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A Letter to Gabby About GiGi McIlroy

Gabrielle, your Gigi was very sick, so Mommy took a week off of work and Daddy drove two hours each way to work every day so that we could be there to visit her at the hospital every day.  You looked at Gigi through the window and Daddy visited her every day and talked to her even though she was sleeping. Sadly, on Wednesday after everyone prayed with Gigi she left this world.  The good news is she is now in heaven with your great grandpa.  Although you will no longer grow up with your Gigi around, Daddy and I wanted to make sure you know how much she loves you.  So here is a little of your Gigi's spectacular life story.

Mary Nell and Ross McIlroy
Your Gigi was named Mary Nell and your great grandpa's name was Ross.  They were married December 27, 1944. They loved each other very much and had two children, your Grandpa, and Great Uncle Kenneth.  Your Gigi raised Grandpa and Great Uncle Kenneth in Austin in the house, they saved up for and paid cash for, that they built. Gigi lived there from the time they built it, until the last two years when she moved to Dallas to live near Grandpa and Great Uncle Kenneth, but she kept her house in Austin.


A funny story about Gigi's wedding date. Mommy and Daddy made her a family tree, but we didn't know the date, only the year of her wedding.  When we talked to Gigi about the date, she said she didn't remember.  We all laughed.  In that moment Daddy and I learned a small lesson about life from your Gigi, we should not always sweat the little things, and instead appreciate the wonderful life we have been given.



Your Gigi was a Sunday School teacher for three year olds.  She started to teach three-year-olds when one of her children were three, but loved the age group so much she continued teaching that age for many more years.  She was devoted and always very involved in her adult Bible study group and was even the treasurer until she moved to Dallas.
Gigi is on the left and Great Great Aunt Susie on the right

Can't you see how much she loves you both?!

When your Daddy was growing up they would go to visit Gigi all of the time and they found fun things to do. They would go see the thousands of bats fly from under a bridge, they would go on hikes up what seemed like thousands of steps to a big tree.  Daddy, his brother, and sister could find anything fun at her house, even playing in a ditch down the road!  Gigi would take them to the comic book store which Daddy loved!

Gigi and Great Grandpa Ross
While Daddy was growing up his Grandpa (Ross) was sick.  Gigi took very loving care of him for over ten years.  Even when Grandpa would get grumpy Gigi would just smile and continue taking sweet and loving care of him.  Great Grandpa Ross was a wonderful man, but Mommy never got to meet him.

Gigi and her sister, Susie, at Aunt Sharon's wedding

 I would like to believe the Thanksgiving must have been one of Gigi's favorite times of year, because every year the entire family would go to her house to celebrate.  Gigi would cook for days to make sure that everyone's favorite foods and desserts were accounted for during their Thanksgiving feast. Between lunch and dinner, and then again after a dinner of delicious Thanksgiving leftovers, everyone would gather around and play games.  Your Daddy's favorite game was Monopoly.  They would play for hours!  Daddy said it was always a ton of fun and they loved going each year.


Emma, Aunt Sharon, Gigi, Daddy, Mommy, Grandma, Grandpa July 30, 2005 at our wedding

For Gigi's 90th birthday, when you were one year old, she rented a large house in Austin to celebrate.  Almost all of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren attended the weekend celebration. Gigi played in all of the tournaments we had (things like pool). Gigi enjoyed all of the wonderful attractions the vactation home offered with her family.  She swam with the grand kids and great grand kids (meaning you Emma, and Brody) and she also went outside and fed the wild deer Cheerios.  They came so close you could touch them!  We had a big celebration with tons of beautiful sweets and foods and we all visited and laughed the entire time.  It was a wonderful way to celebrate your Gigi and for us all to come together and enjoy time together as a family.  It's a time Daddy and I will always cherish.





The last time we got to visit Gigi was about two months before she got sick.  We were on vacation and we went to her apartment and visited for a short while just talking and catching up.  She just wanted to spend time with you and enjoyed watching you be your silly self and showing off with all of the things you knew.  Her eyes twinkled and she laughed and smiled throughout our entire visit all because of how much she loved you and loved getting to spend time with you.

You giving Gigi kisses

The greatest joys in Gigi's life were spending time with her family, she loved you very very much.  She also loved to play bridge, play the organ, reading the newspaper, and traveling. Once, Daddy and I went to visit Gigi, but she was inside playing her organ, beautifully, but very loud and she couldn't hear the door (because of the organ and her hearing impairment).  Daddy and I giggled and enjoyed listening, while we tried to figure a way to get her attention. Finally, she heard the phone ring and came to answer the door to greet us. She always made Michael's favorites when we went to spend the night; she would make her famous barbecue sandwiches for dinner and pinwheels for breakfast. She was a wonderful cook and wonderful company.

Gigi with all of us in Venice




Gigi was always up for an adventure! She went with your Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Sharon, Daddy and me to visit your Uncle Mark, Aunt Danielle and your cousins in Italy.  She was kind enough to pay for all of us to do one of our favorite things in Europe, she took us to see the "Last Supper."  The sight of the mosaic was truly breath taking, I hope we one day are blessed enough to take you to see it in her memory (don't worry I am pretty sure we will when you are teenager).  She also went on frequent road trips across country with her sister until the end.  She took a cruise to Alaska with one of her friends, Marie, and she went to Aspen with Uncle Kenneth and his entire family.  When she was very young there are pictures of her flying on small airplanes.  I don't think there is any doubt that she had a spectacular life full of adventures and the greatest kindness in her heart a person could ask to know.  Your Daddy and I strive to have her love and devotion to our family and God and hope to pass these attributes to you.


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