Eulogy for Eve

Eve & Whitey 1943

Eva (Eve) Schwab Smith died on December 24, 2019 at 12:24 pm. The death certificate lists a different, later time but one of Eve’s granddaughters, Robyn, is a Nurse Practitioner. Robyn and other family members were bedside when she confirmed that there no longer was a pulse. This eulogy account was written as penciled notes on the night of 12/26 and during the morning of 12/27 and is the best recollection I have of comments I made to those gathered at the Bush Funeral Home on Friday, 12/27. It should be noted that Ken Bush Jr. is a close family friend and community leader/historian. Ed and his father-in-law, Whitey, worked together years ago during renovations at the Elbridge Funeral Home.

The first thing that I need to do is get my Eve bling on. (I wanted to wear something with a leopard print on it and at the last minute grabbed a bath towel that I draped around my neck like a vestment at the lectern).

In case you didn’t know before today, Eve LOVED anything with a leopard print on it. I finally looked it up and leopard symbolizes perseverance, intelligence, and power. If you get a chance to research Egyptian history, there’s a LOT of stone engravings and pictures with leopards in them. I sense that Eve was likely a VIP in Egypt during one of her previous lives, if you believe in that sort of thing.

Wasn’t it wonderful hearing “Amazing Eve”…I mean “Amazing Grace”? (Several of us had hummed this favorite song of Eve’s during wee hour bedside shifts. We’d also read Psalm 23, The Lord Is My Shepard to her, a favorite Bible passage. Hospice told us that hearing seems to be one of the last senses to fade).

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the middle of them,” (Matthew 18:20). Looking around the crowded room, I’d say we have the gathering part covered. CHECK! (Check mark motion with my hand). And spiritual bodies too! This place is packed! I’m not saying that I can see spirits among us, because I can’t, but I DO know that they’re here and that Eve is here too in the VIP section, wherever that is?!!?!?! SO, regarding spirits that have passed on being among us? CHECK! (Check mark motion again with my hand).

Native people recognize and respect young children and grandparents as being closest to Source. Lakota people, and “Lakota” means people of the heart, call them both “Wakhan”. They can readily see what society generally considers to be nonsense. If they allowed dogs (or cats) to join us here today, they would be howling right now because they can easily sense spirits too.

I need to correct a misconception that was in the obituary. Eve did NOT die peacefully. A team of very caring people helped Eve survive, along with an Earth Angel Hospice Nurse named Wendy Young,* who gave everyone “booster shots”, “PRN” (M,W, & Friday- in two hour, never rushed sessions).

Greeks had a word in the early Church, “agape”, which means unconditional love, regardless of the circumstances. Always seeking the best in others. Agape is what Eve embodied.

Born in 1924 in a farmhouse in Preble,NY, five miles past nowhere, in the vicinity of Cortland, NY. She was two pounds, 6 ounces and they needed an incubator. But incubators hadn’t been invented yet. NO problem! Her resourceful parents just used their wood stove oven! CHECK! When your last name is “Strong”, and there’s some of them here today, you simply do what you need to, to survive. STRONG? CHECK!

I think it’s especially significant that her first name was “Eve”, because she was able to dispel the Biblical garden implication that women are “bad news”. Women like Eve are GOOD NEWS and the world can never have enough of them. She was quiet to begin with but would not talk negatively about anyone else. Eve embodied agape. Unconditional love for anyone that needs it? CHECK!

I’m going to share an intimate moment with you from my 2 am shift on Christmas Eve. It was difficult to watch her helplessness so I whispered to her, “Go get your present Eve. Go get your present”.

Christmas Eve is forever changed in our family in a wonderful way. Look at what agape has done for us all. (Hand motion around the room). Merry Christmas? Merry Christmas indeed. CHECK!

(Dean complimented me after the eulogy but suggested an even better final closing. I belatedly include it here- GO NY YANKEES!)

Famous people born prematurely

Wayde van Niekerk Rio Gold
Research on adults that were born as a preemie often focuses on negative consequences.

“Prematurity isn’t a new thing and in fact some famous names and high achievers had a premature start to life. Some were born centuries ago and battled incredible odds to survive in the first place given the conditions and knowledge at the time. They then went on to achieve incredible things in the creative, academic, science and leadership fields. Below are a few people you might have heard of who were born prematurely.
For a printing and sharing, you can download this PDF“.

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