As many of you who read this blog know, my mom passed away on December 3rd. This is going to be an especially difficult Mother's Day for me. (not to mention The Sister and The Father too.) I miss her so much every day and could never really get across to you in words on this blog, how much we miss her or how much she was loved and loved all of us. I was the one who did her eulogy at her funeral, My Sister, Father and I all wrote it. We were really proud of it and think Mommy would have liked it too. I've posted it below, changing a few minor details to take out specific names and all that. Here's a pretty picture of her too, you can see from her smile, just how sweet she always was. We all miss you Mommy...
When I was growing up, my mom always used to help me with my writing and school reports. She always taught me that I should start off with something that would catch the reader or listener's attention such as a quote so it's only fitting that I begin these words of remembrance with a quote that suits my mother. Albert Einstein once said "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."
Our mom fulfilled many roles for many different people, roles such as nurse, sister, daughter, friend, wife, Mommy, Grammy. In the past few weeks as her loved ones have come together to reflect on her personality and all the joy that she's brought us, one word has consistently been mentioned, selflessnesss.
We've heard stories about her helping her mother around the house and with the family from her younger days through her adulthood. She was a girl scout and a rainbow girl, she sang in the Bucks County Chorus, she even performed in Synchronized swimming at the community pool as a teen. As she grew up, she decided to become a nurse and many years later, settled on a long career with Shriner's Hospital for Children...what could be more selfless than that?
Driving through Morrisville the other day we passed the building that used to be her Elementary School and my dad mentioned that he met my mom there on the swings at the age of 12. They dated in high school, spending a lot of time together at football games, picnics and proms. As high school romances often do theirs had a brief hiatus while my mom pursued her nursing career and my dad spent time in the Navy. Years later, as fate would have it, my parents were reconnected again and continued their romance where they left off, this time as a long distance relationship from Yale, New Haven, CT to Charleston, SC. They dated for a year and then my father proposed and obviously, she accepted. They had some conflicts with both set of parents because of differing religious backgrounds. My mother and father decided to elope. I know that this must have been a difficult decision for my mother, putting aside the feelings of her family so that she could focus on the feelings of the man that she loved.
My parents were blessed with two daughters, my sister and I have always felt like we were the luckiest two daughters on earth. We remember many kind and giving things she did to make our lives special. My sister remembers our mom helping her get ready for her many dance recitals and competitions, sewing elastic on ballet slippers, pulling hair back into tight buns, being there for costume changes. I remember my mom helping me with all my theatre activities, coaching me for auditions, helping me learn lines and creating many, many costumes. Most importantly, it was always great to know that both parents were always there for us, for every recital, concert and performance.
As we became adults and met men that we want to spend the rest of our lives with, we feel blessed that our mom, in fact both of our parents have welcomed my husband and my sister's husband into our family as if they were sons of their own.
My mom waited anxiously for grandchildren, for many years she thought she was going to have to settle for "grandpuppies" and "grandkittens". When human grandchildren were finally born, she really rose to the occasion. A more loving grandmother couldn't be found. My brother in law has remarked how Grammy was always eager to watch our children whenever we asked her to simply because she loved being with them. The grandchildren enjoyed her silly songs, her funny "Grammy games" and her giant Grammy bear hugs and kisses. We enjoyed watching her love our children like no one else could and enjoyed her motherly advice teaching us to be good mothers like she was. My husband says that he never felt comfortable calling my mother by her first name and he kind of felt comfortable calling her "Mommy" but he always felt comfortable calling her Grammy.
I'm sure that everyone here today in one way or another can think of a time when our mom or her influence has touched their lives, it may have been as a colleague, a friend, a neighbor or a relative. For my immediate family, she was one of the most important people we will have ever known. None of us here know why she was taken from us so soon and so quickly but we do know that our lives will have been forever blessed because of her. It doesn't take a genius to see that she lived her life for others and I'm sure that that made her feel that it was a life worthwhile.