Eulogy Part 2


Mom has left an indelible legacy of faith and prayer that will not be forgotten.  She also has left us the importance of family and friends.  She knew what it was to need help and to give help.  And she would tell friends that needed help to not forget what others had done for them because one day they would have a chance to do the same for someone else; and to take that chance.  Mom was completely devoted to her parents, her siblings, extended family and my Dad.  She was happiest with her family.  I have incredible memories of time with family and friends in Warroad, Arborg, Dryden and Moosomin.  We were rarely home on any holiday or school vacation.  This past summer we were able to make a large request come true.  We were able to get a reunion together with family coming from Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota and Oregon.  She was thrilled and it was one of her best days after 4 1/2 months of being in and out of the hospital.  We were all so happy to give her that time.

She loved her grandchildren.  I remember how she beamed when my daughter, Sidney was born.  I hadn’t seen her that happy in years.  And that happiness did not diminish with the birth of Melissa and Natasha.   They all had Christmas dresses, pajamas and anything else that she could give them.  Then came the news of a grandson.  She wasn’t so sure what she would do with a boy.  She still had lots of pink and purple fabric to be used.  How could this be?  She decided she would just have to get more creative for the boy.  Alex got pajamas, t-shirts, the stuffed taxi in the other room and something to hang on his wall.  Mom adored him.  She had a special place for him.  Her face would light up when he came in no matter how sick or tired she was.  She loved his energy.  Mom’s main concern before she passed was her grandchildren and if they would be okay.  She didn’t want to leave them behind.  She even expressed that concern in one of her conversations with God.

This past year we made sure to give the kids lasting memories of Grandma.  The girls learned to cross-stitch and sew.  Alex had lots of hugs, laughs and tickles.  And speaking of laughs I think we can all agree that my Mom had an amazing sense of humor.  Her Mother was big on laughter and had lived on the philosophy of a belly laugh a day was essential to survival.  So, we all learned to laugh.  Mom was always quick with a joke or a funny comment.  Light sarcasm came easily.  She lifted other’s spirits as well as her own.  She found friends easily almost everywhere she went.  Mom made longstanding relationships with people that sat at the neighboring table in the restaurant, and with people in the neighboring hospital bed.  Humor got her through a lot of dark days past and present.  She went to meet friends at MJ’s last fall after she’d lost most of her hair to chemo and suddenly put her hands on her head and exclaimed, “Oh, I forgot to comb my hair!”  No one at the table was sure how to handle the situation.  It took a few seconds before Mom said, “Oh wait, I have don’t have any hair.”  Everyone at the table was relieved and had a good laugh.

The nurses at St Boniface said that they loved coming in her room because it was so positive and uplifting.  The home care ladies that cared for her over the last year said the same thing, especially over the last few weeks.  No one could believe that even when her body was failing her smile kept working.  She had been concerned that morphine would turn her into someone that she didn’t want to be.  But, it didn’t.  She was still herself.  A few weeks ago the nurse came in and said, “Hi Carole.”  And Mom lifted her arm and said, “Hi, I’m hiiiigh.”  Even when she wasn’t sure what we were all talking about if she heard us laugh she would laugh with us.  And if we whispered when we thought she was sleeping we would get reprimanded and told to speak up.  In the last year we have laughed about everything from hospital food and colostomy bags to death and funerals.  Other than her suffering I wouldn’t trade the last 16 months for anything.

I’d like to list a few of Mom’s final requests:

“I’d like my hair dyed red for the funeral.  Oh and a perm.”

“Don’t make me look like a saint.  I’m not perfect, you know.”

“It doesn’t matter what you dress me in, I won’t be there to see it.  Just pick something.”

As you can see we didn’t honor all of her requests.  But, we will do our best to continue her legacy of faith, family and humor.

At this time I would also like to say an enormous thank you to everyone that cared for Mom, whether at the hospital, at cancer care or at home.  Home care workers are unsung heroes.  In the words of my Mother, “Treat home care workers with respect and kindness.  You may need them one day.”

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