On Tuesday, April 16, 2013, my Mom passed away after years of battling the affects of Alzheimer’s. The following is the eulogy I delivered at the service on April 20, in the church I grew up in – the Jamesville Community Church (formerly Jamesville Federated Church)
This is a day to remember my Mom. However, there is no remembering Mom without the memory of my Dad.
As many of you know, My Dad died back in 2002. Now, my Mom has passed in 2013 amidst the chaos of a terrorist bombing and the manhunt for suspects. I tell you this only because of its eery similarity to 2002 when the East Coast sniper was waging his reign of terror as close as our local mall in Spotsylvania – while my wife Michelle was pregnant with my son Aidan. Both of whom thankfully are here with me and sitting in this church today.
You also know my Dad was a minister. His ministry was the word of God and the love of his son. My Mother was an educator, she wasn’t a teacher in a school per se, at least not until later in life, but she was MY first teacher. My Dad was slightly hands-off when it came to raising me. As I got older he related to me more and more. Some Dads are like that. As I grew older, I began to appreciate his education. Dad AND Mom always SHARED in the serving of any given parish. I work at a higher educational institution because of my Mom and Dad. I like to think my ministry is education.
Mom was always great with her memories. Well up until recently….
At my hotel, my towel smelled like gerbils. Let me let that sink in for a moment. A towel brought me back to the slightly used bedding that my gerbils, Lewey and Dewey, had in their massive tower cage when we lived on Comstock Ave – Well over 30 years ago. Smell is a powerful memory trigger as you may know. Another interesting bit of trivia – My Mom had virtually no sense of smell.
The most important thing that my Mom was is the family historian. First of all, my Mom had pictures. Photos in albums with brief descriptions. I loved looking at these photos. I Imagined the places that my parents went to before I was born, and what my family was like once my brother and sister came along. The stories of what came before me were powerful.
And so today I write on this thing called a blog. And encourage others to do so. Students mostly. I’m hoping one day soon that we will ditch the term blogger and use that word no more than we would if we would say that a person is an Emailer. I blog because it allows me to reflect and to hopefully, ultimately help people. Yeah, it’s like a diary. Like my Mom had. The difference is that it’s a little bit more out in the open. I believe in finding the outlets of these triggers of our memories. They’re called stories. Humans tell stories.
My blog has a name. The story of the name of my blog came from my Mom. She never really knew that.
How many of you know the comic Family Circus – Raise your hand?
How many of you know the hymn “In The Garden”?
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
In the house where my Mom lived in Jamesville, she had a framed Family Circus cartoon of one the children – I think it was Dolly – singing the mis-heard lyrics “Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me.” Pretty powerful to see this every time I visit. Humor is also a very important part of my upbringing.
So the name of my blog comes thanks to my Mom. And He Blogs
So I will blog about this – I mean Write about this on my site, and I will include the picture that I just took. Because more than anything my Mom created in me a documentarian. And documenting life helps me keep hold of memories better and longer.
For my Mom, her memories left her many years ago, but she documented so well that we have a treasure trove of words and pictures.
Cherish your memories. But preserve them too.
Thank you all for being a part of this memory. I cherish you all.