performing is no stranger to me. while i never fail to get nervous, i have sung at my fair share of events. whether it has been in a musical, at a major sporting event, or in a small dive bar – i’ve done it. although singing at an SEC football game was nervewracking, it pales in comparison to the event i sang at a few weeks ago: my granny jo’s funeral.
she was a spunky woman full of southern class and charm. she was a sports fan, an unwavering democrat, and i’m pretty sure that Neil Diamond and Tiger Woods were here two favorite humans (yes, even after the Tiger Woods scandal – “he forever changed the game of golf,” she would say in his defense).
she used her life as a service to others. her days were filled with volunteering, serving on various boards, and cooking meals for events. i remember being at her house one day asking what she was up to and she responded, “well, i didn’t have anything to do on tuesdays, so i started volunteering at the hospital.” because heaven forbid she rest a day. she genuinely enjoyed using her talents and time to serve others, and she was the type of person that i wanted everyone to meet.
Little Women is one of my favorite movies, and when i think of Granny Jo, i am often reminded of the line at the end of the movie when Fredrich says to his love, Jo… “such a little name…for such a person.” she was a true one-of-a-kind <–read more about her here.
here favorite people to serve was her family…especially her grandchildren. we all have unique memories of her that have spun us into the people that we are today. unbeknownst to anyone in the family, Jo had her funeral planned out, down to the last detail. the only people she wanted officiating the service were her four grandchildren.
when i first heard the news, i was somewhat upset. i had thoughts like, “how in the world did she expect us to hold it together?” and “this is going to be a blubbering mess.”
she wanted me to sing “Amazing Grace,” following my brother’s beautiful prayer, that had me in tears. once i reached the stage, knees shaking, it took me a moment to reel in my emotions. i couldn’t look out into the crowd without seeing a life that she hadn’t left an imprint on. it was the toughest two minutes of my life.
my cousins followed up with some perfect words while attempting to sum Jo up through their tears, but if i do say so myself – the service was beautiful, personal, and a true celebration of the incredible woman she was. the church was standing room only, and i’m not sure that there was a dry eye in the house. as someone mentioned to me after the funeral, she was showing off her legacy, letting the world see what she was leaving behind.
i love that. and i feel so honored to be a part of Betty Jo Crass’ legacy.
a special note of gratitude to everyone that has made these past few weeks a little bit easier. it is so comforting to know that we have each other in these tough moments of life. feeling loved goes a long way. you will never know how much every note, text, flower, and hug has meant to everyone in my family. love you all… xoxo