Just a few months ago, I turned 25, and aside from cheaper car insurance and the ability to rent a car, there was not much to this birthday. I felt it was a milestone though…a quarter century…and I spent a few hours the night before thinking about my life; what I have accomplished, what I still want to do with my life, and the people who have shaped my first 25 years.
When I thought back to the very early years of my life, a lot of what happened has faded away, but memories of summers with my grandma stand out and remain vivid in my mind. Nothing was more exciting to me as a kid growing up in New York than flying down to Florida every summer to spend a few weeks with her.
The memories come in flashes, but those flashes are very detailed. I remember looking off the second floor balcony across the street at the pool; picking snails off of the building after thunderstorms and keeping them in Tupperware; riding the trolleys around Century Village; sitting on the patio in the yellow and white rocking patio chair, trying to see around the big tree that always blocked my view of the house on the other side of the fence; playing gin rummy on the dining room table; eating grilled cheese sandwiches with a glass of ginger ale; laying on the shag carpet watching Sesame Street; eating grandma’s tic-tac’s that she always left on the table near the window; staring at all of the colorful paintings on her walls for hours; pictures of my mother and uncle as children, Mitch and Beth during their 80s phase, friends and family, and my yearly elementary school and summer camp portraits.
Grandma told me as I was growing up that I reminded her of Grandpa Phil in many ways…how I look, the things I am interested in, my potential to succeed and her seemingly prophetic knowledge that I had a great life ahead of me. While I was always honored to be compared to my grandfather, who was an amazing person, I was and am still even more honored to be recognized in that manner by the woman who married him. She obviously had great taste in men when she chose him, so I have a great reputation to live up to.
My point though is that Hannah Osroff always saw the best in people, and at the same time, loved everyone with a great passion, even when they showed their not-so-glorious side at times. She had a strong faith in God, and with that, never passed judgment, always put her family first, and never let divisions break apart the family she was so proud of. We honor her today by coming together to celebrate her life, and by committing ourselves to keeping a strong family bond, for I know that if she hoped I would gain any knowledge from my years with her, it would be to remember the importance of family.
All of my memories and thoughts culminate into the person that is Hannah Osroff - loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. Her life was about love, family, and making sure everyone she touched felt as much love and happiness as humanly possible. She made me a very happy grandson, and even on a day like today, with tons of emotions running through my mind, heart and soul, I find room for happiness, because we are here to celebrate an incredible life led by an amazing person.
Thank you for everyone's support. It hasn't been an easy few days and everyone being there for me really helped me get through this. Ashley, Krystal, Andres, Bobbi, Laura, Angel, Chris, Caleb, Stephanie, Christine, Jeff, Kari, Mike, Goldi, Daniel, Meagan, Heather, Max and Kirsty, as well as everyone else who left me voicemails and IMs with your best wishes and condolences...thank you so much. Your friendship, care and concern will not be forgotten.