Thursday, May 9, 2013
The Point Is That She Lived ... Eulogy for My Mother
Sorting boxes yesterday, I ran across the eulogy I wrote for my mother when she passed in 1997. When I finished reading it again, the final line of dialog from the lovely film retelling of the Cinderella story starring Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott, came to mind. After the Queen has told the entire story to the Grimm brothers about her ancestor she says, "The point is, gentlemen, that she lived." Tomorrow, May 10th, would have been my mothers 93rd birthday. It was also her wedding anniversary with my father, and Sunday, including my half brother, Phillip, in this equation, it would have been her 74th Mother's day as well. Mom's ashes were taken aboard Phil's sailboat and scattered, with flowers, on Lake Michigan. Such a perfect circle for her and exactly what she had wanted. In her memory, here is her eulogy.........................
Eulogy for my mother, Anne DiFrancesca
Born: Chicago, Il May 10, 1920 - Died: Scottsdale, Az. February 14, 1997
I spent a lot of time these past few years talking with my Mom about her life, about who she was and what her dreams and wishes were; about the people in her life and what they have meant to her; about what brought her joy and what moved her.
As a young girl, growing up in Chicago, her most treasured moments were at Lake Michigan. Playing on the rocks at Belmont Harbor, or swimming the distance to the buoys and back again with friends. Her father’s work took their family up to Charlevoix, Michigan each summer where she would wander the sand dunes and watch ships move on the bay. On her father’s sailboat, The Mistral, she learned to love the wind in her hair and the feel of the wooden deck under her feet.
There was a bit of pirate in my Mom. I could tell by her love of the water and by her love of the search for treasure. As a child, I’d spend hours going through the amazing collection of costumes and fabric, ribbons and dress up jewelry that Mom had found who knows where. She would whip up outfits for Halloween with details and trimming a movie costumer would envy; even ethnic costumes that my older sister and I wore for folk dancing demonstrations at the local elementary school.
She loved to write and spent many hours at her old manual typewriter on articles for the local newspaper, poetry or journaling her thoughts. On birthdays and holidays she would bake and decorate elaborate cakes and cookies to pile high on the table for arriving company.
Our family moved to Arizona in January of 1972, and Mom found a lot of new and dear friends here and spent many happy hours as a volunteer for Scottsdale Memorial Hospital. She worked the spring training baseball games with her beloved Cubbies giving her a connection to her home town . She and her circle of girlfriends took off for lunches at the Quilted Bear and in search of treasure here in the valley.
There were two things on the horizon that always caught my mother’s eye; a boat sail and a garage sale.
After a day out with “the girls”, she’d return to the house with handfuls of trinkets and treasures for children and grandchildren and for her collection at the house. A good day of garage sale-ing was like a good day of pirating on the high seas.
I’ll think about my mother when I smell cookies baking, lilacs blooming and Chanel no. 5. I’ll think of her when I sit down at my computer to write my own thoughts. I’ll think of her when I see a boat sail or a garage sale.
These last few years were very hard on her as she lost her mobility. Even trips to the mailbox eventually became too difficult to manage. And I know how she hated dragging that oxygen tank around with her wherever she went. But now she’s free to move and dream and fly. She has our love to carry on her journey. And I know, in my heart of hearts that right now, she’s waiting on a shoreline for the boat to dock and carry her out on the water, where the wind can catch her hair.
Posted by Mimi DiFrancesca