behind. Emily Phillips reflected back on her children, marrying the man of her dreams, and all of the treasures in her life. Somewhere she is dancing — and if she has it her way, she's dancing naked.
She began her obituary beautifully:
"It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away. Everyone told me it would happen one day but that's simply not something I wanted to hear, much less experience. Once again I didn't get things my way! That's been the story of my life all my life. And while on that subject (the story of my life)…
Emily talks about her birth, in 1946, her sisters, and her discovery in elementary school that she one day wanted to be a teacher. She reached her goal and proudly taught at the very elementary school she attended, retiring after a whopping 25 years. She continued with words of wisdom:
"So many things in my life seemed of little significance at the time they happened but then took on a greater importance as I got older. The memories I'm taking with me now are so precious and have more value than all the gold and silver in my jewelry box. Memories . . . where do I begin? Well, I remember Mother wearing an apron; I remember Daddy calling Square Dances; I remember my older sister pushing me off my tricycle. . . . I remember cutting small rosebuds still wet with dew to wear to school on spring mornings, and I remember the smell of newly mowed grass. I remember the thrill of leading our high school band down King Street in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. . . . I remember representing Waynesville in the Miss North Carolina Pageant, and yes, I twirled my baton to the tune of 'Dixie.' It could have been no other way."
She went on to describe the loves of her life.
"I married the man of my dreams (tall, dark, and handsome) on December 16, 1967 and from that day on I was proud to be Mrs. Charlie Phillips, Grand Diva Of All Things Domestic. Our plan was to have two children, a girl and a boy. Inexplicably we were successful in doing exactly that when we were blessed with our daughter Bonnie and then later our son Scott. Seeing these two grow into who they were supposed to be brought a wonderful sense of meaning to our lives. . . .
Just when I thought I was too old to fall in love again, I became a grandmother, and my five grand-angels stole not only my heart, but also spent most of my money. Sydney Elizabeth, Jacob McKay, and Emma Grace (all Uprights) have enriched my life more than words can say. Sydney's 'one more, no more' when she asked for a cookie; Jake saying he was 'sick as a cat' when I'd said that someone else was sick as a dog; and Emma cutting her beautiful long hair and then proceeding to shave off one of her eyebrows . . .Yes, these are a few of my favorite things. They're treasures that are irreplaceable and will go with me wherever my journey takes me."
She reflected on all of the titles she held throughout her life.
"I've been a devoted daughter, an energetic teenager, a WCU graduate (summa cum laude), a loving wife, a comforting mother, a dedicated teacher, a true and loyal friend, and a spoiling grandmother. And if you don't believe it, just ask me. Oh wait, I'm afraid it's too late for questions. Sorry. So . . . I was born; I blinked; and it was over. No buildings named after me; no monuments erected in my honor. But I did have the chance to know and love each and every friend as well as all my family members. How much more blessed can a person be?"
Her final words are ones to remember:
"So in the end, remember . . . do your best, follow your arrow, and make something amazing out of your life. Oh, and never stop smiling. If you want to, you can look for me in the evening sunset or with the earliest spring daffodils or amongst the flitting and fluttering butterflies. You know I'll be there in one form or another. Of course that will probably comfort some while antagonizing others, but you know me . . . it's what I do. I'll leave you with this . . . please don't cry because I'm gone; instead be happy that I was here. (Or maybe you can cry a little bit. After all, I have passed away). Today I am happy and I am dancing. Probably naked. Love you forever."
You can read the entire obituary here.