A Tribute to My Mom
On Thursday, July 27 at 9am, I sat in front of the computer, responding to emails, and settling in for a typical day of work. When I saw my brother Steven's phone number flash on my cell phone call ID, I just knew it had to be bad.
My mom had not been doing well at all. The past several weeks had brought on a renewed set of symptoms that wrecked havoc on her body and soul with unrelenting fury. I expected Steven to tell me that she had been taken to the ER....I didn't expect him to say the words that still haunt me.
"Mommy passed away."
Below is the eulogy I wrote and shared during her funeral.
How do you describe the very essence of a person - their hopes, their dreams, their loves - in less than 2 minutes.
The answer is. You don’t.
But it’s ok, because you really don’t have too.
All you need to do is to look out into the sea of faces who came here today on a sunny, summer Sunday to pay their respects.
To honor a memory.
To say goodbye.
Friendships than span over half a century.
Cousins who share childhood memories.
Children. Grandchildren. A great-grandchild. A husband.
All bound together by the bonds of love….for my mom.
My earliest memory is of my mom playing peek-a-boo with me, a happy toddler who took delight in hiding behind the kitchen curtains.
My last memory is of talking to her about the subscription to "Highlights Magazine" that she bought for my grandson's second birthday.
But how do I recount the thousands of memories in between?
Quite simply, I can’t.
The memories will come slowly, unexpectedly.
When I hear Stevie Nicks singing "Landslide" – one of her favorite songs.
When I watch the "Academy Awards" – which, for my mom – was an event equal in importance as the Super Bowl was to my dad.
When I tune in to Season 2 of “This is Us” and learn the fate of Jack, Rebecca, Kevin, Kate, and Randall without our requisite post-episode analysis
When the clock hits 7:30 on an average weekday evening. When the phone WILL NOT ring….and my mom will not be on the other end of the line asking my husband Bob and me to guess the final question on "Jeopardy", her favorite game show. Oh the joy of getting the answer right when she had to admit that she’d been stumped. Because beating my mom at trivia was no easy task!
When my dad, my sister Bev, brother-in-law Rick, brother Steven, sister-in-law Svetlana, nephew Adam, niece Amy, Bob, daughters Melissa and Jessica, son-in-law Brian, grandson Miles, and I come together, as we most surely will, to celebrate Rosh Hashana, and Hanukah, and Passover….while mourning the empty place at the table.
When I see the beautiful art work created by Amy, or hear about Adam’s incredible success in the latest Rubik’s Cube competition….and just know how much my mom would have swelled with pride.
When I see my daughter Jessica embrace her baby Miles, knowing how much my mom loved hearing about the little boy she affectionately called “the boops”
When I look into the eyes of my daughter Melissa, and see my own likeness, along with the faded image of my mom, reflected back at me. When I hear my daughter sing, and remember my mom’s determination to come to every school play, every chorus concert, no matter how lousy she felt.
I think back on my mom during those chorus concerts, seeing the tears in her eyes. Tears of joy. Tears of pride. Tears that defined what was most important – her family.
I’m sure those tears of joy would have flown freely had she been here today.To see you. To thank you. To rejoice with you as we celebrate her life.
|This photo from my parents' 55th wedding anniversary celebration in June|
was the last picture taket of us as a family before my mom passed away.