IN MEMORY OF
Nina passed away on August 2nd and we had the visitation for her on Friday August 5th and the memorial service for her on Wednesday, August 10th. Some of you attended the visitation, some attended the memorial service, some signed the guest book at the funeral home, some signed the guest book on-line, many sent cards, some sent emails, some telephoned, and some sent flowers, I know it wasnít possible for many to attend because of various issues, - travel distance, health, conflict of schedule, weather, etc. . Regardless of how I heard from you or saw you I want all to know how very much every expression of care and condolence is appreciated. There arenít adequate words to tell you how much that meant to me and how grateful I was to have your support at a very difficult time.
One thing I wanted to do at the memorial service was to honor Ninaís life and her memory by giving a eulogy which would let everyone know a little bit more about what a wonderful person she was. I knew if I tried to be the speaker, I would just turn into a big puddle of mush at the lectern and not be able to do her the honor she deserved. So I wrote the eulogy and my dear friend, Col. Pat Downing, did a beautiful job reading it for me.
I have attached a copy of it to this e-mail (see below). For those at the memorial service I thought you might like to have a copy. For those who couldnít be there, I hope you might enjoy reading it and knowing a little more about her.
There is also a family slide show with many pictures of Nina over the years on the website at www.pinecrestfuneralhome.com if you might be interested in seeing it. If her name isnít on the front page, click on the ďsee moreĒ entry, then type Nina Eubanks in the name box and click on ďsearchĒ, click on her name on the search results, then turn on your sound and click on the ďplay videoĒ button. The funeral home had it on a TV at the visitation and then placed it on their website.
With fondest regards and much gratitude,
NINA VIRGINIA SIZEMORE EUBANKS
August 10, 2016
Hi. Iím Pat Downing, a military comrade and good friend of Jim Eubanks and Nina.
Ninaís husband Jim wanted to give this eulogy, but he knew that in his grief he might have trouble doing it properly, so he asked me, as his friend, to read it for him. So please listen to this as if it were Jim speaking.
Nina and I were married for more than 45 years and I knew her better than anyone, even her parents or children, so I wanted tell you a few things about her that maybe some didnít know.
I think maybe everyone knew that her appearance was beautiful, but it was her soul, her heart, and her spirit that was even more beautiful. I was fortunate enough to see all of that.
Although she didnít have the opportunity to obtain a college education, she was as brilliant as anyone I ever met. She, like me, was a child of the great depression when dollars were scarce and she developed a remarkable knack for dealing with numbers. She could add numbers in her head and could tell you the bottom line cost of most anything quicker than you could do it on a calculator.
She was thoughtful and insightful and she could see the future implications of a currently taken action. Some people even thought she might have some sort of special paranormal gift. I remember one evening when I was stationed at the Pentagon in Washington, we had a cocktail party at our house, which was a split level, and one of our guests was an acquaintance of mine who was a brigadier general. I was talking with other guests, not paying much attention and when I looked around I saw Nina sitting on the steps leading up to the living room with the general sitting beside her. He had asked her to look in his hand and tell him what she saw. I couldnít hear what she was saying, but I could tell by the look on the generalís face that he was incredulous that she was telling him things about himself that she had no way of previously knowing. She had done this sort of thing on several occasions before and she always held whatever she talked about with someone in the strictest confidence, never revealing it to anyone, not even me.
I think one of her most strongest traits was, she was a fiercely protective mother. She might criticize or discipline her children, but nobody else better. If you wanted to get on her bad side in a heartbeat, just say something bad about one of her kids. She had three children by her first marriage and I had two. When we were married she took my two children under that same umbrella. I can think of two interesting incidents that sort of illustrate this trait; one that occurred when we were first married and one that happened later in life after we had retired to Mobile.
When we were living in Washington, my son, Wayne, was still a teenager living with us. Sometimes Wayne would be around some other boys his age and they would get into mischief and Wayne would get blamed even if he hadnít done anything except be in the vicinity. One day I was at work, Wayne was in school and Nina was home alone. A guy knocked at the door and when she opened it he showed her a badge and introduced himself as Detective so-and-so. He said he was looking for Wayne and wanted to talk to him. Nina said Wayne was in school but told the detective to come in and maybe she could answer some questions for him. He came in and she brought him some coffee and they sat down in the living room. She flashed that special smile of hers and turned on that southern charm. After a few cursory questions and after Nina explained what a good boy Wayne was, the detective left and we never heard from him again. I think he went away dazzled and probably forgot why he came in the first place.
