(this is the talk i gave at grammy blair's funeral, saturday march 20, 2010.)
To our family, Bertha is known as Grammy Blair or Grammy. And our children always look forward to going to her house for a visit, especially when cousins are involved.
Grammy had the habit of going to the store not long after we would all arrive. She would go to get a much needed item, and return sometime later. I often wondered whether she would go just so she could have a break, a bit of peace, from all the chaos that we brought.
In this Church, we talk a lot about pioneers. We talk about how they lived a long time ago and about all the sacrifices they made to come to Utah. To me, Bertha was a great example of a pioneer. And I want my children to think of her this way. Their Grammy was a modern-day pioneer.
She left her home and family back east because she wanted something different for her life. And because she left and made this sacrifice, she had opportunities that she otherwise may not have had. One of these opportunities was becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This opportunity was very important because it led to other opportunities like meeting her husband Brad, having her own children, raising them in the gospel, and eventually having the blessing of grandchildren.
Bertha's conversion came about because she heard the truth in the message some missionaries were teaching her. She told us that when they taught about the Plan of Salvation, she knew what they were saying was true.
This plan explains how we lived in heaven with our Heavenly Father before we were born. It explains that our spirits came to earth to receive a body and to be tested with lots of experiences, some easy and some very, very hard. It also explains that one day we would die, and that our spirits would return to heaven. Now because Heavenly Father loves us so much, He sent His son Jesus, to live and atone for our sins. To die, and then be resurrected, so that we could live with Him and our families again. Our family is happy to know that because of this plan, we will see our Grammy again.
When we came to Grammy's house this time, it was understandably different. It still doesn't seem quite real. I told Gene, it feels like she's just on one of her extended trips to the store. Maybe she just needs a break, a bit of peace, from all the chaos...and then she'll be back. But really I know that she's just being a pioneer. She's pioneering the way for her children and grandchildren that she loves so very much. Because that's what a Grammy does.