My mom’s memorial service was on January 3, 2019. I wrote this eulogy and planned to read it. In the end, I spoke freely and only used this as a guide. I added some things. I left out others. I’m not really sure what exactly I said, but I think my mom would have been proud.

How do I put into words how much my mom means to me? I have been grieving her in pieces for so long now. It doesn’t seem real that she is actually gone.

When I think of my childhood, my mom is in every part of it. She was a stay-at-home mom during my early years. I am so grateful for that. She took me to preschool. She was a room mom. She was my softball coach and Brownie leader. Sometimes she was even my substitute teacher. My friends and classmates loved her as much as I did. Our house, no matter where we lived, was always full of kids. I’m sure we drove my mom absolutely crazy, but we loved it and I think she did, too.

My mom loved to travel. My parents took my brothers and I on a yearly vacation, usually to the beach, but once to Disney World and another time to Texas. We even went to Hawaii when I was 11. I didn’t realize at the time just how fortunate we were to take those kinds of trips. Even though my brothers and I usually spent most of the trip fighting, we saw some incredible places and made lots of memories as a family. 

My parents also went on frequent vacations alone. As a kid I didn’t understand why I didn’t get to go, too. Now I am so thankful for the example my parents set of loving your spouse even more than your kids. They took time away just for them. They traveled to the Bahamas and Las Vegas. They survived a hurricane in Cozumel. They went back to Hawaii twice and I’m sure had much more relaxing trips than with three kids in tow. They went to Spain, France, and Germany. Even though my mom was already showing signs of her illness, they took the RV trip out west when my dad retired. I’m so glad they took that trip.

Life with my mom wasn’t always easy. I have my mom’s stubbornness and quick wit, so my teen years were interesting to say the least. One time she called me a bitch. Without flinching, I told her it was hereditary. She was SO MAD, but years later we laughed about it. I still think it was an awesome comeback.

At some point during college or maybe after, my mom became my best friend. I called her multiple times per day. Sometimes it was just to chat. Sometimes I needed life advice, or boy advice, or career advice, or money. My mom was usually right. I could have been spared a lot of heartache in my teens and early twenties if I had just listened to her.

My mom loved to go out to lunch and to the movies. It was one of her favorite things to do with her friends, and thankfully she enjoyed sharing that love with me. We saw many movies together over the years and always got popcorn with extra butter. Even in the later stages of her disease, my mom still enjoyed going to the movies. While her tastes evolved from romantic comedies to those a little cruder, I’m glad I was still able to share that with her.

I first noticed that something was wrong with my mom over ten years ago. It was the same week I discovered I was pregnant with Anna. I always thought I would have my mom with me as a mom. I thought she would be able to be a Grandma to my kids the way her mom was to me. While my mom was able to be that kind of Grandma for a little while, her disease made that increasingly difficult as the years passed. For a long time that made me angry. Now I realize that she taught me how to be a mom. If I can be a mom to my kids the way she was to me, they’ll be okay. We will be okay.

The last few months of my mom’s life were incredibly difficult. While the circumstances were pretty terrible, I am thankful I was able to spend that time with her. My mom didn’t know who I was toward the end, but she knew that she loved me and told me so every time I saw her. I am so thankful for the hugs and love she showed me in her last few weeks.

I miss my mom terribly. Even though her life here was way too short, I am so thankful that she was my mom.

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