October 3, 2012 will long be part of my life. This was the day my beloved mom passed away after a short battle with cancer. After four rounds of chemotherapy, she found out that the cancer had spread into her brain. The Thursday before, I was able to speak with her on the phone after she came home from the hospital where the doctors made this unfortunate discovery. By that Sunday, she was in the process of dying. I said prayers for a miracle, but it was not meant to be. Mercifully, her death was quick and comfortable, and my dad and all her sons were there for the entire time, and many friends, family, and most importantly her two grandchildren were all able to be with her to say goodbye. The time since then has been numbing to say the least. Many times I catch myself thinking that mom would like to see a story I read or hear about something I did, only to realize that she is no longer with us. I did write up something that was read at her funeral mass, and want to post it here as a sort of tribute to her. If anyone reading this still has their mother alive and well, please treat every day as if it were Mother’s Day. She said countless times that her boys meant the world to her, and now the world is a lot more empty now she is no longer with us.
For the Love of a Mother
The light in heaven is a little brighter now. Being welcomed by grandma and grandpa, Uncle Larry, and all of the ancestors, Mom has taken up her place in heaven. We grew up hearing stories about her grandparents, stories about our grandparents, and goofy childhood memories about her times with Uncle Larry, Aunt Becky, Aunt Linda, and Aunt Margaret. We have heard about meeting our dad and falling in love with him. Mom was always good and was always full of life and a bubbly personality. She was kind and gentle. She loved whales, moose, and birds. She loved to watch cooking shows, and even under chemotherapy, always wanted details on what we had eaten for dinner and how good it was. She always put our interests ahead of her own.
Mom would always brag about her three boys. Often times, those she met would question how she managed to control three boys or would ask if she wanted to have a girl. She was proud of her boys and if she could do it over, we are sure she would do the same thing. We may have given her reasons to be nervous, or could have given a gray hair or two, but mom did not need to keep us out of trouble. Instead, she instilled on us a healthy respect for her as a mother. We could have been bad, or make a wrong choice, but the fear was not any sort of punishment, but rather the disappointment that would ensue. The fear of her disappointment was powerful, much more than being grounded or experiencing the infamous wooden spoon. No matter what, we knew that no matter what we did, she loved us and would do anything to show it. She was full of pride as her three boys graduated college and became successful as a result of hard work and dedication. She was excited when we welcomed Jennifer into the family. She was the happiest to become a grandma to two beautiful grandchildren.
Over the last few months, as cancer ravaged her body, we have been told many times what impact she had on other lives. We all knew she was a friend to all who knew her, and her compassion for those she did not know was evident. Cancer could not touch her mind or spirit. She was dignity. She was love. She was compassion.
Mom was a friend, aunt, wife, sister, and grandmother. For us three, she was simply our mom. The greatest we could have hoped for. She was an angel among us, just like both of our grandmas. We like to think that God realized he was short an angel and realized that mom was ready to assume her new duties. As she now is reunited with those who have gone before her, we will no longer be able to enjoy the presence of this wonderful woman, and will have to keep her memory alive through our words and actions.
Mother’s Day may only be one day a year, for us it is every day. It is with unimaginable heartbreak to realize that she is no longer with us, we all are better for having known and loved her. She was the greatest mother we could have asked for, and that is perhaps the best compliment that can be bestowed on her. She was our mom and for that we all are eternally grateful.
Vince, Dave, and Tom