Thanks to all of you who commented and sent love and light to me during this time. It’s been MOST appreciated. I’m posting the eulogy I will give for my mom today. And we’ll be back to regular Snarkfest tomorrow.
It’s been said that prayer is when you talk to God and meditation is when you listen to his response. And so my prayer this past summer was to ask how I could best take care of my mom and the answer came “Let her know that she mattered.” That was it. So simple yet so very complex. I’d like to think that my mom knew she mattered to me but my actions over the years didn’t always make that clear. But I kept that intention “You Matter to Me” foremost in my mind whenever I called or visited or did anything for her over these last four months. Because I wanted her to know, fully and deeply, that she mattered very, very much to me.
My mom has not led an easy life. In fact, she’d tell you that she got the “crappy” end of the stick on just about everything. Her choices often seemed to be made for her rather than by her. But when I think back on how I knew my mom, the word I’d use is strength. She cared for a very sick husband, raised me, and worked full time. She did what she had to do because that was who she was. For that alone, I honor her.
What remains, however, is not her strength of character or her fierce independence or even her overwhelming dislike for Bill Clinton. What remains is her enormous love for her family. If she loved you, oh, she REALLY loved you with all her heart. In her last moments, she asked me to let each and every one of you know how very much she loved and appreciated all you did for her. A phone call, a card, a visit meant the world to her. Like her father before her, she truly loved her family, all of you out there today. I thank you for bringing her joy and love each time you talked with her.
She’d want me to mention especially her best friend and sister, Connie. Truly her soulmate, Connie was her sounding board, voice of reason and her safest place in the world. I think she was most her real self in this relationship. She asked me to tell you, Connie, that she is always just a phone call away. The coffee is brewing and this time there’s no long distance charge.
She’d also want me to mention my husband. If ever there were a perfect son-in-law for her, it was Bill. Not just a son-in-law, he was also her friend. She often listened to him when no one else could get through to her. Bill took such loving and gentle care of her, right until the very end. He was truly a blessing to her in many, many ways.
My mom was my first teacher and one of the best when it came to teaching me life lessons. She wanted to give me the things that her mother didn’t give her. And so she gave me absolute unconditional love (even when I didn’t deserve it), support for whatever I wanted to do or be and the courage to trust my instincts. These wonderful gifts have helped shape me into who I am today.
As I was writing this, I began to wonder about the legacy she left behind. And it came to me that I am that legacy. I represent the essence of my mom and dad’s greatest gifts – mom’s enormously loving heart and dad’s compassionate nature and wish to be of service to others. I hope I can make them both proud of me.
Although I will miss her very much, I know that she is free from pain and sadness and has left this physical body behind to do greater things in spirit.
An enlightened one said: “Death is not extinguishing the light. It is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”
Peace be with you, Mom. You will be missed.