Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Mother's Eulogy

Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away"- anonymous

As anyone who knows me, words have always come easy to me, no matter whether the topic was a silly little story of high school hi-jinx written for the Internet, or a goodbye poem for my dear, sweet cousin Bobby when I was so much younger than today. And yet today, I find myself at a loss for words - which for anyone who knows mysuestories, that never happens.
These, the most important words I may ever write, do not come easily. So I will write what I know, what I can hold not just today on paper, but in my heart forever.

My mother was also a woman of many words. I have her to thank for my love of words, although hers may have been a bit different than mine.
For my Mary, those words were of sharing a love for cooking, crafts, and a love for all things that a mother could only share with her first born daughter. For this sister, today is a great loss of a best friend as well as her mother.
For Donna, many of our mother's words sounded like "You're grounded", as both she AND our mother tested the strengths of family ties as they tread through the teen years. Between this sister and Cousin Karen, it's a wonder she didn't skin them alive some summers. And yet, as both she and our mother learned, these tests only strengthened their love for one another.
For me, I have my love of words, of always thinking I know EVERYTHING about anything, and that as the baby of our family, I could do no wrong.
For MY Dad, there were words of love, and the endurance of a marriage that spanned fifty four years together, and I myself never heard an angry word between them. His loss, today, to me is the only thing that hurts more than my own pain as I write this. Theirs is a love I could only hope to achieve (though it's not for lack of trying-- AND I HAVE BEEN TRYING!)

There are memories of smoke filled Bingo rooms, where we would run around like Indians until threatened to be tied to a chair. Memories of how our mother would buy us our own cards, but you couldn't yell BINGO if you won and were under 18 yrs old.
There were bowling league nights with Aunt Ellen and Uncle Eddie, and more importantly, pizza and chips for dinner as we watched them play as we did our homework on hard plastic chairs.
We spent entire summers on the docks in Baldwin, crabbing and snapper fishing. Mary, getting bit on the toe by a huge crab, and my mother helping her to catch that very crab, where they then followed it to Mary's plate to the dinner table that night!

As kids, we never had to look for where our Christmas presents were hidden. We only had to find her list of all the toys she bought for us. It was ALWAYS in the BINGO bag. Where else?

The New Year's Eve parties every year! Daddy would get a stomach ache for three days before. And Mommy and Aunt Evy ringing in the New year clear through to breakfast, which my Dad ALWAYS lovingly cooked and served them! And I can't imagine she was hungry after all night with Aunt Evy, but she ALWAYS ate that breakfast!

It is fitting that we are gathered here in our family's church today, the church that has become a symbol of our family's life, our baptisms, communions, and confirmations, as well as those of my mother's grandchildren. This place, the start of our family life to this, the passage of our mother into the Kingdom of God.

Like the ripples in a pond, the work of one woman can spread out and touch the lives of many others.---Anonymous

Our mother.
She IS that pond. And we, her family, her husband, her three daughters, her six grandchildren....We are the luckiest ripples that ever were.

I LOVE YOU, MOM. You take my breath away.

'Nuff said. Tomorrow we will return to our regularly scheduled mysuestories.
Oh, and that contest? Winner to be chosen April 8th.
As always, constant reader, thanks for stopping by.

1 comment:

Christine said...

Beautiful words my friend. My heart aches for you, I'm so sorry.