Friday, January 10, 2014

Rob's Mom: Part 5: The Wake: Mom's Wacky Message, Funny Moment

This week I've been writing about the events around my mother's severe stroke and passing.  This is the fifth part in the week's events and it's about the wake. I know it may be somewhat morbid for some to read about, but wakes are a tribute to people. It's a time the family meets everyone connected to the person and hears stories they never heard before (and we heard some nice ones and some funny stories.).

Mom in her front yard - Fall 2013
The wake ran from 3 pm to 7 pm. There was a short prayer before the doors opened, just for the family, which included Tom and I, my two brothers and their wives and my young nephews, and my cousins Carol Ann and Jack (we have a very small family).
    My mom looked very good and peaceful (after all, how "good" can she look?). The flowers were beautiful and the "prayer cards" turned out nicely. Mom loved the "Mother of Perpetual Help" and had pictures of her throughout her house, so we all thought that was the best choice. Dawn and Tom liked a verse about walking in Heaven, and Doug, Steve and I agreed, because mom loved to walk, and it was more positive and uplifting than somber and depressing.
Mom and her grandsons
   MOM'S WACKY MESSAGE  - We all attend our own wakes and funerals, and mom was no different. I sensed her at her wake. She told me "they did a great job on my hair, but they should've darkened my eyebrows." - I almost chuckled out loud, and Tom asked what I was thinking, so I told him what I heard Mom's spirit say, and he said, "That's definitely her." 
  My sister-in-law Sue pointed out that she should have had pink lipstick on, but we didn't think of it beforehand. She liked pink lipstick. At least Mom was happy with her hair. That was something she "told" me telepathically in the hospital "Make sure they do my hair well," she said to me.

Christmas 2007 - the entire family
  Tom and I were astounded at the outpouring of support. We formed a reception line that included us, my brothers and spouses, and my cousins Carol Ann and Jack.
    Because my brother is on the City Council, and my older brother works in Insurance and is on a curling team, a couple of hundred people showed up with a line that went outside for the first 2 plus hours of the 4 hour wake. I text messaged a few old, local friends and let them know. I was astounded that so many came, and so honored. My friend Matt from high school, Jacquie from the other side of Boston, Dave and Laurie (that I've known since high school), Merri, Jerry and both boys, and Mary Ann (who just got out of the hospital herself the day before) with her son Adam. There were others who could not attend, but contacted me, and that means a great deal to us.
Mom and Dad in 2001
MOM'S OLDEST FRIENDS -    I saw so many people it was hard to keep track. My mother's oldest friend Marion, whom she knew since fourth grade was there. Her friend Jane, who has known Mom since the 1950s (they were neighbors and have been best friends since) came in her wheelchair (despite the weather). I met Mom's cousin Rosalie that mom just visited weeks before.
Friends, family, co-workers all came and it was a tremendous show of support that would make my mom proud. We learned how much mom touched the lives of friends and neighbors.
The mayor and Chief of Police, both of whom know Doug from his city council position both came. The mayor introduced himself by name and not title, so living out of state, I didn't know he was the mayor... Eessh!  The Chief of Police introduced himself that way, and I apologized for mom setting off her house alarm off 13 times in 12 months (because of her dementia and forgetfulness). He laughed! He said the policemen that came down to check it never forgot her. One time she even blamed it on her grandchildren at 10pm when they were home and asleep!! 
       After the amazing outpouring of support, our friend Mary Ann stayed behind and we enjoyed a nice dinner out, catching up with her about her own hospital experience earlier that week. When we returned to my mom's house, our dogs Dolly and Tyler were of course ecstatic to see us and we welcomed their kisses and gave them hugs.

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next