On behalf of our entire family, I’d like to thank you all for taking the time to be here today. My grandma, Vi Selner, has meant a lot to many people, so your presence here as we celebrate her life and say good bye means a lot to us.
My grandmother was a woman who lived a long life full of faith, hard work, and love.
Grandma was steadfast in her faith. Throughout all of the challenges that she faced, she prayed. If you mention to Grandma that you had something tough coming up, she’d pray for you. And she prayed a lot; sometimes saying the rosary several times a day. When they were young, Grandma had all of her kids say the rosary kneeling by a chair every day during Lent and October, the month of the Rosary. She made sure that all of her children knew their prayers for catechism teachers. It’s only fitting that we are here today praying for her.
Her work ethic was easily demonstrated in the daily life on the farm. She worked in the barn alongside Grandpa and her kids milking, doing chores, and bailing hay right up to when they moved off the farm into town. She was very proud to share with me during the one of our last visits that the farm, now owned by Wayne and Tammy, is just a few years away from being a century farm.
Grandma was the disciplinarian in the family though. The boys of the family have longer earlobes to prove it. The girls however were angels and never experienced this.
Grandma loved her garden growing poppy seed, raspberries, and row after row after row of potatoes for her baking along with many other vegetables. Anyone who knew Grandma, knew about and enjoyed her baking. Her hard work in the kitchen fed all of us plenty of biscuits, kolaches, rye bread, and rice krispie logs. She loved doing care packages of baking for the holidays. Every grandchild knows that special feeling of seeing the wrapped shoe box waiting for you with a card, some treats, and lots of love from Grandma. Barb is ready to keep this baking tradition going, Grandma even has enough ingredients stocked up to set her up for quite a while.
She never believed in a secret recipe. She gladly shared her recipes whether for rye-bread or hot dog casserole in the Holy Rosary Cook Book and with any of her children or grandchildren who wanted to learn. I still cannot get my rye-bread to taste as delicious as hers, but I am thankful that she took the time to show me how to make it.
In addition to her baking, Grandma was a good cook and thankfully she taught all of her kids well. While they were on the farm, every Sunday Grandma would make a chicken dinner with all the fixings. She believed in meat, potatoes, and dessert with every meal. She was sure to cut the Sunday chicken into 9 pieces so every member of the family had 1 piece of chicken. This may sound small to you, but Grandma would be the first to tell you that those home grown chickens were much bigger than the ones you would buy at the grocery store today. The family all remembers spending time butchering chickens for family and friends. I know that sounds strange, mentioning chickens in a eulogy, but that’s how Grandma showed you she cared. By giving you some of her hard work--her homemade baking, home grown vegetables, or even those farm raised chickens. These gifts were from her with love and truly were priceless.
Grandma’s hard work and faith were important, but what was more powerful was her love. Grandma loved her big family and getting together for holidays or any special occasion. She always made a big meal, and with her sense of fairness, made sure that everyone got the exact same amount for a gift. She would be happy now seeing all the family together.
Grandma and Grandpa spent a lot of time together going the boys football games and even continued this attending many of the grandchildren’s various sports. Both Grandma and Grandpa had many good years with their friends in the card club with lots of laughs and fun times.
We all know that Grandma had strong opinions on things; we hope no one is still offended by anything. But even this shows Grandma’s strong independent spirit. I believe it was this strong will that kept her here with us this long, through everything she faced in the last few years.
She lived a great life: 86 years. . . able to see her children grow up, many grandchildren grow up, and even 12 great grandchildren. . .a life full of faith, hard work, and love.
For all of us who are blessed enough to know and love my grandmother, the only things that will truly capture who she was are the warm memories that we each hold within our hearts.