Eulogy for Sarah Chambers Polk


Delivered Tues 29 May 1990 at the St Louis Cathedral Basilica by her grandson Calvin Gatch.

Granny was good at so many things, but there was one thing she wasn’t so good at — anything mechanical. The black Citroen In San Palals was forever breaking down. Once on the way to Angouleme, it simply stopped by the side of the road. Granny’s solution: What a perfect spot to have a picnic, which we did while several good-hearted passersbys fixed the car.

Among the things that Granny was so good at was seeing beauty around her– whether in flowers, music, art or literature. She never ceased to seek out beauty, especially in flowers. Granny planned the trip to Europe to see the heather in Scotland, the tulip fields in Holland, the white chestnut trees along the Paris boulevards, and the red poppies and blue cornflowers along the roadsides of Charente. Tenderly she nurtured Bupa’s rose plantings in his later years.

Oh Granny, our hearts ache. They ache for the golden childhoods you created; for the endless summer nights on sleeping porches when we were lulled to sleep by a symphony of crickets.

They ache for hocus-pocus games played on the front lawn of Taille de Noille under a canopy of fireflies; for cool swims in Cousin Joe’s pool deep in the woods.

They ache for the magic of your voice as you made David Copperfield and the Illiad and the Odyssey come alive.

But we won’t linger long with these yearnings.

There are sweet rocket and violets to plant on the wildflower walk and nasturtiums in the garden. And walnuts and oaks in the vallies. Sophie must Sle her first sunset over the spruce forests of Vinalhaven, Danny will improve his accent this summer. Calvin will test his mettle in New Zealand, and Graham will start to explore the hills of Moone Athy.

Oh Granny, help us to create beauty and uplift spirits as you have ours. When you were too old to plant flowers, you embroidered them on dresses and pinafores for your great grandchildren until you could no longer see the flowers you were embroidering.

Instill in us your indomitable spirit.

You filled our hearts with courage. You brought beauty into our lives at every turn.

Oh Granny. pray that we may pass on some of what we have received from you.