~This is the eulogy that I read at my mother’s funeral Monday.~
My mom was a creature of kindness, beauty and grace. How lucky a girl am I, to have a mother like this? When we were growing up, she never took us out for “a spa day.” No manicures or pedicures. But she took us places she thought no little girl should miss: to the ocean, to the ballet, the theater. To weekend concerts at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. I really don’t think it was about wanting to raise “proper little ladies.” She wanted to share her love of beautiful things with us.
She was a scholar, an avid reader, a news junkie. An information sponge. She was well-read and well-informed, a sparkling conversationalist … add to that, a good listener. If you met her at a party, and struck up a conversation with my mom … Well, you hit the jackpot. You were bound to have a wonderful evening because she was a delight to talk to. She was smart, unpretentious and fun. Her intellect made her a fascinating, interesting person to talk to. Her kindness and humility made her a pleasure to be around. I was so proud to introduce her as my mom.
She had a sincere interest in and affection for other people. She had many friends. I know they adored her and the feeling was mutual. Her capacity for love was limitless, it seems to me. She never had anything but nice things to say about anyone. And she meant it. My mom was not capable of phoniness. She saw the best in everyone and it was genuine. Over and over again, I hear from her friends, that it was an honor to know her. I believe them.
If I had to pick out just one word to describe my mother; it would have to be “Luminescent.” Her smile really did “light up the room.” She wasn’t a joke-teller, but she exuded happiness. She and my Dad infused our family with laughter. In our family, laughter surrounds everything. Even in the most unexpected circumstances. It made me feel so wonderful last Friday night, to hear laughing and lively conversation at the viewing. I thought to myself “this is just how my Mom would have wanted it. It would make her happy to see this.”
I saw a big red truck on the 60 freeway that night. It had a giant bottle of Bacardi on the side and the caption read “Live like you mean it.” I thought to myself “You don’t need Bacardi to live like you mean it. Well, … I’ll have whatever my Mom was drinking, because SHE really lived like she meant it.” She savored every person and moment in her life as a gift from God. And she fought for every last minute of her life with courage and grace.