A Eulogy For My Mother On Mother’s Day
– jim young
Amazing tradition. They throw a great party for you on the one day they know you can’t come. – Michael, The Big Chill.
On Thanksgiving weekend in 2002 I delivered a eulogy for my mother.
All of my family that were able to be there, were there to witness this eulogy – including my mother.
In fact I am happy to say that my mother is still alive to this day and I will have the privilege of wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day one more time.
But 11 years ago I decided to deliver the eulogy that I will one day deliver for my mother at her funeral. (Provided I outlive her of course.)
I thought Thanksgiving was an appropriate time to deliver it the first time however since, like most children, I am very thankful for my mother.
A eulogy generally provides a person the opportunity to tell the deceased’s loved ones how they feel about the deceased but of course it’s too late for the deceased to hear it.
I have no doubt my mother knows how I feel about her, how much respect and love I have for her and how grateful I am to have been born to her.
But it had occurred to me that my mother might be interested in hearing her own eulogy – live – if you will excuse the pun.
And while I will one day share these thoughts once again with my mother’s surviving family and friends at her funeral, as Mother’s Day approaches I would like to take this opportunity to share these sentiments with the entire world through the communicative power of the internet.
M – is for mother
O – is for always
M – is for mother
and that spells “Mom” – at least it does if you can accept that the sentiment is more important than the spelling.
My mother was born on March 25 1928 and was given the name Margaret Janet Dickson Chalmers.
And from that moment on, she claimed she lost her individual identity and was known primarily as Alf & Bunty’s daughter. When Mom married Dad on February 7, 1948, she quickly became known in Stroud as George Young’s wife. And when her first 2 daughters entered school, Mom’s identity changed to Kathy and Leah’s mom, then Jim and Lennie’s mom, and finally, Gina and Lori’s mom.
Of course that identity eventually changed too, to Greg and Brad’s Gaga, Kelly and Kory’s Gaga, Mike and Ange’s Gaga, Di-Anne and Paul’s Gaga, Ryan and Jesse’s Gaga and Zachary’s Gaga.
By the time the great grandchildren started to arrive, Mom’s identity was simplified to just Gogs.
Mom’s obituary will read, in part, Mother to Kathy French, the late Leah Neely, Jim Young, Lennie Patterson, Gina Young and Lori McColman.
But that’s not really accurate. My mother was “Mom” to many, many others.
As the oldest sister in her family, I’m certain my mother often played the role of Mom to her siblings, Uncle Sonny, Aunt Mickey and Uncle Jackie.
And as many loving wives do, Mom was often called upon to perform motherly duties for Dad as well. In times of need she was there also for the rest of her extended family – cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws.
When my sisters and I started to bring friends home, Mom became surrogate mother to each and every one of them as well – laughing at our jokes and crying with us through our times of sorrow; dancing with us; joining in our games and in general – being just part of the gang – always there to lend an ear and at least pretended to hear whatever we would choose to share with her.
But it didn’t end there. Mom continued her role as surrogate mother for our children’s friends as well. And those of her who didn’t refer to her as Mom, often called her by her other identity – Gogs.
A mother is someone who bears offspring. But a Mom is someone who will love you unconditionally, in spite of all your short-comings because she chooses to acknowledge only your strengths.
Mom really did have her own identity after all – she was what she loved to be best – Mom!
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