I wrote several weeks ago about the loss of my mother-in-law. Subsequently, we held the funeral. When I rose to speak, the wave of emotion that swept over me was so powerful that I had trouble getting a comprehensible string of words out. I expected that. But I didn’t expect the succeeding waves of emotion to the point that the speech I had prepared was rendered literally worthless.
It’s been a month now, the emotions have subsided and I thought I would post the speech so that it could see the light of day. So here goes.
I make my living talking to people and making presentations to groups–but saying good bye to Mom–this is different–this is tough!
For a son-in-law and mother-in-law, we had a pretty good relationship.
I think I learned more from Mom in the last two weeks than I have learned from most people in a lifetime.So what did I learn.
Optimism–She had a saying, “Everything happens for a reason and it’s always for the best!” I used to think that was pretty fatalistic but as I’ve thought about it the last two weeks it isn’t–it’s actually the opposite and quite optimistic. It’s whatever the world throws at me, I can handle it.
There was another person with a similar slogan, a hero of mine. That would be John Wooden, the famous UCLA basketball coach. His was “Those who make the best of the way things turn out tend to find that things turn out the best!” Pretty similar. Now those who know me know that if I mention someone in the same sentence as Coach Wooden, that’s pretty special terrain that I’m placing that person on. And she was a special person.
Love of Family–I sat with her last Saturday-her last night-watching her lying there. I realized that I needed to spend more time with my grandkids. So grandkids, watch out because I’m going to be all over you now!
Class–But this shouldn’t be a sad day; it should be happy–it is a celebration of a very classy lady who chose to check out in a very classy way. I don’t know that we ever told her that this was the end, but she knew. She kept asking. And she said I’m ready, I’ve lived 90 good years, it’s ok. I hope I can accept things as well as she.
She always used to call me the “angel.” I’m not quite sure why, but she did. I wasn’t the angel, she was. We love you, Mom. I miss you already.