On behalf of my mom and my family, I would like to thank you for coming and being such a big part of her life. Her friends meant the world to her and over the past 8 months, her friends have meant the world to me. We owe a deep debt to you. You are living examples of true friends, self-less love and giving to no end. Except we have now reached her end. And upon reaching the end, I hope we never have regrets. What do you say about a life in only a few minutes? You remember the good things, the memories we won’t forget, and the lessons she taught us. I think the only regret my mom mentioned was she should have loved my father more. Today, for what it’s worth, I am so proud that she died a married woman. At the end, when there are only days left, when you can say that nothing else matters but the most important things in life, she just wanted to be at home with her family. Thank you for making that possible. I cannot read your names; you know who you are. Thank you.
I have lots of memories of my mom. She loved people and she loved kids. Growing up our home was always filled with kids she would baby-sit, foster and nurture. Parents would drop their kids off sometimes at 7 AM and others wouldn’t leave until 6 PM. On Saturdays or Sundays she would care for kids with special needs, giving their parents a few hours to be on their own. She knew the importance of touching a child’s life and making that child feel as though they were the most important person in her life.
She was a people person and loved making new friends. So many of the images of her are images surrounded with friends, images just like today, with Bill and friends surrounding her hospital bed, singing songs and making her smile. Friends, they were in her nature, her being. She always wanted me to meet this parent or that friend, always had a story to tell me about a child in her class. These were the things that made her life hers. It is amazing to see how many lives she touched and how many lives touched her.
She lived a life full of giving and caring. She loved people, was the eternal optimist, always wanted to share stories, longed for family and was surrounded by true friends. I remember last August in Boulder, the doctor came in and shared the diagnosis and how serious the cancer was and how far it had spread. “You have some tumors in your liver, some spots on your lung, around the spinal column and chest cavity. But we aren’t finding anything in the brain.” “Well that’s great news”, she said, “Nothing in the brain!” She had a way of emphasizing the good and not letting the bad affect her. She withstood the pain like she was in no pain. Just last week, hospice came out and asked her, “On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being to the most painful, how would you rate your pain?” Obviously in pain, she answers “One. Maybe one-and-a-half.” She battled her disease with a valiant effort. For someone who hated needles, she became pretty good at taking a shot.
But she was always a mom. And as only mom’s do, she always asked the worried questions mom’s ask. She would call and ask am I eating enough, drinking enough water, not working too hard? Lately, she started to remind me to take better care of my wife, spend more time with her. I wish there was more we could have shared. In some ways she really didn’t know who I have become and I kept hoping to introduce her to me. But time didn’t allow it. But she was mom, and we all love our moms.
I’m not sure of the answer. Why at this point of her life? This was a year she had longed for. She became a grandma. She became a college graduate. She became a traveler. So things are not always in our control. We cannot always choose. But I will choose to treasure these times with my mom, the quiet times of this past week, the times it was just she and I, the times of just holding, touching and connecting. Again, I thank you for coming today and sharing in our memories. One of the blessings from this has been meeting many of you. You have been wonderful friends and I thank you.