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Eleanor (Sally) Grant Grave
October 25, 1946 – May 5, 2020

 

My best friend lost her battle with ovarian cancer. She died peacefully at home with Ted, Peter and India at her side.

I’ve read many obituaries lately. They all seem to follow the same impersonal format. This one will be different.

We met when I was about 10. Our parents were friends. Later Sally was a mother’s helper for my mother, watching my sisters during the summer. She was a caregiver. When we were teenagers, we began dating, on and off during high school, not really serious till senior year. Eventually, she found herself at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons. I was in Lake Placid. I would ride my motorcycle, in the winter, to NYC. We would spend weekends at the Statler Hilton. Those were wonderful weekends. We were in love. She graduated. Eventually I did too. She began her career as an Occupational Therapist. She was a care giver. We had a beautiful outdoor wedding at her parents' house in Rhode Island. We enjoyed being a couple for a while. Long enough that her parents didn’t think we knew how to make them grand kids. We were just practicing. Eventually we had two wonderful children. Two magnificent children. We had so much fun. Someone once said we were the perfect family. Steven and Peter grew into exceptional young men. She continued her career as a therapist. She was a care giver. We lost Steven in 2000 when he was leading a youth travel group in Togo. He was the victim of a combination of anti-malarial drugs, prescribed by a Togo physician, that brought on heart failure. Peter, Sally and I continue to mourn his loss.

But there was joy. Peter and Allie married. They, too, were high school sweethearts. They have two wonderful children Aiden and Ettiene (named in honor of Steven). Watching and playing with them brought much joy to Sally.

She was the epitome of a low maintenance woman. She had a sense of humor and was very tolerant. She tolerated me. She tolerated my ridiculous birthday and Mother’s Day presents (a snow shovel, boat soap, orbital buffer for boat wax, a garbage can with wheels and many more)

Her volunteer activities included the Haystack and Mount Snow Ski Patrol. Initially she pulled injured skiers off the mountain but found a home in the first aid room. She cared for injured skiers for about 20 years. She was good at it. She was a caregiver.

I asked several friends to send me one sentence about Sally. I did not tell them why. Here are their sentences, in no particular order (each sentence is from a different person): Sally has always been my SaSa, taking care of me throughout my life and being an incredible caregiver to us all. Whether lending her green thumb to beautifying Camp Becket, lovingly preparing a meal for countless friends in Vermont or assisting Ted with the latest project on Amici, everything Sally does is for others: for her family, for her friends or during her career for the numerous therapeutic clients she served. She is one of the strongest most selfless people I have ever known. A beautiful, loving, compassionate, kind, strong and loved friend and colleague, but first and foremost, a beloved wife, mother and grandmother…a woman of valor. When I think of goodness, kindness and genuine selfless caring, I think of Sally, always at Ted’s side. The strongest woman that I have ever known. Sally is a personally private and strong woman who shares her smiles, love friendship and gifts with a generosity which comforts all who are blessed by her kindness. Queen Sally, so true, so good, so kind and gentle; yet at every bend including not, a closet Bad Ass. Sally is the warmest, sweetest earth mother I know. {Ted’s note: Are you still reading? Thank you!} I never met a more caring, thoughtful person who is always willing to help others. She has more than earned her wings; may she soar high. Sally is one of the most kind and generous, people I have ever met, serving the needs of others over her own; A more conscientious mother hardly exists. Always in good spirits and always thinking of others…that’s Sally. Sally was a precious little girl who grew up to be a beautiful, caring, strong, dedicated to her family loving woman. Over the 20+ years that I have known Sally she has proved time and again what I learned within the first 20 minutes of meeting her; she has the biggest and most open heart of anyone I’ve met. She is a keen observer of human behavior and is pure magic with children.

Why didn’t anyone mention scraping bottom paint or waxing the boat?

She was my Best Friend, Lover, exceptional Mother and Grand Mother and friend to many. She will be missed.

Please, please no flowers fruit etc. If you like you may send a donation to the Steven Grave Campership Fund, c/o Becket Chimney Corners YMCA, 748 Hamilton Road, Becket, MA 01223

 

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