My Mom, Beverly Rosen, passed away the morning of November 21st in her home. My Dad and I held her in our arms as she passed.
This is what I said at her funeral just a few hours ago:
My Mom had more than her share of health challenges. She went through five bouts of cancer, years of stomach problems, arthritis, and on and on. When someone would find out about her medical history, they'd say "You poor thing, you've had such a hard life".
She knew that this came from a good place in people's hearts. But it still drove her crazy because she never thought of herself as being a "poor thing", and she never wanted anyone to feel sorry for her.
She wasn't a victim, she was a fighter. A ferocious fighter who faced down cancer and managed to beat it four times. And each time I could see her come out of it treasuring life that much more. She had truly learned how precious life is, so she held the most important thing in her life, her family, that much closer to her heart, relishing each day, and savoring each moment.
She loved the way the warmth of the sun felt on her face, and she would go to great lengths to sit in the sun.
If it was a chilly day, she'd take her lawn chair outside and find the one tiny sliver of sunlight so she could sit down, lift her face up, and warm it. As the sun moved its way across the sky, she would drag the lawn chair to follow it. Once, I sat with her. We started at the front door, and we ended up moving all the way across the lawn and down to the sidewalk, six inches at a time. She'd sit and sigh and say how wonderful it felt and then she'd move six more inches and do it again.
That was my Mom. Able to find the tiny sliver of warm sunlight on an otherwise dark and dreary day. So when you remember her, please don't think "Poor Beverly".
Instead, hold you're loved ones a little closer the way she would, relish each day and savor each moment a little more the way she would. And turn your face up and let the sun's rays wash over you, and when you feel that warmth, remember, that's my Mom.