This week I was so honored to be asked to speak at Connie’s memorial service. I wanted to share with you all what I said…
“There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”
My dad, mom, and Connie 1993
As the story goes, Kelly was the only one of us kids who actually existed when this “thicker-than-blood” relationship between Shirley and David (my parents) and Connie and Tony (The Prices) began. And she was only 6 months old at the time.
Shirley, Connie, Me, Kelly 1998
The rest of us were born into this Price/Carrigan union.
Kyle, Tony, Jade, My dad, and Jeff around 2001
For me the Prices are synonymous with Easter, Memorial Day and New Years. I can’t imagine campfires with silly songs and s’mores, sailing in a homemade boat (supplied by Tony and my Dad), hotdog dinners outside a pop-up trailer, floating in a lake, or over-indulging on New Years Eve while participating in a WII bowling tournament (WITH a trophy for the annual winner) without the Prices right along side us.
Connie and Tony at my first wedding in June 1993
I can’t fathom, weddings, births, or funerals without the Prices hand in hand with us. In times of great celebration and tremendous loss, the Prices have always been present.
But, more than lake gatherings and New Years Eve celebrations, Connie is synonymous with love.
Connie and Madeline
Through my adult life Connie often stepped in (where my mom was unable to) and filled the role as mother to me and grandmother to my kids. My daughter, Emma, even took her first steps in the Prices living room.
Audrey, Emma, Connie, Madeline, Tony, Jade 2001
Connie and Tony were present for the birth of 3 out of 4 of my children. She taught all four of them how to crochet and play the dulcimer (an instrument, I’m pretty confident she actually invented as it was unknown to anyone else prior to Connie’s discovery).
Audrey, Connie, Me, Emma, Shirley
As I did, my kids have grown up making memories in the Price house and the backyard that childhood dreams are made of. She hunted Easter eggs, innertubed, read to them, watched movies with them and spent countless hours playing with them. MOSTLY she LOVED them.
Audrey and Connie
She loved to tell me a story about my son, Jade, when he was very little. He took her cheeks in his little hands and said “Connie, thank you so much for loving me.”
Connie and Jade 1994
She demonstrated Christ to me over and over again in my life by the way she loved others. She always showed love and respect for Tony. In my 41 years I truly have never heard Connie speak poorly of anyone! I’m sure people hurt her but she NEVER let on that she was angry with anyone.
Well, there was this one time, in the middle of a heated competition of a fore mentioned WII bowling tournaments, in which my nephew was beating her. To our shock she turned to him and said “I’m about to wipe the grin right off your face!” (She was kidding of course!)
Kelly and Kyle just told me the story of Tony’s passing. She was telling Tony “I’m right behind you. I won’t be long.” As Kelly and Kyle were saying, “No, you’re not!”
She loved her brother and sister and sister-in-law with all of herself. She loved and cared for her mom. She adored her children and many times told me that her favorite time in life was being a young mom when Kelly and Kyle were little.
I watched her love on different families that came in and out of their lives and treat them as if they were her own.
She loved my mom as if she were her sister and my dad as if he were her brother.
She loved me as if I were her daughter and my kids as if they were her grandkids. She loved Carrie and Kelly as if they were her own daughter and son.
Me, Connie, Shirley, Kelly 1993
And her cup ran over when she was blessed with Boston and Knight. They were without a doubt, her crowning glory.
When Jesus was about to be crucified He told His friends who were closer than brothers, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat fall to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
I know this was Connie and Tony’s ultimate desire. To produce many seeds. And though, I am so very tired of losing people I love and hold dear, I am SO BLESSED to walk on such fertile ground!
Connie and Me (Not sure the year, but I am sure of the Elvis/lake hair I’ve got going on)
Happy Family Friday! Go kiss the ones you love!