Mother’s Day in the USA is this Sunday, May 10th. My dear Mom has been absent from the earth for more than four years now. As a tribute to her, I am sharing the eulogy that I wrote and delivered through tears at her funeral:
My Mother’s Eulogy: From My Heart to Her
What can I say about my Mom? Boy do I miss her. If I could talk to her right now I would say thank you for being the best Mother a girl could ever ask for. She has been my home base, my safe harbor, my best friend, and along with my dad, my biggest fan and true love since before I was born. I am only here today because of her tenacious love for me. I was born three months early at two pounds 11 ounces. Mom said that the doctors told her she shouldn’t come see me so often because I was probably going to die anyway. She came to the hospital every day.
She passed on the legacy of faith that she received from her parents to me and to all of us. Despite trials her faith never wavered. I have no doubt that after she took her last breath on earth she woke up in heaven with all our loved ones who have gone before, especially my sister Dana.
At one point in my life I thought that Mom was stupid. How could she know anything about the world when it was changing so rapidly? In recent years I teased her that she got smarter as I got older. In reality, she was just waiting for me to grow up into the person that she and Dad raised me to be.
I have watched my Mom live her life with a fierce love and devotion for my Dad, us girls, her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and extended family. We always knew growing up that family was the most important thing by the example that she set. She loved her parents, her brother, and his family. Her cousins and their family were important parts of her life. I remember attending many family reunions while growing up.
As for Dad and her girls, she never gave up on us and would do anything in her power to make us happy. She always supported us at our events whether it was band, choir, school shows, 4-H, band parents, boosters, or in the stands at all of my sisters’ sporting events. After I married Gary, she loved Allan and Somer as her own grandchildren. She loved to watch Shawn and Effie, and along with my Dad, were their second parents while I was going to college to get my first degree. She forged a bond with them that will never be broken. While she was in the hospital and later in rehab she always asked where her ‘babies’ were, referring to Malea and Bristol. When my sister Dana became ill she dropped everything to go care for her and her family.
Although at times she was disappointed with us girls for not acting as she expected us to or if we didn’t talk for long periods of time, she waited faithfully for us to come to our senses and return to our family values. Her patient, enduring love was constant and true because her family was everything to her.
Her love didn’t stop with her family though. Our home was always open for friends to come over, hang out, or have dinner unannounced- and boy could she cook great food! My parents’ friends were important to her as well. We had many great times as children getting in trouble while the adults played cards or just hung out. Those friendships are still intact.
Mom taught me life skills. Although my children say that her cooking was better than mine, she taught me to cook. She was a great baker- I will miss her Christmas cookies so much. She taught me to sew. I remember when I wanted a pair of elephant bell bottoms we excitedly went to the store to pick out the pattern and the fabric (after I got over being upset that we weren’t just going to buy them), but every stitch showed her love- and I got two pairs of pants for less than the price of one. She even taught me to clean house, although I still don’t quite have that one down, note to self…
Mom taught me to be tenacious. She fought her illnesses until she could not fight any longer – I believe because she did not want to leave us. She supported me through heartache and cheered me when I triumphed. She listened with love and offered advice, always reminding me that regardless of what was happening life must go on. We prayed together, cried together, and celebrated together. She was truly my biggest advocate and best friend.
Mom loved to help others, work hard, and have fun. She was proud of her involvement with the AMVETS and VFW Auxiliaries, but most of all she valued the friends that participated with her. She loved to play BINGO with her friends as well. Mom retired into her 70s after working full-time and always kept busy. She was also an avid sports fan. I knew not to call her during OSU football or Indians games!
Mom had a great sense of humor. Her laugh was infectious. We had many hilarious and highly competitive UNO games sitting around the kitchen table. When something struck her as very funny it wasn’t out of the ordinary for her to have to go change her pants from laughing so hard. I remember an incident that revolved around a baby diaper, but I’ll save that for another day.
Mom, you set a great example and are a hard act to follow. You taught all of us the value of family, to be tenacious, how to love fiercely and with devotion, to treat everyone as family, to have unwavering faith even through trials, the value of friendship and community service, to be thrifty, to be patient, to work hard, to have fun, to help others, and to laugh.
I can only hope to be half the woman that you were and try to carry on your legacy by remembering the values you taught. You will always be in my heart and took a big part of it with you when you left. Until I see you again, I will always love you more…