Gracie Perryman, a 20-year-old college student just a month shy of her 21st birthday, had an unexpected surprise when she attended her grandmother's funeral on Oct. 18 in Breckenridge, Texas.
Jodie Perryman, who died of cancer at age 81, prepared for the occasion by making handmade Ouija boards for guests. The unexpected keepsake also included a photo of Perryman sticking her tongue out and putting her middle fingers up in the air, along with a little note that read, "Let's keep in touch!"
"It was hysterical," Gracie Perryman, who lives in Austin, which is about a 3 1/2 hour drive south of Breckenridge, said. "And everybody was like, of course, that's so Jodie of her."
Perryman described her grandmother, who used to work in retail, as a "firecracker" who could "outwit anybody."
"She was hilarious. She had a great sense of humor and a huge heart," Perryman said. "She loved her family. And she just took care of people around her. She was a great woman."
Perryman said that her grandmother started to notice that her health was declining "pretty quickly" over the summer.
Ultimately, she was faced with two choices: get surgery, even though her body might not be able to handle the operation, or let her cancer take its course. She chose the latter.
But before Jodie Perryman died on Oct. 12, she reached out to her network on Facebook in August and promised that "everyone will be gifted their very own ouija board" at her funeral "with a little note from me that says: 'Let's keep in touch!"
Despite this declaration, Gracie Perryman was surprised when it happened.
"'What on Earth is this?'" she recalls thinking when she opened up the gift at the funeral. And then, a few seconds later, she said that laughter erupted in the room of about 30 to 40 people because everyone was opening up their gifts, too.
"Everyone was dying, laughing. It was hilarious," she said, "because that was so her."
Perryman said that she and her roommates tried to use the Ouija board later on, but they soon realized it didn't work.
"It's just paper," she said while laughing. "We tried but to no avail."