|Mom in 2001|
I actually saved her voicemail message to me from Nov. 1, 2013 and figured out a way to bring it to everyone. I thought it important to have mom's voice so I'll never forget how she sounded. She always thought that whenever she left a voicemail on my cell phone that I could hear it, so she kept talking, as it if were an answering machine connected to a home phone! So she'd keep saying "Pick up the Phone!"
CLICK HERE TO HEAR MY MOM's VOICE: Norma's Voicemail Message to Rob on 11-1-13
Following is my mom's eulogy, that was written by my younger brother Doug and spoken by him at her services at St. Ann's church in Quincy on January 2, 2014. Doug really captured the spirit and spunkiness of our mother, and who she was. I hope you'll read it, and get to know her a little. Doug did an amazing job on this and Tom and I thought it deserved to be memorialized on our blog. Thanks, Doug, and Happy birthday, Mom. Love, Rob and Tom
Mom’s Eulogy – Jan 2, 2014
Written and given by Doug Gutro
On behalf of my brothers - Thank you all for coming and for your outpouring of love and support.
Today we Celebrate the life of our mother,
|Mom at NASA in 2009 as an Astronaut!|
Born in the depression - adored her parents Sarina and Giramondo Tutela, as well as brother Ralph and she had the typical sister relationship our aunt Tillie. If you knew her, she was proud of her Italian heritage.
|Rob, Jill B., Mom, and Jim B.|
A few months ago, she got to reminisce and reconnect with her cousin Rosalie who she hadn’t seen in 50 years and who meticulously researched their Tutela family back to Italy in the early 1800s. It was a special day, with photos of relatives and ancestors – she knew all their names – wonderful stories, tears, and laughter. I’m grateful to have shared that walk down memory lane with my mom.
|Franklin, Dolly and Cooper in 2009 with Mom in Md.|
As my dad worked 3 jobs my mom raised 3 boys - many joyous and memorable holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries growing up. They went to steve’s band concerts, my basketball games, and supported Rob in all he did.
|Jill Beyer and Mom make faces|
|Jeff and Mom joke around during dessert 2009|
As my dad’s career advanced and they traveled the U.S and to England. She had fond memories of those days. This was their heyday - They were living the American dream.
As we grew up and moved out, Mom & Dad became inseparable. Walking the neighborhood, working in the yard, shopping, sharing a quiet meal at their favorite restaurants, playing cards, and going bowling. She'd get dolled up as my dad sat on the porch reading his book. He was proud to be with her. The simple pleasures we all take for granted.
Kids moved, married, time passed as it always does. We lost my dad 5 years ago. And mom was never the same. Her soul mate, compass, North Star was gone. She struggled mightily and we struggled to fill the void.
Her life returned to making or maintaining her home and yard and affirming that clearly she wasn't moving from the place she loved.
In the good weather she was always doing Yard work - 5 ft firecracker with a saw in one hand always cutting down some trees or branches – you’d think she lived in a forest. A friend of mine who drove by, called me immediately after witnessing the spectacle and asked why I’d let my 80 year old mother climb a ladder and saw trees. You try to stop her I said. We both laughed. He knew my mom. Up until the end she was still driving, shopping, visiting neighbors, looking good, and even wearing heels.
|Mom at Christmas 2006|
On a personal note, she loved campaigning for me - Dropping flyers and holding campaign signs – she was tireless and proud. One day while walking the neighborhood she asked a man working in his yard if he'd put up a lawn sign for me - little did she know he was running for same council seat as I - he was a good sport and she made a new friend.
In recent years, she spent time walking the neighborhood, bonding with neighbors who always kept a watchful eye on her. She was Interested and opinionated on both neighborhood issues and city wide issues. She was always weighing in with my friend and her Ward Councilor Kevin Coughlin and I.
This past week, our mom succumbed to the effects of a major stroke in the home she loved.
When Mayor learned about my mom’s stroke he was among the first to call and offer sympathy or help in any way. I want personally thank him. And upon reflection, I may take him up on his offer of help – Mr. Mayor - Councilor Coughlin and I put together a very long list of my mother’s neighborhood concerns, which we’d be delighted to share with you.
To those who called her – especially her friend Jane Ricci who spoke to her every day. Thank you. To those who visited her, Thank you. Those who invited her out or took her into your home, Thank you. She couldn't replace what she lost in my dad - but my brothers and I are forever grateful for your help in caring for our mom during these past 5 years.
|Rob's late dog Buzz, and Mom trying to get his attention!|
Let me close with this story illustrating mom’s feisty spirit and desire to love and be loved - more often than not since we were young boys up until this past week my mom would always say to my brothers and I as we prepared to leave her home - in her characteristically blunt and occasionally unsettling way - "kiss your mother it goodbye, it may be the last time you see me." Shaking our heads, we always obliged, never believing it was true, always returning to hear it again. Sadly, this past week mom, that day has finally come and with a heavy heart we reluctantly obliged. We love you mom.