Eulogy for Mom
(read October 12th at the 11am funeral mass at Our Lady of Sorrows, Essex, CT)
We gather here to honor the life and death of a very warm and special lady, who happens to be my mom, our mom, dad’s beloved wife of 69 years, sister, aunt (ciocia), grandma (babcia), and a good FRIEND to many.
My mom grew up in a polish immigrant family of 9 siblings living in Middletown, CT and, fortunately, she had one warm memory sitting on her dad’s lap before he tragically died when she was only 6 years old. Her mom went on to raise 9 children uprooting them several times to different households, all in Middletown. My mom’s older sisters played a big part in raising her, especially the oldest Aunt Lottie. Her family’s closeness got them through both good and bad times. We have fond memories of her family gatherings with our many Aunts, Uncles and Cousins with bounds of laughter and good fun, like our picnics at Hurds Park and Christmas dinners at Aunt Lottie’s where we jammed into her tiny apartment on the second floor.
All of us here know that mom loved to dance, and so does dad. They met at a dance in 1947 at the Polish Falcon’s Hall in Middletown. And that was the start of them becoming life-long dancing partners. They were engaged on March 10, 1951, which amazingly they celebrated every year like a traditional Wedding Anniversary. My mom’s hope was to marry in the month of May which is the blessed mother’s month when her statue is at the altar. Unfortunately, many marriages were occurring at this time with the start of America’s involvement in the Korean War. She told Ken the story how the priest graciously had accepted her request to keep the statue of Mother Mary at the alter during their wedding vows which ended up taken place on June 2nd.
Our family began shortly after their marriage when Raymond was born only 10 months after. Mom held the fort down in our household when dad was drafted into the Service and when he was working late hours. She was always there for our homework, catechism, baseball, scouts, music and dance lessons. Her love of her family extended to her grandchildren as she kept her time spent with them either at home, on the playground or on day trips so dear to her heart. Our traditional thanksgiving dinners at Joanne and Bill’s and Christmas’ at Mom and Dad’s are special memories for us. Mom will be so sadly missed this year and in all the years to come.
My mom was very thoughtful and kind, always attending to the little things in life. A card, meticulously chosen to fit each person, was expected for every one of our celebrations. My mom kept active, dancing and traveling with my dad until just recent. They were stronger together in life, and may she pave the way when not only my dad, but all of us will dance with her heaven.
I would like to end with a poem by James Joyce…
At that hour
At that hour when all things have repose,
O lonely watcher of the skies,
Do you hear the night wind and the sighs
Of harps playing unto Love to unclose
The pale gates of sunrise?
When all things repose, do you alone
Awake to hear the sweet harps play
To Love before him on his way,
And the night wind answering in antiphon
Till night is overgone?
Play on, invisible harps, unto Love,
Whose way in heaven is aglow
At that hour when soft lights come and go,
Soft sweet music in the air above
And in the earth below.
We Love You Mom,
Raymond, Ken, Joanne and Patty
So sad to hear the loss of my Aunt ciocia Theresa. We had such wonderful talks of all their Polish festival travels. I can even remember dancing the polka with her on the dance floor at various parties! My heart goes out to uncle Ray and the entire family during this difficult time. Love Suzanne (Panas) and Jeremy Williams and family
Dear Uncle Ray & Kusmierski Family,
Our deepest condolences on losing a wonderful, loving wife, mother and grandmother. May all your precious memories comfort you during this difficult time. I will never forget Aunt Theresa and our memories and may she Rest In Peace.
Shirley & George Panas