For some people, the fear of public speaking is nearly the same as the fear of death itself!
Being asked to delivery a eulogy can be an immense honor. It can also be terrifying. It doesn't have to be. If you are chosen to deliver a eulogy, make it a memorable one. Make it something your loved one would have delighted in and a memory that you can cherish for the rest of your life.
Kristina had the distinct honor of delivering the eulogy for her best friend of 31 years who passed away unexpectedly after a brief illness at the age of 48. The following eulogy was delivered to a standing room only crowd, eliciting laughter as Kristina began by donning a pink Yankee's baseball cap:
My name is Kristina Berano and Lisa Winters was my best friend and before I start, I would like to remind everyone here that there's no crying in baseball....
On September 10th, 1987 I was a scared and shy college freshman looking for the cafeteria in my new dorm when I opened the door to a stairwell and found Lisa Winters surrounded by a gaggle of girls she had collected along the way. She immediately took me into her fold and the rest is history.
That's how it was with Lisa. She took everyone into her fold, prince or pauper, and made them feel like they'd known her forever; like they belonged to her family of merry misfits. Whether it was a star of the silver screen or a homeless person, she charmed them all. And any encounter with her, would leave a stranger wondering what she knew that they did not; wanting more of her light and laughter for their own.
Our memories of the past almost 31 years are those that sisters share. Joy, laughter, grief and adventure. Trips to Boston where the tour guide had to politely ask us to get on another trolley because we were conducting a more lively tour than he was. Dave Matthews concerts where we sang along at the top of our lungs. Catching up on movie date nights at the Gilson. And car rides where we would recite entire episodes of Seinfeld by heart.
Or New York; where the destination was always the stadium. It didn't matter if we were in VIP box seats sipping champagne and eating honey off the comb or amongst the commoners down below getting a beer and popcorn from the brusque vendor, that's where Lisa was home. Yankee Stadium was where she was happiest. She knew every player, on either team, and would've made a better coach than Joe Girardi himself. She knew more about baseball than any girl I ever met. Her heart beat for that red and white stitched ball, counting the days from the end of the World Series to the first day pitchers and catchers reported for the following season.
I was lucky enough to be with her at the Stadium when they retired Jorge Posada’s number. We were lucky to be together, at a bar having one of our outings we called 'BHD's', celebrating her birthday while we watched Derek Jeter's final game at Yankee Stadium when he drove a walk-off single to win the game. I was the lucky one who got to be with her at her happiest.
I was the lucky one to share so much of Life with her. I was lucky enough to spend her last days with her. I was lucky enough to say all of the things I ever wanted to say to her. But most of all, I was lucky enough to have that kind of friend. The rare kind. The kind that you can commiserate with and they get you. The kind that kicks you in the pants when you need it. The kind of friend you can have an entire conversation with just by looking at each other, without a single word ever being spoken. The kind of friend that there are so many private jokes between the two of you that strangers think you're looney when you're in public together.
To quote Dave Matthews, “I was so damn lucky.”
I don't know how to say goodbye to my 'sister from another mister', my college roommate, my fellow Golden Girl, the Thelma to my Louise. So I will say Thank You for a life time of friendship and farewell for now, the only way that would truly honor Lisa, with a tip of my cap.
In loving memory of Lisa Beth Winters
September 26, 1969 - July 5, 2018
The Ancestral Midwife, llc