[THIS IS THE "EULOGY" THAT I READ AT MY MOM'S REPAST ON 1/21/23.]
First, thank you, everyone, for joining us today at Bob Evans – to share a meal and memories of Mom. This was one of Mom’s favorite restaurants. I know many of you traveled a long way to be here. Our son Ken, who lives in San Diego, California, probably came the farthest. My sister, Kim, and I greatly appreciate ALL of you being with us. And let us also thank Andrew, the manager of this restaurant, for making this space available, and Deacon Tom for the blessing. [applause]
This is not intended to be a eulogy, but please allow me to read it, so I can get through it. I can hear Mom up there right now, saying: “MACH WEITER!” (“Get on with it!”) So, let me to start by describing someone with just a few words: smart, funny, strong, caring, incredible, and overall, a beautiful person . . . but enough about ME . . . let’s talk about MOM! If I’m just a chip off the old block, then by definition (and, frankly, in reality) MOM was TEN TIMES better than those few words!
Well, in the last four or five years, Mom frequently echoed the words of her mom (my Oma, “grandmother”), who often said in her last years: “How did I get to be so old?!” Mom made it to 92, and when I came from Maryland to stay with her for a week or two about every other month, I always returned home out of breath – not so much from completing her “honey-do” lists, but from watching her run rings around me while I was doing it! Many times, I said to Kim and Patty, my wife, when I came back: “I hope I have at least 10 percent of Mom’s energy, when I’m that old!” But, Patty would quickly correct me, saying: “I wish YOU had 10 percent of Mom’s energy TODAY!”
We all know Mom was most proud of her independence. How many times did we hear her say: “I’m VERY independent!”? AND SHE WAS! She lived alone in, and kept, one of the nicest houses on the block for almost 20 years (through TWO hurricanes) after my father passed. And I honestly don’t know how she did it! I am about as old as Mom was when Dad died, but I can’t even find my way out of a parking lot without Patty’s directions from the front seat!
Now, I want you to look around the room today at her friends and family. And I want to especially acknowledge Kim, Dan, and Danny. But, I have to say THIS a little quieter, so Mom won’t hear it. Thank you all for YOUR love, friendship, kindness, support, and help . . . that MADE Mom so “independent” [air quotes]! And in the end, which of us is TRULY “independent”? We ALL depend on each other to live fuller lives – and to keep our balance on this spinning planet. And let’s not forget to thank our higher power whose steadying hand also plays a major role.
Please rise and join me in a toast to Mom, my Muttilein (that’s “Mommy” in German): “THANK YOU, AND WE LOVE YOU!”
Liebe Kim, Lieber Pete mit Familien, liebe Angehörige,
zum Heimgang von Marille Stokes übersende ich mein herzlichstes Beileid. Ich wünsche Euch viel Kraft in dieser schweren Zeit.
Ich werde immer an ihr fröhliches und humorvolles Wesen denken.
Lieber Pete, liebe Kim mit Familien, mit großer Trauer haben wir vom Tod von Marille erfahren. Auch wenn wir lange nichts mehr voneinander gehört haben, wir haben sie nicht vergessen. Wir wünschen euch viel Kraft für die kommende Zeit. Marille und Matthias