Thank you all so much for coming. I don’t think we can express enough how thankful we are for the incredible love, support, and generosity you have shown through these past few months. It didn’t take me long at all to realize how immense of a support system I have. And for as long as she could, I know that my mom was vastly appreciative of the dozens of offers for food, care for our dog, Lexi, and the prospect of visitors coming to see her. But for those of us who knew my mom, mostly the food. Although it’s easier said than done, I want to happily celebrate her as much as possible in the coming days and weeks rather than sadly mourn. So, I’d like to talk a bit about her and how she affected mine and others’ lives.
My mom was my foundation of honesty and compassion. She taught me to be truthful in not only my words, but also in every action; I learned from her to always be genuine in everything I do. Mom cared so deeply about those around her – both those in our family’s close circle and those she may have never met in person. Through every up and down that life threw our way, she maintained that love and kindness for others. Mom never stopped putting others before herself. Her loving, caring, kind personality radiated to everyone around her, even when she was ill. She’s an easy example, yet such a hard act, to follow.
Mom truly touched many lives. I’d like to share a brief story that I just learned this week. About five years ago, our family friend and neighbor, Dawn, passed away at far too young of an age. Jillian and I often played alongside her kids when we were young, and so, before her funeral, my mom wrote a brief piece about her. The family ended up printing copies for everyone at Dawn’s funeral. Already, I knew that Mom was making an impact. Mom’s love often shone through in her writing, and this was no exception. Here’s what she wrote:
We pray, we love, we ask God for blessings for everyone’s friend. Let the dawn come quickly and erase the troubled nights, replacing them with hope and a circle of love from far away and near-by. We pray for strength, courage and healing. We pray individually in a thousand different ways, we pray in groups, in hushed whispers; we all pray together, for one woman, for one family to be blessed with hope and strength and with great, everlasting love.
Just the other day, I got a message from Dawn’s daughter. She told me that she reads my mom’s piece every night before she goes to bed and that she has it hanging on her wall. This is what my mom was all about: impacting anyone and everyone she could in a positive way – even if it was one person at a time.
Mom also taught me to always keep my promises. So before I finish, I want to make a few promises to her.
Mom, I promise to follow in your footsteps. I promise to be honest. I promise to keep on being the emotional one in the house. I promise to think of you whenever I see something bright and yellow. I promise to always be compassionate. I promise that no blog will ever make me as mad, sad, or happy as yours did. I promise to never let our family live in this Holiday Inn ever again. I promise to send food back if it’s cold. I promise to go to Cape Cod again. I promise to get shells from the beach. I promise to NOT accidentally Instagram blurry pictures of vacuum cleaners. I promise to eat dessert. And to never pick chocolate over vanilla. I promise to make you proud. And I promise to always love you.
Thank you all again so much for coming. It means more than you ould ever imagine. I love every one of you.