From the Children

Good afternoon friends and family. As Alma Greenland’s eldest child and only son, I would like to make a few remarks on behalf of my sisters and myself. It is my sincere hope that we will take this time to think fondly of my mother and celebrate the full, active and vibrant life she lead, guided by the Lord and ordered by service to others. She was a beautiful, charming Christian woman to the core; funny, loyal and hard working. She loved to bowl, dance and occasionally played a good hand of bid whist. While her favorite show may have been Family Feud, she provided unconditional love and comfort way beyond the call of duty to her children. Her loss has created a void that cannot be filled but she has given us the tools to move forward with our lives.

It would be impossible to put into words all that she meant to us Greenland children but I have chosen a few words from Proverbs 31 that I think capture her essence:

PROVERBS 31

 10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

12 She brings good, not harm, all the days of her life.

17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;

29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but this woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

We are here to praise Alma Johnson Greenland, a woman worthy of the most complimentary words I have in my vocabulary. She was steadfast in spirit and kind hearted. Faithful to the Lord and her family, considerate of others without reservation. A friend to thousands, mentor to many others, her spirit was a blessing to those fortunate enough to have come into her life. You were a better person for having known her. She worked tirelessly to make a better life for us, shielded us from life’s inevitable bruises, taught us right from wrong and lent a firm hand every single time any of us fell down. Not getting back up was never an option in our family; we saw Alma rebound a thousand times and triumph when lesser mortals would have crumbled, been consumed with self pity or blamed others. The guiltiest of her pleasures was probably reality tv; she avoided scandal and discord in her personal life. She had no time for that because she was too busy loving others.

My sadness is tempered because I know she lead a full life. She was resilient and focused. I am not sure we will ever meet a woman who keeps a cleaner house or is more on top of her affairs.

She may have occasionally fussed with us but no one was quicker to provide well timed hugs, kisses, rides, loans, lectures, advice, medical tips and life lessons. I hesitate to go on too much because many children think their parent was the best but In this case, she absolutely was the bomb! We could not have chosen a better woman to have brought us up to face life’s challenges.

We will forever be in her debt.

This past week has been a test for my family but we have been bolstered by the outpouring of love for our mother and the nonstop testimonies we have received from those who loved her. The lives she touched were surely more rich because of her influence. It is during these times that people show their true colors, and we are most appreciative of those who kept Alma foremost in their thoughts and offered to comfort her children as best they could. We were warned that some folks lacking the best of intentions would appear, seeking merely to profit from our loss or traffic in drama, taking focus away from the wonderful legacy of our mother. With Alma as our template, we have managed to stay strong and clear every hurdle placed before us. We are humbled by this experience and thank you all for your contributions small and large. Some of you have travelled great distance or gone to extreme measures to be here with us today and we acknowledge and appreciate you. We know there are some who are not here who are heartbroken that they can not personally pay their last respects. This has not been easy for any of us but God will see us through.

We owe a special debt of gratitude to the following folks who have shepherded us through these past few days of trials and tribulations:

  • Petra Clemons
  • Erica Ryder
  • Joe Milford
  • Joe Moye, Universal Printing
  • Milton Evans
  • Her Beloved Hillside High School Class of 55
  • Susan Jaffe
  • Jeff Spikes
  • Everyone at Holloway Memorial Funeral Home
  • Michele Sensale

We know our mother is watching over us now so we will be alright. This is not a goodbye because we will be reunited when the time is right. God bless Alma Johnson Greenland. She shall remain our rock, our mentor, our friend and our mother and we will always love her.

Respectfully, Mark A. Greenland

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