Saturday, February 18, 2017

Mom's Memorial

My lovely Mom

I haven’t really written much about my mom dying, but the reason is simply that I’ve had so many doctor appointments between everyone in the family, I haven’t felt I had the time to give it the attention it deserves. Because Mom died Dec. 2nd, so close to Christmas, and she was being cremated according to her wishes, we decided to hold a memorial for her instead of a funeral, and to hold it the first weekend in February.

So our family planned and packed, no small undertaking with six people going, scooped up my niece Jessie, who lives 2 hours from us, and off we went to Massachusetts on the first. The memorial was scheduled for Saturday morning, the 4th, at the same place where we held my beloved brother Steven’s funeral.

Since we had so few days to be back north, and so many family members we wanted to spend time with, our lunches and or suppers were planned out to make the most of our time there and spend it with family members. And, too, we were making the foods for the fellowship meal after the memorial, so we got to spend time together cooking, baking, and catching up.

Kris at the end, Megan, Phil

The first night we got there we had the pleasure of a New England boiled dinner at my sister Kris’s and my niece Becky’s house. I didn’t get all the photos I wanted to take because after we ate, we played game after game of Mad Libs and laughed and laughed! What a wonderful night!

Susan, Caity, and me

The next day my sister Susan and I baked and baked, cupcakes, cookies, and more as we talked almost non-stop about anything and everything. I loved the time sharing from the heart in the afternoon. Caity came in and we took a quick pic together. 

The night of the memorial, we went to spend our last night there at my Dad and his wife's house, eating my favorite Papa Gino's pizza, looking through recipes, and generally enjoying some chatter around the dinner table. And I forgot to get pics!

Kris, me, Caitlin, and Susan

But that morning, at the memorial, we sang some of my mom’s favorite hymns, and each of us daughters got up and spoke. Kris read Mom’s favorite Psalm, 91, and talked about not only the impact Mom had on our lives, but also the impact she had on the community in her various roles as 4-H leader, nurse, friend, Girl Scout leader, and the like. Susan spoke about what it was like to have Mom as a mother, what she meant to us as a mother, and the wonderful childhood we had because of her.

I spoke of my mother in poems. I read two poems that I had written for her, one before she died, and one after. I’d like to share the poem I wrote ten days after Mom died. It’s called The Gift. 


Hug your mommy tight,
like you’ll never let her go,
for there’ll come a time
when you won’t have her,
though when, you will not know.
Tell her that you love her,
whenever you are near,
and when you hug your mommy tight,
whisper in her ear:
tell her that she’s beautiful,
inside her soul and out;
make sure she knows you mean it,
don’t leave her any doubt.
Look deep into her pretty eyes,
and let her see your smile,
give her this one greatest gift
to last her for a while:
leave all the past where it belongs,
start every day anew,
and when your mommy leaves this earth
you’ll see the gift’s for you…
You spent your days in giving self
and thinking of the other,
you showed her only loving acts
and when God takes your mother,
you’ll have no regrets in your soul,
nor regrets in your heart;
your love will stand eternally
no matter if you part.
So hug your mommy very tight
like you’ll never let her go,
and hold those memories to your heart
and know she loved you so.

~VJC 12.12.16~

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