Fit for a Queen

I have thought a lot about how my mom’s funeral would be in the last couple years. You know, traced the steps in my head, wondered who would come, who would show their respects, who would support our family.
But never in my wildest fantasy did I ever dream her funeral would turn out as festive as it was. My mother was a private person, she would probably be pissed I am writing this blog.  Her best friends were her children, her extended friends her grandchildren. Don’t misunderstand me, everyone who met her loved her for the most part. She could strike up a conversation with the best of them, before you know it she’d be calling you “Honey” as if she was a lifelong friend. But in the last 40 years of her life, she really had no one. A boyfriend here and there who she outlived, but no one close. So you could imagine my surprise when nearly 200 people showed up for her service.

My mother adored flowers, today when most people say…”in lieu of flowers please send a donation to …..” my mother wanted the flowers and she got them, there were over 80 arrangements. The priest said he had never seen so many flowers in one place.

I was so proud of my family that day. All of my siblings were present. My niece and grandniece did a great job of singing Ava Maria on short notice. My nephew and my son made me so proud as they spoke with great love and affection for their grandmother. Then it was my turn, tears were flowing, as I approached the podium. I had a lump in my throat the size of a softball.

I am used to public speaking in front of large audiences but giving your mothers eulogy is a whole other level of speaking. I wanted to break the ice, I wanted to have the audience laugh, I wanted them to know the funny side of mom and the side who was not politically correct. I told a joke about mom and used the “F” word in church. People laughed, but were stunned. I laced my talk with a few more curse words. There was something so refreshing about mom, in a time when people often tip-toe around on eggshells being politically correct, she would run through the same egg shells with army boots on. She was ….she was…..well she was just mom. She used the word “shit” a lot. “ I don’t give a shit…” “You are full of shit….” “This tastes like shit…”

Sorry for being crude but as I told the priest after the service, “I felt for today, it was more important to be true to mom then respectful to the church.” He laughed and said, maybe more people would come to mass if he talked like I did during my eulogy.

I had put mom’s video together two days before, but the day before the funeral she came to me in a dream and said, “Don’t put that Shit out, it is not me, let me talk.” I wasn’t sure what she meant but she talked through me and I spent the next 12 hours changing the video to reflect her voice. For those of you who knew her and those who didn’t, the video was truly her and a great way to understand her.

As we left the church the bagpipes played and drums beat, the good looking men in their kilts making music she loved.

I know what mom would say, “What all this for me…well don’t let it stop.”

See the video here – type in clark for the code.


One Comment

  1. Journey with Mom ~ My Mother, My Son
    Posted November 16, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Please click link then type in clark on the vimeo site.

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