My Last Letter to My Mother, (read as the euglogy at her funeral)
These past 8 weeks have been a lot of "lasts" for you and I - the last car trip we took together to look at the fall leaves, the last time we enjoyed Almond Joy candybars and homemade cookies, the last time we watched The Sound of Music and Hello Dolly; the last time I bought you a present; or we went outside by your pond in the sunshine; the last time I combed your hair, the last time I held your hand or the last time we looked into each others blue eyes and smiled at each other....knowing, without saying, what was on our minds.
You have meant so much to me over my lifetime - a mother, a teacher, a helper, a role-model and, most precious of all, my best friend. It is my fervent hope and prayer that you can look down on us and see and feel all the love and respect from your family and friends who have gathered over the last couple of days to share in this celebration of your life. I have been most blessed with you as my mother and friend - you have given me so much. We have all been truly blessed to have known you.
Gerry, Jeff, and I were talking the other day about how we had a vision of what Heaven would be like for you: where you are keeping busy, because that is what you liked to be..... where you are sewing and doing needlepoint and all kinds of handwork...... where you have a lovely garden, growing all of your favorite flowers, but especially forsythia, hollyhocks and blue hydrangea since they gave you so much trouble here on earth.....where you are gloriously singing Mozart and all your favorite classical works with your new Community Chorus......and where you are busy teaching others - children and adults alike -demonstrating the details of threading a sewing machine or making French seams along with rest of the art of sewing and clothing construction.
Where you have no more headaches......ever, and no M.S. to slow you down.....and where you are surrounded by all our loved ones who have passed before you, as well as all the new friends that you will certainly make within a very short time, sharing stories with everyone about your children’s and your grandchildren’s latest accomplishments and endeavors. We were picturing this for you and we were happy.....because these were all the things you loved so much when you were here with us.
You were always so proud of all of us - I would like to turn the tables and tell you one last time, how proud we are of you. I admired your ability to teach others - whether they were young 4H’ers, high school students or adults. You were fair, positive and gentle in your delivery so the person truly learned and grew from the experience. I admired your many, many talents - your beautiful soprano voice that always made me smile when I heard you above everyone else in a crowd; your hand-work: crocheting, sewing, designing, needlepoint, knitting, even the lost art of tatting - you created so many beautiful things with your hands. Your adventurous cooking and baking: always trying out some new recipe on us, even when we told you so many times how much we loved your original ones.
But most of all I was proud of who you were: a beautiful soul.....never an unkind word for anyone; always interested in learning something new; going places, and experiencing new things. A wonderful listener who took whatever time you needed to hear the person out and never judged.....a wonderful sense of humor - with your "one eyebrow up and the other eyebrow down"......and, such an incredible fighter - so tenacious that a lifetime of headaches and migraines could almost never hold you back from being with your family or participating in your commitments and the things you loved to do.
You were loving, trustworthy, generous, always lovely in your appearance, you were the personification of what it means to be a "lady".
In your case, it holds so true to make the statement, that we are all better off for having been a part of your life. You were my best friend, my constant companion, my mother and my hero. I love you and miss you so, so terribly - we all do. But I truly believe that a part of you still lives on in us..... in my brothers and I.....and in your grandchildren. A part of you is still here with us too.
And so, my darling, I close this, my last letter to you, by reading the Prayer I compiled in your memory and sharing it with everyone here tonight....
A gentle wind blew cross the land
Reaching out to take a hand
For on the winds, the angels came
Calling out a mother's name.
Left behind, our collective tears
Loving memories of the years
Of joy and love, a life well spent
And now to Heaven, she is sent.
On angel's wings, a heavenly flight
Her journey home, towards the light
To those who weep, a life is gone
But in God's love, 'tis but the dawn.
She is the thousand winds that blow,
and diamond glints upon the snow.
She is the sunlight on ripened grain.
She is the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in morning’s hush,
She is that swift uplifting rush,
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
She is the soft star that shines at night.
May the blessings of love be upon her
May its peace abide within her
May its essence illuminate her heart and ours
Now and forever more...
We love you Mimi - God bless and keep you...
Love, Your Daughter,