Thankful Thursdays

Thanks for the Eulogy, Mom!  Mom’s eulogy was the result of an “epishower.” The epiphany came to me while I showered as I got ready for the services last Saturday.

Days prior to her passing, whenever I thought about what to say at Mom’s Mass, I would end up dismissing the idea because I thought, “Nah, I’m not even going to be able to get through the words anyway.” But, that day, while getting ready for the services, the thought came to me that I already had half of Mom’s eulogy ready – her own words. A lengthy talk written by her years ago which she gave at her church group about the role of grandmothers, and in which she gives advice to parents. I came out of the shower, and half dressed with hair wrapped in a towel (excuse the visual), I rushed to look for her writing. After a tense moment trying to remember where exactly I had tucked it away, I found it, and with it I sat in my family room and in just a few minutes I jotted down some thoughts. That afternoon, at the end of the Mass, when the time came for me to speak the words I was so sure I wasn’t going to be able to get through, I asked the Holy Spirit for strength, and I asked Mom to help me honor her. They each did.

Some of you who attended the Mass have told me how touched you were by the eulogy, and I thank you. I know a handful of you couldn’t understand it in full as it was mostly in Spanish. Forgive me, but Mom would’ve tugged at my hair once again (me hubiera alado el pelo de seguro) if I would’ve done it all in English. After hearing about it from others, a few of you who could not make it to the Mass have told me you wish you could’ve been there to hear it, and asked if I would share it once again, especially Mom’s words. For that reason, I share with you now Mom’s writing, in part, as read last Saturday, and the few words I jotted down that day to accompany hers:

Ante todo, gracias por acompañarnos hoy. Sé que varios lo hacen por estar aquí con nosotros, y sé que la mayoría lo hacen porque en realidad conocieron a Mami – la mujer, esposa, madre, abuela, y amiga que fue. Y el ángel que hoy es.

Una persona dedicada a su familia y amigos, y dedicada a esta parroquia – su segundo hogar – nuestro segundo hogar.

Siempre Dios en sus labios. Toda oración, toda frase, terminada con un “si Dios quiere.” Aun cuando le faltaban sus palabras hacia el final de su enfermedad, cuando solo le salía o un sí o un no, yo le decía, “Mom, nos vemos mañana,” y ella con mucho trabajo, pero me respondía, “Si Dios quiere.”

Quiero compartir con ustedes solo unas partes de una charla que ella preparo varios años atrás para dar en una reunión de su grupo de cursillos. Fue por el día de Santa Ana, ósea, el Día de las Abuelas. Después de su charla, me dio el escrito a guardar para un día cuando yo quisiera compartirlo. Lo tituló “Lo Mejor De Lo Nuestro.” Y dice en parte así:

“Para comenzar, hay que rezar y dar gracias a Dios por todo lo lindo que nos regala día a día y ensenarles a orar con palabras sencillas que ellos puedan entender. Llevarlos ante un crucifijo y mostrarles quien es “papa Dios,” cuanto él nos ama y cuanto debemos amarle a él, y al mostrárselo, decirles “él es nuestro padre del cielo,” y hablarles también de nuestra Santa Virgen Maria. Explicarles que en todo hogar donde reine Cristo hay paz y la familia vive unida por siempre.

Yo soy de las abuelas que disfruta y se esfuerza en mantener nuestras raíces. Esto conlleva esfuerzo, sacrificio y paciencia porque creo que no es solo cocinarles arroz y frijoles negros. Lo primero, hablarles en español para que conozcan y dominen el idioma de sus padres y antepasados, y contarles algo de lo nuestro.

Ahora, en otro paréntesis, me referiré a los padres de las criaturas, a los que debemos dejarles muchas responsabilidades, sobre todo en los weekenes, para que sepan valorar nuestro sacrificio y que nos consideren como personas mayores. Es muy importante que tomen la batuta y sepan lo que son “cajitas de dulce guayaba” y si usted es viejo viejo de verdad, recordará esta frase. Yo sé que tienen que trabajar pero compartir con sus hijos y darles su amor y su calor es súper importante.”

De Mami aprendí muchos dichos Cubanos. Aprendí la diferencia entre “un arroz con mango” y algo “que le ronca el mango.” Que a veces las cosas están feas y entonces “a correr liberales del perico.” Ese todavía no se bien lo quiere decir. Y si la oía decir “Que Dios nos coja confesados,” sabía que las cosas estaban mal y era hora de empezar a rezar.”

