Skip to content

A Life Well Spent.

November 15, 2010


H. Ilona Sweeney


A life well spent

May 11, 1912 to November 9, 2010

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Everything remains as it was.
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no sorrow in your tone.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.


What can I say about my Grandmother, Ilona Sweeney, which would do her life justice??  She led a long life that she lived with an admirable independence.  She lived through the Finnish civil war, two world wars, and the disco age.  She went to art school at a time that women did not further their education.  Her portrait of JFK is in the white house archives!  She met my grandfather, Dennis Sweeney, when she was a waitress in Boston and he was a student at Harvard.  She countered his wit and caught his eye.  He said in a flirtatious manner, “how about another pea there sweetheart”.  She calmly took her ladle and carefully placed on his plate a single pea.  He was hooked!  When she was a young mom she would ride her bicycle around the neighborhood and eat healthy, even to the point to drinking the vegetable juice that was left after she boiled them, at a time she was mocked for it.  Guess she was right about exercise and eating your vegetables!  My sister Katie and I always joked about that Grand mom wanted to be the Herbalist in the woods.  Green before it was P.C., She always did what she knew was right without a care for what the neighbors might think. 

She would mutter and walk away when Eva Marie Saint was on TV taking great delight that she “was aging poorly”  Poor Eva, all she did was go on a few dates with my grand dad before my grandparents even met!  She would say the bluntest things that could make you tear up at times, but at the end of the day you always knew that you were loved. 

Grandma’s independence and blunt tongue was coupled with a love for family and her God. I remember the funny things that she said and did, but I only feel her love for me and my family.  I also knew that her faith was a simple but strong faith in her God.  She knew that if she wasn’t in sync spiritually that she would not be in sync with her family  I ask that if you only remember a little of her, that you remember these two things : her deep  love and her faith.  Thank you for honoring her memory.

Romans 8:31 – 39

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

           “For your sake we face death all day long;
           we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 18, 2010 7:10 am

    I’m so glad I was able to hear you honor your grandmother. You did such a good job! I’m sure she and your family members were blessed by your writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: