Turning The Upside Down of Death Into The Right-Side Up of Life Again…
Deb – read at mom’s (Rachel’s) funeral mass…
Immaculate Conception Parish, Newburyport (Fr. Richard Gosselin)Thursday; February 10, 2005
I am overwhelmed with a passage in the gospel of John, which describes the first miracle of our lord, at the wedding at Cana. He surprisingly saved the best wine until the end, and my mother, like that fine wine, grew into the best person God created her to be with each passing year.
We are born, we live, and we die. The dash distinguishing her life on this earth seems so small to the world, but so large in my heart.
My mother was beautiful mother, but I tell you my greatest loss is that of my very best friend.
A Mother’s Gift
She taught me to live in the present moment, trust God even when I couldn’t understand why he did the things he did, and trust that he would make everything OK in the end. She taught me forgiveness, tolerance, and inspired me to be the best person God created me to be. She taught me that love was an action word, that was expressed most beautifully by joyful sacrifice and humility. Her patience and ability to love someone for their good, and minimize their faults was unfailing, day after day after day after day. Her heart was embraced with a spirit of gratitude for every kindness, towards every person she ever met in her life.
A Tribute To Mother
In her battle with cancer, many cancers, from rectal, to liver and the indignities she suffered with the pain of her vaginal cancer, the rashes from her chemotherapy that riddled her entire body with Poison ivy like rashes, radiation burns, and all the rest, she fought. She fought for my dad and I. And when my dad almost died again this past summer (Fred from the dead nicknamed by many since he returned from so many hopeless cases), she continued to take care of home and family with grace and a positive attitude. She sacrificed herself for me and my dad and her extended family and friends without hesitation.
My moms heart was a wellspring of compassion. If you are here at this service, I would venture to say she has prayed especially for you. People she met, or only heard of being in need, she prayed for them by name. She prayed with her heart, deep, sincere prayers. She loved the prayer of her rosary and meditating on the life of Jesus and Mary, towards the end of how it helped each of us to accept Gods will for our lives, believing he always knew what was best for us.
The essence of her spiritis best described in a gentle prayer we came across during one of our most joyful vacations together, my mom, dad and I in Quebec, Canada, where we celebrated her birthday and visited the birthplace of my grandmother (her mother), in St. Philip de Neri. I don’t know exactly how to say it in French, but the English translation states “I want to stay a child, because it’s wonderful for each day to be discovered.” Yes, this was my mothers mantra, to live each day in child like wonder of the gift of life.
How To Be Happy
She fully enjoyed her life, from feeding her birds, cooking a gourmet meal for family and friends, or just going for a walk with Chloe (our dog). She loved it all, the travel, the day trips, the shopping excursions (especially Christmas Tree Shops), even the laundry was an act of love and happiness. She tirelessly listened to any problem I encountered (which were many), and had a magnificent way of ending every conversation with a spirit of hope.
Mother, A Gift From God
I thank you mom for teaching me to feel deeply, to love deeply, to live deeply. You were the best mother anyone could ever dream to have, but most of all you were the best friend anyone could ever hope to have. I will always love you and miss you and appreciate the generous gift God gave me in everything about you.
I have created an online vintage clothing store to honor my mother’s memory. I named it Rachel Girl, after my mother. It is stocked with clothes, jewelry and accessories -things she would have loved. Things I hope you will also love.
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