In the later incidence, after retirement and we were living in the home we built in Mobile, Nina and I were watching TV and we saw this story about a bunch of teenagers going to their high school prom in a stretch limo and we thought, boy are these kids spoiled today. Nina said she had never ridden in a stretch limo. So the next time we had an anniversary I decided to remedy that. I made reservations for a special dinner at the Pillars Restaurant and Filipe Malone, the owner, gave us a private room with our own waiter and prepared a special meal which I wanted for her. I told her I was taking her out for dinner, but she didnít know that I had ordered a stretch limo to drive us there and back.
The limo arrived right on time and backed into the driveway right in front of the garage door which was down. Cecil, Ninaís son, lived in the house down the hill a short ways from us and saw the limo come in and was curious, so walked up to our driveway to see what was happening.
The limo driver was a big, completely bald headed guy who looked like a football player or a big cop. He towered over Cecil who was a small man. He was a really nice person and was having a pleasant conversation with Cecil. I took Nina out through the garage with her thinking I was going to drive us to dinner. When we got in the garage, I raised the garage door to surprise her with the limo. I donít think she even saw the limo. Her claws came out and her first words were, "Whoís that baldheaded guy talking to Cecil." She was ready to go to war if there was any kind of threat to her Cecil. I said, "Honey, calm down, thatís our chauffer. I rented a stretch limo to take us to dinner." She said "Oh". I have pictures of us laughing so hard as we got into the limo.
Another trait of hers was her artistic talent. I saw so many of the things she did that were so good they could have been done by professionally trained people, yet she was self taught. She could have been an a fashion designer, interior decorator, or, most surprising to me, a poetess. When she was young she was so poor she couldnít buy special dresses for her girls, so she hand-made them herself and they were beautiful. She hand-made Raggedy Ann dolls and gave them as gifts to many in the family.
She could take a plain room and decorate it economically so it looked like it was professionally done. She did all the decoration of the houses we lived in after we were married, and they were beautiful. When I was assigned to Fort Monroe, Va. we moved into government quarters in a house that had been built in the 1800ís. The ceilings in the living room were 14 feet high and the windows went almost from the ceiling to the floor. We couldnít find any curtains in any of the stores that were long enough to fit the windows. So she went to a fabric store, bought yards of bulk cloth, sewed curtains the right length and hung them herself. I came home one day and found her standing on the most awful looking Rube Goldberg stack of tables, chairs, and boxes to hang those curtains. It scared me to death that she might fall and break her neck. I told her "Get down from there. Iíll get a ladder and get them up." But it was too late, she had already gotten it done.
Her poetic ability was the most surprising to me. One day I saw her writing and I asked if I could read it and she gave it me. It was a beautiful poem, simple, yet poignant, with an ending that sort of caught you by surprise. After that, every time she wrote a poem, I would pick up the scraps of paper she was writing on and save them. I have several dozen in an envelop at home. My intention was to publish them in a book with her by-line, but I never seemed to find the time to do it. Now, if the Lord spares me, I will take the time to do it. I put the following one in this eulogy to give you just a small sample of what she did. Remember I told you what a dedicated mother she was. This brief poem sort of illustrates how she felt.
"I look into the treasure box of my life
What is there to see?
Jewels sparkling beyond compare
Diamonds, Rubies, Pearls so rare
Is all this mine? Can this be true?
Of course it is. My jewels are you.
Nina was a wonderful wife to me. Many of the jobs I had, both in the Army and in the private sector, required long hours, a great deal of travel, and absences when she was on her own. She never once in our entire married life complained about it. She was always there, supporting and helping me get ahead. Any success I may have had was due in a great part to her. When she became too ill to do the things she had always done, I had to do the essential things for us both.
She told me "You donít deserve to have to do all this" I told her that she had taken care of me for 40 years and so far I had only had to do this for 5 years. I told her she had 35 more years of chits built up and after that I was quitting. We laughed together.
When she was placed under home hospice care, each night after I had given her her night medicine and put her to bed, before I went to my room next to hers and left her in the care of the night nurse attendant, I would kiss her and tell her "Goodnight my Queen". She would respond "Goodnight my Bonny Prince"
I could go on for hours talking about Nina and her many special qualities as well as talking about our life together and telling unusual stories of our experiences together. But I know I have to stop. I hope from this small sample you can get a flavor of the kind of unusual and very special person she was. I feel so privileged to have had her in my life and to have been the recipient of her love.
Let me close by saying I really truly admired the wonderful woman she was, that I loved her with all my heart and soul, and that I will have a big gaping hole in my heart until, God willing, we may be reunited in the afterlife. Goodbye my Darling Nina, Goodbye my Queen. I will miss you terribly and I will love you forever.
Always your Jim