On A Hill Next To A Tree
Grandma Sally was laid to rest on Wednesday. The title refers to her gravesite, so always wanted to be buried on a hill next to a tree. She’s resting there now next to her George.
Here is the Star Tribune article on her. “Sally Herbst Looked Out For a Neighborhood”
The following is my eulogy as prepared.
I’m Andy Aplikowski. Youngest son of Sally’s daughter Beverly
Sally Meyer Herbst was born in 1914 to Peter & Elizabeth Meyer in Pierz MN.
But it almost didn’t happen. Call it fate, luck, or divine intervention…
But in 1900 Sally’s mom Elizabeth lost 4 sisters in a late night house fire.
Had Sally’s mom been at home that night, none of us would be here right now.
Sally went on to have 4 sons and daughters,
18 great grandchildren,
25 foster children,
And somehow found time to host 3 foreign exchange students.
For most people that would be a full plate…
But that was just an appetizer for Sally.
Some of my first memories of Sally were when she wasn’t organizing reunions
She ran Colonial Cafe on Dale & Thomas.
It was a humble coffee shop,
But it was run with the spirit of the nurturing mother that was Sally.
Out at the tables people were chatting,
As the door opened it wasn’t often that Sally didn’t know the person by name.
It was the neighborhood hang out and meeting spot.
People were just grabbing coffee or having a burger,
It was rare that someone from the block wasn’t there.
And true to form, if someone was hungry and couldn’t afford to feed their family,
Sally shared with them and filled their plate because they needed help.
As most of us know, the last couple years were not fair to Sally.
But considering this all started
When she was driving herself to work at the Thomas Dale Block Club,
From the home she lived in All alone at the age of 88,
Its hard to say that her life was cut short.
But the thing that bothered her the most after the accident,
Was having to just lay there,
Not being able to do something,
Not being able to help anyone.
Well here we are,
All of us touched by Sally in some way.
Whether she was our mom, our grandma, our aunt, our foster mom, our neighbor, our friend,
Or just that person she gave a ride to the airport once,
And with out even blinking an eye,
Sally is why we are all here.
Sally always had a full plate,
But she was a unique individual who seemed to thrive on the stress and added pressure that most would crumble from.
That’s one of the blessings and possibly even a curse that Sally passed on to her family.
But Sally’s friendly spirit and selfless personality allowed her to be the social glue of her family and the community that kept both together.
We all were touched by Sally or know people who were.
We received her help or watched her help others.
We learned by example or from experience what made Sally so great.
And many of us have already taken up her cause and our plates are full.
A friend of mine who didn’t even know Sally asked what they could do this week.
I responded that Sally was always willing to go out of her way, to help friend or stranger,
So pay it forward.
That’s all Sally ever wanted to do. Is to help people.
Let me end with a question
What would Sally do?
As in right now, if she were here and could say something to us all before we said good bye to her.
What the heck are you all doing just sitting here
Making a fuss over me?
Get back to work. And go find someone to help.
She always hated being a bother.
Grandma Sally, You were never a bother. We love you. We will miss you
But we will never forget you.
Thank you too all who came and sent well wishes.