We were finally able to properly honor my mom with all of our family and friends at a celebration of life party over the weekend. I was finally able to read the eulogy I wrote for her to all of the people who loved her the most. And now I would like to share it with you all.
“Mom, I have thought about this day a lot over the past year, but as much as I tried to prepare myself for how it might feel, I realized nothing can ever prepare you for losing your mother. There is never enough time. I’ll always want one more day. One more hug, one more kiss on your forehead, one more squeeze of your hand. But I am comforted by the fact that you are no longer suffering. You are finally at peace and all of your memories have been restored.
When people ask me what you were like, I am at a loss for words. There is nothing I can say that will ever seem adequate. There aren’t enough words to describe your kind, loving, generous heart. Your sweet, caring soul. The way you so selflessly cared for your family and loved ones, always putting everyone’s needs before your own.
I tell them about the way you used to always surprise Melissa and me with a little treat on our beds when we came home from school and how you used to take us for water ice in Old New Castle on the way home.
I tell them about how you always volunteered in our classrooms and cafeteria and that you brought in the full-sized doughnuts for our birthdays instead of the little munchkins. I tell them about how you chaperoned every field trip and all of our friends wanted to be in your group because you were “cool.”
I tell them that you made our Halloween costumes and precisely wrapped our Christmas presents weeks in advance, making sure our piles were even. I tell them about how you made Easter just as special as Christmas and that you gave each kid a certain color egg to look for during the Easter egg hunt, making sure each of us found the same number of eggs. You always wanted to be fair.
I tell them how you used to have Melissa and I wrap a roll of dimes so we could go to Toys ‘R Us to buy a new Playground Kid. I recently told Dad about that, too, and he said he had no idea. I’m sorry for spilling the beans.
I tell everyone how you came to every practice and every game and how you were always the one cheering the loudest. How you would tell anyone who would listen, even that one cashier at Super G, about your girls and their accomplishments.
I tell them how you picked me up from college when I was sick as a dog, drove me home, and made me go vote. How you helped me paint my room in the sorority house, every wall a different color, and how you always gave me money when I overdrew on my account, even though you knew I spent it all on alcohol and cigarettes.
I tell them how much you loved your Jack and that you always knew when he was in the room, even if he didn’t say a word. I tell them how you would be completely obsessed with Charlotte and Millie and would probably spoil the crap out of them every chance you got. I promise to do my best to spoil them for you and to make up for you not being around.
You have the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known. Even in the midst of such adversity these last ten years, you never lost your sweet nature or your caring soul. That was evident in the way you always wanted to share your food with anyone who was feeding you. The way you reached across the bed to grab Melissa’s hand when she asked you to watch over her girls. The way you mouthed the words “I love you” to Dad during your last few days. The way you waited for me to move into my new house before you left us.
And the way you passed so quietly and so peacefully in your sleep, sparing all of us the pain of witnessing your final breath. Your last loving act for your family.
I am forever grateful to have known true beauty, grace, dignity, and strength. To have loved and been loved so unconditionally throughout my life. To have witnessed such a profound and unbreakable bond between you and Dad. And mostly, to be part of the legacy that will carry on your kindness, generosity, and big heart.
You did good, Mom. You did really good.
Your job here is done. You can rest peacefully now. You’ve earned it.
We will all take care of each other. We are sad and we miss you, but we are going to be ok.
I love you with my whole heart.
This isn’t goodbye.
I’ll see ya later, alligator. After a while, crocodile.”