Today we had the funeral mass at the Church of the Annunciation that my parents belong to. Many of my mother's golf friends and neighbors were there as well as my mother's sister Carmel and her son Bob, her brother Ted and his wife Joan, our cousins Kevin, Gary, Michelle and Colleen. I'm sure my mother was pleased to be remembered by so many. There were more than 200 people there.
My wife Gregg and Tim's wife Kelly did the readings from the Book of Wisdom and from Corinthians. Father Bill did a nice homily about my mother and taking something from how she lived and incorporating it into our lives.
Later there was a reception at my parents' golf club. Gregg and Kelly had set up a nice table of photos of my mother and our families along with my parents wedding album from 1957. Gregg had also ordered crystal Christmas ornaments of a golf bag with a shamrock on it from Galway Ireland to give to all the families so that they would have a way of remembering my mother.
I got up to say a brief memorial. I didn't think I would be able to do it extemporaniously, so I wrote it up yesterday. Afterwards, many people got up and told stories about my mother, some light hearted, some serious, all of them touching. Many people said that they had read the web site, which was nice. I got to thank many people who had posted comments to my mother and I let them know that I had read them to my mother in the final days.
Here's what I said:
I'd like to thank everyone for coming, especially those who traveled far. Also thanks to those who could not make it, but wrote, called, sent email or posted comments to the web site. You all meant a lot to my mother.
Especially her grand kids: Austin and Cameron, Brianna and Faith, Ruby and Agnes, Lauren and Brendan who are here today. She loved you guys and she appreciated that she didn't have to discipline you.
My mother was sometimes strict with us growing up, but I had great respect for the values she had. I owe a debt of grattitude to both my parents for helping to make me who I am today. She shaped all of us and she touched our lives.
The last six months, I got to see another side of my mother. She knew she would not live the year, but she still had kindness, humor and strength.
She accepted what was happening. But she went with a fight at the end to make sure that we finished saying the rosary before she died.
Thank you to my father, my brothers, my sister and my wife for helping out in the final days. They were tough times but they will make us stronger. That's what my mother would have wanted.
Please raise a toast to my mother. Mom, I miss you.