Sunday, August 29, 2004

My Life as a House... (a personal reflection)

This coming September 6th will be the 10th anniversary of my arrival to California. I grew up and lived for most of my life in the Philadelphia-area. But, for various reasons, I had chosen to move 3000 miles away from family and friends to start a new path in my life. Family (and friendship) are very important to me, as it's the foundation of my life. It is because of them (not in spite of them) that I was able to take that trek across the country and set new roots in this beautiful state.

Two and a half years ago, my Mom passed away after battling 10+ years of kidney failure and thrice-weekly dialysis treatments. Her suffering in the last months of her life was both physically and spiritually excruciating. Our Dad, and us siblings, went through the most emotionally challenging yet spiritually charged period of our lives during the last days of her life. It left an indelible mark on all of us.

At Mom's funeral, us siblings had the opportunity to each give a eulogy. Below is a copy of my words - feeble as they were:

There was a movie which recently played in the theaters. Although it was not a very good film, it did have a very intriguing title. It was called “Life As A House.” I would like to describe for all of you here today our life as a house. Our life as a home.

This special house was built with the sturdiest of foundations: our Mom & our Dad - reinforced with their unconditional love for each other and their children; their loyalty and compassion; their strength and grace; the unending prayers, sacrifice and devotion; their instruction and understanding; as well as their deep abiding sense of family, and their faith.

On this firm foundation are five pillars - their children – adding to the strength of this family structure with more love and companionship. Sharing in our joyous experiences of life, and being pillars of support when times were hard.

The walls of this structure are our extended family – aunts, uncles, cousins, grandchildren, and others who’ve surrounded us with an over abundance of love, laughter, celebration and good times.

Our close friends are our windows and doorways to the rest of the world, through whose comradery we experience the vastness, variety and complexity of this world.

The roof of this house is composed of those close to us who’ve passed on to be with our Lord – including, now, Mom – who cover us, and protect us, and watch over us from heaven above.

And all of this has been built on the solid, steady rock of Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate example of perfect love, compassion, grace and sacrifice.

This is our life as a house – our life as a home.

There’s a verse in Psalm 23: “You anoint my head with oil.” I cannot count how many times, Mom, that you had anointed my head with you little jar of holy oil and prayed for me - especially over these last number of years when you would anoint my head whenever I was about to get on a plane back to the west coast, and praying daily (not just for me but for all of us) with this rosary which I had specially made for you when I moved to California. It is impossible for me to express how grateful I am for that, Mom.

The good Lord had anointed your head with oil to be the greatest wife and mother our home could ever have. Thank you, Lord, for this most blessed and precious gift.

I love you, Mom. And I miss you already.

And I still miss you deeply, Mom. Yet I take comfort in knowing that you are safely in the loving embrace of our Lord, free from pain, free of tears, and filled with unending love & joy.

1 comment:

George said...

Very nice eulogy. Must be a fitting one for your mother. I liked your mention of God's role in the family - which is true and important!

Keep writing.

- George ( )