Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Mom 'Reenie'

I just got back from the funeral service and minyan for my truly wonderful Mom.  What a beautiful human being. While I might not post much this next week, I wanted to post my eulogy I gave this afternoon.
My Mom must have been a special person from God.    She was born on the 4th of July and died on Christmas day.  That has to mean something.    I wanted to honor my Mom with this post..   Thanks everyone!

Michael's eulogy for Mom - Dec. 26, 2010

                                                                   'My Mom'

Three years ago, I lost my best friend, my Dad.       Yesterday, I lost part of my heart.

My Mom, Irene Naomi Goldstein, was born in St. Louis on July 4th, 1922 to Simon  and Sophie Goldstein. When she married my Dad she became Irene Beckman. Reenie to all of us.   Mom told me that her dad, Simon was so proud that his daughter was born on the 4th of July, that every year on the 4th he would shoot this gun in the air ----- and scare the heck out of her.

I know Simon and Sophie had to raise my Mom well, because she became such a compassionate giving person.

Everyone loved Mom because she loved everyone.

Mom was my problem solver and worry easer.  You don’t know how many times in my life I would have a problem that I thought was so insurmountable I would actually have a headache.  Just by telling Mom about it and hearing her voice would ease that headache.  Listening to her words would solve the problem.  It worked every single time.

The best times of my life were always made better when my Mom would be there sharing them with me. I remember one of the greatest moments of my life was when my daughter Ebony was a finalist competing in a piano competition in the 13 year old division and winning first place. What made it even more special was that my mother was there holding my hand the whole time Ebony played.       When Ebony had finished playing so beautifully, we looked at each other let out a breath and smiled. That means I wasn’t the only one holding my breath during the entire 4 minute piece.

Mom loved sharing those moments with all of her children and grand children. They were special moments for her too.

I found out how much strength my Mom had when our Pop died. She lost the man she had loved for 65 years, but showed so much strength that it comforted all of us. Thank you so much for that, Mom.

The year after we lost our Pop, Sandy, Susan, Brad and I  had convinced her to move to the Village of Tanglewood.

One of the reasons was that we thought  it would be safer and more secure, now that she was living by herself.   Well, one week after she had moved there,  she got mugged in the parking garage.   Thank God, she wasn’t hurt physically and eventually she got to love the place  because of the many friends she made there [especially Francine’s wonderful Mom, Felice]
My Mom’s strength was exemplified by her valiant fight against cancer.  Reenie never complained , showed anger or had an ounce of self pity…..she just continued making the best apple pies in the world  and creating beautiful paintings.  I can truthfully say she  made some of her best paintings at age 88.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you looked up the word strength in the dictionary and found  Irene Beckman’s name in there somewhere.

Because of the cancer and my Mom’s worry that she could get ill or dizzy while driving, she gave up one of her great things she loved to do----- driving in the car Pop had bought her.     She knew I was looking for a new car and Mom gave it to me as a gift. Wow, that car will always be special to me.    One great thing about my Mom giving me the car, I got to take her shopping in it every Saturday morning.  It was so great on Saturdays taking her shopping and getting to have so many more wonderful experiences with her.    We would go to Marshalls and Chicos and Macys and grocery stores and art stores.   I knew how much she loved it because every time I came to pick her up she had a huge smile on her face.    The first time we went to Macy’s  Mom told me to sit in the chair that Pop used to sit in while she was shopping there.  It turned out every store had some chair that Pop used to sit in while she was shopping.   She told me she would be back in a few minutes.    After an hour I got kind of  worried and called her on her cell phone.  She told me she was fine and was on her way out.   And she was-----30 minutes later. When I saw her she said, ’I told you I wouldn’t take long.’     The next Saturday  when she had to return the blouses she bought  I went back with her to find out what was going on.

Did I find out.     Reenie went thru every section of blouses taking them off the rack and putting them in another section.  When I told Mom that  I would put the blouses back where she got them from she said:  ‘No that’s the job of the people that work here‘.      Then she would accidentally knock a blouse on the floor,  I would go to pick it up and she said: ‘leave it there, they didn’t put it on the hanger good‘.      By the time we got through, it was like a tornado had gone thru the store.  But the clerks there still loved my Mom and one of the clerks told her, ‘Mrs. Beckman you sure love to shop!’
The next Saturday came and again she had to return what she had just got the week before. I was beginning to see a pattern here. At every store we went to, my Mom would buy something, then return it the next week getting more money to buy something else. My Mom really did love to shop----not so much in wearing what she bought, but just in the fun of  shopping for it in the first place.

I really looked forward in going shopping with Reenie every Saturday and sitting in the chairs Pop used to sit in.

It was especially great one Saturday when I came to pick her up and she said:  ‘I love Saturdays’     That not only made my day, it made my life!

Within the last month Mom told me that the doctors told her when she was diagnosed with cancer she had 6 months to live.   I told her… you fooled them.   God has Blessed our family to have her for almost 2 more years after the diagnosis. Two more wonderful years.  

Mom’s whole life of almost 88 1/2 years has been such a blessing not only to the family, but to every life she has touched.

Mom‘s strength helped comfort us when we lost our Dad.  We now have only ourselves and God to get us thru this loss. Mom and Dad are gone, but we cannot let this bring down our family. With  God as our foundation and leaning more than ever on each other, the family will continue. Sandy, Bradley, Susan and I will  honor our mother and father by showing strength ourselves.

Mom, we have comfort knowing that you never again  have to worry or be in pain any more.    We are also comforted with the faith that you and Dad are together again with God.

We have been blessed with so many memories with you, memories that we will never forget.
Mom, in the future I will picture you shopping again on Saturdays, this time with Pop sitting back in that chair.

Thank you so much for everything.  I love you so much, Mom.

May God Bless my wonderful Mom.


genjunky said...

Sweetheart, I am so sorry for your loss. That was a lovely eulogy. Michael, Thank You for letting me into heart.You are quite a son, one of which any mother would be proud of. I know my mom would have and her name was Reenie also so we have something in common. I always said my mother was the closet thing to an angel and now she is one and she is with your mom now because I am writing to you. They will become the best of friends and keep us in line. Once in awhile you may feel a touch on the shoulder or a whisper of a kiss on your cheek, mom's are always with us, moms never leave us, their spirit will always be here. Now, be careful do the right things or you might just feel a tap on your head, that's moms way of making sure we walk the straight and narrow. Rejoice for Reenie is now at peace, we cry for the loss of mom, mom smiles for she is now with god and family. I will say a pray for Reenie tonite and for you Michael, God Bless You and Family. HUGS!

Big Mike said...

Thank you so much for those beautiful words. I really appreciate them. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Although I've never met her, your story made her so real, so alive. She would be proud of you, Michael, for the love and devotion you showed in this piece.
May she have a blessed journey!

Peter (eurobird)

Big Mike said...

Wow, thanks for that Peter.... I really appreciate it!