Mami terminó su charla diciendo:

“Bueno hermanos, todo en la vida tiene su recompensa y no creemos que lo mejor sea la de ganarse la lotería, porque unas sencillas palabras de agradecimiento y reconocimiento venidas de un hijo es lo más hermoso y grande que hace latir nuestro corazón de gozo.

Éstas que les voy a leer son de mi hija Connie, mi hijo Arturo, y mi hija Olguita, y me las escribieron el pasado año en el Día de las Madres.”

Mami entonces les leyó unas tarjetas que le habíamos regalado. Y así terminó su charla.

Mi hermano, Dios te bendijo a tí, a mi hermana, y a mí con excelentes padres. Ralph, Rick, Lauren, Daniel, Taylor, and Bailey, Dios los bendijo a ustedes con una gran abuela. Ella los adoraba. China, you, Zonia, Charlie, y Maria, nunca fueron cuñadas, cuñado, ni suegra. Siempre han sido para mí hermanas, hermano, y madre.

Baby, better husband, better father to our children, and better son to my mother, does not exist. Kids, you have blown me away. Your dedication, strength, and faith have blown me away. I have no doubt that because of that and in great part thanks to Abuela, you will be great parents and grandparents. The three of you are my oxygen, you know that, and I am forever grateful for the support and love you’ve always shown Mom. I love you guys.

Y ahora le decimos a ella: Mom, Abuela, te queremos, y nos vemos, “si Dios quiere.”

I’ve received so many messages from family and friends. E-mails, texts, phone calls, and voicemails, all with heartfelt sentiments. Even days later, just to check up on me. I tell you that the outpouring of love for Mom has been felt. Really felt. And I thank you all.

So, that’s it for now, until my post next Thursday, “si Dios quiere.”

What are you thankful for today?

“Very often people come to me and say: “Do you think we shall know each other in Heaven?” Very often it is a mother who has lost a dear child, and who wishes to see it again. Sometimes it is a child who has lost a mother, a father; and who wants to recognize them in Heaven. There is a verse in Scripture in answer to this, and that is: “We shall be satisfied” (Psalm 17:15). It is all I want to know. My brother who went up there the other day I shall see, because I shall be satisfied. We will see all those we loved on Earth up there, and if we loved them here, we will love them ten thousand times more when we meet them there. –Dwight L. Moody


Comments

Thankful Thursdays — 11 Comments

  1. Beautiful as always. Words of wisdom to live by my friend. Friends for ever!!!! Lots of Love today and always! Liana

  2. As always, in the most difficult of times, you are able to inspire and demonstrate through words the faith, love and strength of your family. Thank you for always allowing us a glimpse of God’s work. Many blessings to you all!

    Roxy

  3. Dear Connie,

    So beautiful and so moving. Thank you for sharing your Mom’s touching words which were filled with so much wisdom. My Mom too had many sayings which to this day, we quote quite often. It makes us smile and at times, laugh. It is a way of keeping her memory and presence alive.

    Edna

  4. You are such a wonderful soul. You inspire me each day to be a better person. My sincerest condolences and my thoughts are with you and your family.

  5. Touching and inspiring. Keep going amiga, your Angel watches over you all from heaven and certainly will know and love you when she sees you again in Heaven. God bless you all.

    Aileen

    • I had the pleasure of knowing and loving your mother. She was a truly wonderful lady — caring, loving, compassionate, and a really tough cookie. She must have smiled in Heaven when you gave that beautiful eulogy. Thank you for sharing it with those of us who were not able to attend the Mass.

  6. Dearest Connie,
    First of all, my condolences in the passing of your mom. A few minutes ago I spoke to your dear friend Esther and she asked me if I had read your post this week. I told her no, but that I was just about to sit down to read it. Let me tell you that it brought me to tears. What beautiful words from both you and your mom. The perfect eulogy inspired by the Holy Spirit and Heaven’s new angel, your mom. I’m going to be looking forward to your Thoughtful Thursdays even more because it will have inspirations from your new heavenly pen pal, your mom.
    Con cariño,
    Cary Benavides

  7. Hey Connie, sorry for the late response to these beautiful words from and about your mom. From the few years I knew her I can see what a wonderful mother, wife, grandmother and friend she was. I lost my mom Sunday morning and I now can relate to so much of what you said. Many blessings and lot’s of love for you and your beautiful family.

    Jose.

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