Uncle Pat's Eulogy
Graeme Joseph Preston
Graeme Preston, Graeme, Graeme Cracker, Gramma, Gram-ma-ma, Grambo, G-Man, G-Money, Grambone, Shaggy, Jako, Bud, Bro, Duuude, Cuz, Scouser, Spencer (yes, his parents almost named him Spencer!?) and a few other names from Paige that are not appropriate here in church. It doesn’t matter which name you know him by, Graeme is still the same person to all of us. The best, the best that he could be. The best son, the best brother, the best grandson, the best nephew, the best cousin, the best friend, the best teammate. A beautiful soul. He showed us how to live and how to love and we’re drawn to him. We wanted to be near him and around him so we could feed off of his love and positivity.
When Scott told me that he and Annie wanted me to speak about Graeme today, I was absolutely honored. Over the last few days, I’ve been told, “what a tough job I have, how hard it was going to be, how are you going to do it?” But I don’t feel that way. That’s not how I feel because I have gained a certain peace and strength that I have never had before. I feel like I could do almost anything now and I know that comes from Graeme. I’m grateful for that gift and I feel like I have a purpose and I intend to honor that.
I’m Graeme’s Uncle Pat and I’m also his next-door neighbor, so I am doubly blessed. I’ve been there since his birth and have shared so many wonderful moments with him. One of my favorite things to do was to go out in the backyard and just knock the ball around with him, to take each other on 1 vs 1, to challenge each other. I think I may have been the first person he ever nutmegged and he would say, “Uncle Pat, I schooled you!” We all have great stories of Graeme: snowboarding off Mr. Fitz’s shed; hangin’ with his boys Kyle, Evan, Fitz, Robbie, Will, Jake, and the rest of his Bros (too many to mention here); "I didn’t know your door had a creak" and the rest of the numerous fart stories; applying for a job at McDonald’s so he could save money for snowboarding and getting upset when they wouldn’t hire him because he was only twelve; his old-school taste in music; Yogi nipping at his feet; making out and spooning with girls (I won’t mention names but you know who you are); the acts of kindness; and the warm stories that Kevin’s family were gracious enough to share with us over the last few days.
But there is one story that I think really tells us all we need to know about Graeme. It tells you what type of person Graeme is. This past summer he was at the boardwalk with his aunts and uncles and his cousins and they went to the arcade. They played all of the different games and collected their tokens and at the end they all turned them in for whatever prizes they could get. And the rest of his cousins, God Bless them, turned them in for as much candy, Starbursts, Skittles, etc., as they could get. When one of Graeme’s aunts asked him “ Graeme, what did you get with your tokens?” he said “Well, I got this keychain thing for Jessie because I know she’s really gonna love this, and I got this for Paige because I know she likes these, and I had some points left over so I got something for my Mom and Dad.” That is the just the kind of kid Graeme is, this wasn’t just a one time thing for him; this is how he lived all of the time. I have been blessed with three beautiful daughters and I have lots of nieces and nephews and I love them all, but I have always said that if I ever had a son, I would want him to be just like Graeme!
Despite what you may think, with Graeme it wasn’t all about the hair, it was all about the love! His generosity, kindness and love is so natural and free flowing and he shares it so willingly that we are all drawn to him. He is an old soul chosen by his Grammy Irene. Graeme’s passing hasn’t broken our hearts, it has mended them and made us all stronger. It has united us and brought us all together and shown us how to love. The outpouring of love and support that we are witnessing is beautiful and we are thankful for it. It’s amazing how many lives have been touched. People have been asking, “is there anything we need” and “what can I do?” Well, I’ll tell you what you can do; do what Graeme would do! Do something good for someone, do something positive, spread his love. Graeme’s Grace carries on. If you carry on Graeme’s Grace, You Will Never Walk Alone! I just want to say “Thanks Graeme, thanks for schooling me! Thanks for schooling all of us, Bro!”
March 6, 2008