Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Judy's Eulogy from my mom's funeral on October 12, 2002

Margaret has been a teacher, a mentor and a genuine support in my life and the many others here today.    The past five months, especially to final four weeks of Margaret's life were the gift to the family and me.   After Margaret's last episode of strokes last May, she entered entered rehab really wanting to rebuild her failing body.   Margaret had one goal and that was to regain her independence in order to return to 858, Teresa and her beloved Douglas.  She loved this community and spent many hours working for the betterment of Douglas.

After her release from rehab, Margaret entered a group home  approximately a mile from Sheila's home.  Once again, her only goal was to continue working with the physical therapist to build her strength and mobility.   She enjoyed family visits, but her focus was still on regaining her independence to return to Douglas.

After six weeks of outpatient therapy, Margaret's physician informed her that her body simply had lost the capacity to walk and ambulate.   Therefore, Margaret would need 24 hour care.  It was at this pint that I noticed the change in Margaret.  She was not depressed or bitter, she simply brought Douglas to her.  From that point on--Margaret spent most of her time at 858 surrounded by family and friends.   

When Margaret developed pneumonia and spent two weeks at Desert Samaritan Hospital she was so  pleased that Phelps Dodge had built this beautiful state-of-the art hospital in Douglas.   While in the hospital she spent many hours working back at Hardware Jobbing.   She even turned her nurses into her beloved employees at Hardware Jobbing.  I believe that the nurses enjoyed partaking in her fond memories.   

Yet, when we spoke to Margaret about her future and available medical interventions, she was lucid and clear that she wanted to go home in the care of Hospice.   She readily stated that she wanted to spend whatever time she had left surrounded by her family and friends.   Sheila, Kerri and Patrick were at my home daily offering her love and personal care.    Of course, no one could light up her eyes like her great grandson, Cameron.   Every day he kissed her and said, "I love you, Great."   Cameron was truly the light of her life.  Mom spent most of her time in Gilbert and her presence gave Margaret such comfort and peace of mind.  Thank you Tom and Mary for calling often, she loved you.  Thank you  Matt and Glennie for visiting often, she enjoyed spending time with you.    I also want to thank my friends at Hospice of the Valley for walking this final journey with us.  Margaret loved all of you. I especially want to thank the Gilbert Public Schools District for offering me a leave of absence and the incredible support of Gilbert Elementary that surrounded us with food and support.

Margaret had three loves in her life:  1) Her faith; 2) Her family, 3) Her friends.   She actively practiced her faith and give of her time and personal resources to this parish.  I don't believe there is a single member of our family that did not feel loved and special by Margaret.  And we all know that she always had a fresh coup of coffee and an engaging conversation for her friends.   

I believe the legacy and lesson that Margaret left us is often defined as three qualities by historians, philosophers and social scientists when they speak of people that are authentic and highly functioning.  Margaret mastered these three and I would like to take a minute to review them.

1)  Margaret was independent of the good opinion of others.   She truly marched to her own drummer.

2)  Margaret was detached from the outcome of matters.   Rather, She remained focused upon the process of her mission and purpose in life.   She did not work for accolades or merit badges.   She was always surprised when she was recognized for her service to others.

3)  Margaret had no investment in  power or control of others.   She welcomed a spirited debate and continued to be your friend if you disagreed with her opinions or actions.   Unfortunately, not everyone offered Margaret the same respect.  When people were petty or critical of her, she chose not to retaliate, but to continue her service to others. 

 My favorite memory is simple but so descriptive of the value of this woman. The day before Margaret died she was too weak to talk.  She looked Sheila in the eye and mouthed one last time, "I Love You."   I believe if Margaret could leave us with one last bit of advice, she would choose the following words by the late  Mother Theresa:  "Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary.  What we need is love without getting tired...Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."   

So, Margaret, I end this with an Indian Proverb that Sheila wanted to read but found too difficult at this time:  "The day that you were born you cried and the world rejoiced.  The day you died the world cried and you rejoiced." 

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