Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Eulogy: About Mom

I'm not sure how to start- in fact I keep starting- and restarting- so I'm just going to go "random"- there isn't a way to start- there is no beginning to the impact Mom had on me- and all I love- so I don't know how to start- I'll just ramble on...

I'll always remember Mom's smile- and her laughter-

It was during those last days- when Mom hovered one foot on earth and one in eternity that Kelly proclaimed-in one of her many, many phone calls- "you guys need to leave the room- Grandma can never go to heaven if there's still a party on earth"- and Kelly was so right- Mom just couldn't easily leave even this last party.

As I sat so near to Mom during those last days I had plenty of time to think- think about what Mom's life meant to me- and to those I love. Well I certainly don't want to simplify the complicated, nuanced life that was Mom's. But still- there were thoughts, random thoughts of the years we shared- clear back to those early days when I sat with her and Dad and we cheered for Don-as he ran track, pole vaulted- and of course played basketball- a lot of years to think about.

But I keep remembering these last days- and the hundreds-at least- times that Mom said "I love you!" These her very last words- "I love you!".

We would tell her when someone called (often folks called when we couldn't wake her up- so we'd tell her when she did)- and her face would come alive with that big smile and she'd say "Oh Kelly" or "On Amy" or "Oh, Mary". For a while I would do a litany for her- "Bill loves you, Same loves you, Ron loves you, Don loves you, Ellen loves you, Jan loves you, Karen loves you, I love you, Tracy loves you, Amy loves you, Kelly loves you, Jennifer loves you, Amanda loves you, Brandy loves you, Sarah loves you, Clint loves you, Matthew loves you, Mary loves you, Michael loves you, Amber loves you". And then I'd begin again.

But first- Mom loved her "boys" without reservation. It's not that she didn't notice that they "worked to much" or "ate too much" or "traveled too much". And of course they didn't call enough- or travel to Tulsa enough. But she loved her boys. One time I said- "Oh Mom- those boys aren't as good as you think they are" and her eyes twinkled when she replied "Oh I don't know about that!" Mom knew that you ought to love your children without reservation! Mom knew that you shouldn't hold back any of this love. Every time Don called Mom she would tell him to tell me she loved me- And to give me a BIG HUG. I'm going to miss those hugs!



And Mom knew that in the end- the only thing that made any difference was family- and Mom loved her family, her sons, her daughter-in-laws, her grandchildren, her great grandchildren, her nieces and nephews, her grand nieces and nephews... And her heart was big enough to love this huge family.

Tracy and Kyle drove to the hospital to say "I love you" one more time- Mom's face lit up so bright as she looked up at the face of her oldest "great" and she said so clearly- "Oh Kyle". Love to the end. Mom loved her babies- all of her babies...




And of course the very littlest of her family...

Kelly called- Shelby wanted to say "I love you" one more time. But we couldn't predict when Mom might be awake- or clear enough. So Kelly gave us Shelby's cell phone and told us to call. It was in the wee hours- 3am- and Mom woke up again- we never knew when- or for how long. Don said "I think we should call Shelby" and we did. It was 3am- the ring woke her up- and she called right back- Don put the phone to Mom's ear and said "Mom- its' Shelby". Mom's face lit up one more time- we could hear Shelby say "I love you" and Mom said "I love you" one more time. I'll always remember that call. A beautiful young girl-only 17- saying "I love you" one more time to her Great Grandmother- 87 years- and that Great saying one more time "I love you!".

For Mom it was all about family- and I wish I had just a nickle for every time she told us to "enjoy each other"- as in "I want you boys to 'enjoy each other'!" So we enjoyed each other!

There was one long night- Mom was in someplace between earth and eternity- Mom would repeat- over and over- words- such as "wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!" When we probed she just said- "My life has been wonderful!". And of course "I love you, I love you, I love you".

Don knew how tired she was- so he said- "Mom, close your eyes and go to sleep" and she replied, "I always say the Lord's Prayer before I sleep" so Don said the Lord's Prayer and she drifted to sleep, only to wake a couple of minutes later. So Don would say "Mom, close your eyes and go to sleep" and Mom replied, "I always say the Lord's Prayer before I sleep" and Don exclaimed- "But we just said the Lord's Prayer" to which Mom replied, " I think I missed some" and Don would begin again....

And she called for Bill- and she finally let go- and joined her Bill.

And finally, I want to remember those lessons of love that Mom so carefully taught us. I want to forever remember that in the end it is all about family and the love you share. Mom expects it of me. And I don't want to disappoint her!

6 comments:

Lucas said...

Note to self. Maybe wait until you are home before reading touching blog post about recently deceased grandmother so you aren't sitting at your desk sobbing.

Thanks for the beautiful tribute Aunt Max. It was lovely.

The Life and Times of Poose and Hawk said...

Reeder scrolling, Hayes screaming, I still cried through the whole thing. Thanks for the beautiful eulogy!

Nurse Horrible said...

Thanks, Max. That was indeed beautiful.

Beyond The Strip said...

Very beautifully put Mom, we will all miss Grandma Lucas very much. I like to think of how your relationship with her perhaps kept Don up to date on your life and helped bring you two back together. love,b

Anonymous said...

That did her last days and wonderful life justice. Thank you,
K

fiddleheads said...

beautifully written. i am so grateful that i got to meet grandma lucas. thanks for writing this post.