The newest angel was welcomed to Heaven at 4:35 a.m. on January 15, 2012, when my dear Mom passed away. My sister and I were Blessed to be holding each of her hands as God took those hands from us, and welcomed her to her forever home.
I wasn’t sure I was going to write and share this with you as it’s very personal, and my blog tends to be mostly business. The more I thought about it, I realized I had to because I don’t seem to be able to focus on writing anything business-like here until I do.
If writing this blog is something I do for my passion and my work, and I can’t write to honor my Mom, then where are my priorities?
I also decided to go ahead and share this because I want you to know her too. She was more special than my words, video and written tributes below can begin to share, but they might help give you an idea just how special she was to us.
Please bear with me as I call her Mommy. I know this is very childlike, but I am forever her little girl, and she is forever my Mommy. I see no reason to ever grow up so much that I have to stop calling her by the name that will always be dear to me.
I am one of 5 children who adored her, and who were offered the opportunity to pay tribute to her the night before her funeral. I had my husband, John, on call in case I couldn’t make it through reading it, which ended up being the case. I didn’t even try that night as my heart was way up in my throat, and still is, when I talk about her, and how much I miss her. It takes about a second for tears to mingle with my words when I talk about her. I know that will get better as time goes by, but it hasn’t just yet.
I’ve also posted a video for Mom so you can see her beautiful smile and personality, followed by a transcript of my tribute to my Mom.
You honor my Mom, my siblings, entire family and me by being here, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking this journey with me.
Here is the tribute I wrote for her that John read at her memorial service:
“To summarize how I feel about our Mommy is next to impossible.
How do I tell you that I loved her more than the sun, and the moon and the stars all put together? How do I tell you about all the times she fiercely protected me, told me she was proud of me, went to bat for me, spoiled me, smiled at me, loved me and devoted her life to making all 5 of her children happy?
It’s not easy. Trust me, there are no words that are adequate, but I will try because she deserves to be honored and loved.
My Mommy was sent here by God to spread love and joy to everyone she met. People fell in love with our Mom everywhere she went.
It was her infectious laugh, her multiple sneezes, her ability to have fun, the sympathetic ear she always gave anyone who needed to talk, the little gifts she would leave on peoples’ doorsteps at the condo in Florida at different holidays, the mementos she would make all the spouses at Dad’s conventions, the cards and love she shared with so many on special occasions, and so much more.
In addition to those things, it was mostly her beautiful blue eyes that sparkled when she smiled or laughed. It was her smile that lit up our hearts, as well as any room she was in.
It was her unbelievable capacity for loving and taking care of us, her children. Many families aren’t Blessed to have what we have, and we credit her for making sure that love was the foundation of everything we did and felt.
One of the most memorable times I had with my Mommy was after my slightly major car accident in 1983, when I, in a Ford Pinto, decided to tangle with a semi on US 31, south of South Bend, that pulled out in front of me.
After a bit of surgery to put my forehead back together, she took care of me for 8 weeks at home while I healed. What could have been the most tragic time in my life became a memory of love, sweetness and caring that only she could give.
She would come in to the bedroom we shared, change my bandages a few times a day, and show me her immeasurable capacity to care for and love me, which I will treasure forever.
Mom, Deb and I had so many years of special times and memories when Deb and I would use the excuse of flying to Florida with Mom in November to help her get settled for the winter, then again to help her pack up and come home again in the spring.
I even managed another visit sometime during January or February, often with John so the three of us could celebrate his birthday.
We would go out to dinner every night we were there, drag her out to shop somewhere each day, tell each restaurant it was her birthday so she would get a birthday cake or dessert, and just be together. We will treasure those times forever, and we will miss them more than we can describe.
But what has become one of the most memorable times in our lives with our Mommy, though, were these past 5 months since she had her stroke on August 26.
Deb and I had the unbelievable gift of all of these months with her, being with her on a daily basis, sleeping with her, touching her, stroking her hair and forehead, holding her hand, combing her hair, being her built-in cheerleaders, and protecting her fiercely by being her advocate when we felt she needed or deserved one.
God gave us a bonus of 5 months with her that could have easily not happened because of how severe her stroke was.
Whether it was God’s way of allowing us the gift of time with her toward the end because he knew we needed it and weren’t ready to say goodbye that night, or of us truly helping her get better, which she did for a time, or of having the ability to physically and emotionally build what was already a bond that could never be broken, or all of the above, we thank Him for what He gave us, and we thank her for what she allowed us to do for her.
She never complained, even though she had every right to. We should be so full of grace, and now we will try to be because of the example she set for us.
Our Mommy was a true gift from God. Never was a more perfect angel sent to earth.
Our hearts already ache for her soft, gentle touch & voice, and the feel of her cheek and her hands as we stroked them, but we will try to get by, knowing we will be together again one day.
She is the newest angel in Heaven, and has chosen the perfect cloud on which to sleep, rest, have co
mpany visit, and on which she can love on all of our puppies, and it’s probably a pink cloud because that’s what would make her happy.
Mommy, thank you for everything.
Mommy, we miss you, and hope you will come visit us in our dreams often, or wherever you and God decide would be most appropriate.
Mommy, we love you….forever.”