On November 2, 2018, I delivered 1 of 3 eulogies at Cathy Brady’s funeral. This is that eulogy.
Intergenerational friendships are are few and far between. Not many people get to have one and I am lucky enough to be one of those people. Cathy was 25 years older than me and we were friends. She would make me laugh as few could.
Cathy was an epic storyteller with a brilliant sense of humor. Everyone in the room has been with Cath at some point and heard a story from her that left you wide-eyed and smiling. “God, strike me if this isn’t true,” she started when she told me the story of a tower at BP exploding with concrete raining down around her and flames at her back.
Or the time she told me she rolled a 1000 meatballs on the eve of her wedding. I then told her about a vegetarian meatball winning a meatball contest. She responded with, “that’s a sin. They should win if it was a grain-ball contest. But not for meatballs” She wasn’t narrow-minded about much, but on the definition of meatballs, she was a purist.
I think that Cathy was a great storyteller because she experienced the world with such awe and wonder. Some of us can be cynical or pessimistic about the world, but never her. She was a grand lover of life. “Can you believe it? Of all the churches in all of Rome, I listened to opera in St. Catherine of Sienna’s,” she told me. Or, “There I was coming out of the stall and Stevie Nicks was going through her pocketbook at the sink. A complete mess,” she noted. She delighted in being surprised every day.
There are countless fantastic stories and there is no way I can do them justice. And I’m sure we all have them. I’d like you all to take a minute right now to think about one of those Cathy stories that you know. I am going to give you a moment of silence to draw up the memory. Looking for something that will make you laugh and put a smile on your face. [Pause for a few seconds.]
When you leave here today find someone and share that story.
Everyone here knows that Cathy Brady touched our lives. The loss of Cathy leaves an impossible hole for her children, her family, her friends, and her neighbors, to fill. I’d like to close thinking about how this loss affects 3 specific groups that may not be on your mind this morning.
First, I’d like to mention the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Without question, Cathy made them money. She once told me that visiting friends in Fishtown costs a minimum of $35. The PPA will feel this loss. However, I know that Cathy got the last laugh as I am sure that there is a stack of unpaid parking tickets buried in her pocketbook.
Secondly, I’d like to remember the junk dealers at Jerry’s Corner. Cathy would stop by that flea market regularly and buy things for all us. Whether we needed it or not. I didn’t even know a roadside flea market could stay open these days, but with her help, Jerry’s corner weathered the recession. Think of them the next time you need scented candles, an office chair, or a dining set for 12.
Finally, the grocers at the Taluttos Italian Grocery. Cathy only cooked with fresh pasta. I personally think she was keeping the Ridley Park branch afloat. Do yourself a favor and buy some fresh pasta from them sometime soon.
In all seriousness. Cathy Brady was my friend. She was a dear friend and every time I think about not seeing her again it tears my heart out. I will miss her for the rest of my life and I will tell her stories just a long. Thinking about her makes me laugh and smile and I hope you all can share in those memories with me.