Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Eulogy for Our Mom
—Helen Steiner Rice –
A Mother's love is something
that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away
Welcome all. I believe I’ve had the pleasure to meet everyone this afternoon, but for those who I haven’t yet , I’m David, Her oldest son.
Roslyn Brass, Daughter of Bertha and Gerson, Born Roslyn Malinsky, changed to Malin when her parents divorced at a young age, then King when she married our Father Henry, later divorced and some years later then met Charlie, the love of her life, and proudly became Roslyn Brass – but to many of us, we just called ‘Rocky’
Like anyone in the position to eulogize someone they love, You want to your best in relaying your feelings about them, how they impacted your life, the life of others and there legacy. I’d like to think that in my case, our relationship was such that we not only held the role of Mother and Son, but also as a partnership of sorts, one that for 80 years, we nurtured, invested in, and fed with love and understanding which ultimately blossomed into something that we at times took for granted but most often knew what we had was something very special.
Many of these same qualities, many we all possess in some way, both good (great) or bad – and yes, some were BAD (ahh smoking )- I we learned at an early age, she was not only special to me and my brothers Kevin & Michael, but to all she came in contact with, extended family, her close friends and co-workers, to which shes filled the room with today. The time spend together as a family over the past year in particular has been one we’ll cherish. From hearing all beautiful sentiments during toasts made at her 80th surprise birthday party in May to kind words and stories many of you have shared with us about how Mom has impacted you.
Here are some of the quotes I’ve gathered – for some, may have paraphrased -
- She had an infectious smile
- Such a strong woman
- I never knew she could eat so much !
- She would help me when ever I needed it
- She showed me how to get the best deals an estate sale
- She knew her stuff … she tought me so much
- She had such a great sense of humor
- She told me that when I go to Olive garden – to fill up on the soup and salad with your meal and take home the entrée for dinner tomorrow night
- Shes one of those ‘go to people’ you could always rely on
- She told me to put a little money away for a rainy day ,,, you’ll never know when you’ll need it
- She was so organized- a place for everything and everything in its place
- I think she may have been Charlies ‘Angel’ - they came into each others life at the right time – when they needed each other the most
- One of the most loyal people I know
- She never complained about her cancer – regardless of how she felt
- I think she may have a chocolate addiction ?
- Her favorite expression ,,, (and most of you have heard her say it before) It is …. what it is !
- I Found it amazing that she would drive herself to and from chem and radiation and then go to work - who does that ?!
- She is so proud and loves you boys more than anything
When doing a Eulogy, Its often customary to share highlight your experiences - for me, there are sooo many. The one that may have been the most profound, was when I was 17 and decided it was time to come out to my mom. I was riddled with anxiety about telling her – not knowing her reaction. Concerned that she may not be able to handle it as she was going through her own torment in the beginning stages of divorce with my father. But because of everything we had together – everything she has tought me up to this point, every example she displayed, all things we did to nurtured that ‘partnership’ of a Mother and son’ has provided me the strength and courage to have the conversation - and her reply, I thought so ! … you always had a fascination for my shoes ! … she went on to ask … are you happy?.. I’m here for you - what ever it is you need. She said the road ahead may be hard, with tears in her eyes, but know that I will always love you and will always be here for you … remember, this does not define you – it’s just a small part of what makes you – you!
Our talk that night lasted hours. … and it changed and strengthened our relationship even more.
When Mom was diagnosed a little over 2 years ago, it was a punch to the gut for all of us. At first, she didn’t really understand the magnitude of what the future will bring – much of which was still to be defined. But what she did do is make it her mission to beat it – she was going to make cancer HER BITCH ! - she was determined, like everything else she set her mind to, to be the victor in this battle. In her ‘Rocky’ way – she had her battle plan, never giving up and making every effort to minimize the impact on her quality of life – she kept working, continued her DIY projects and enjoyed her times with friends and family. I think in some way, those close to her actually believed if there was someone that would beat this !– In in some ways, I think she did. After Thanksgiving, when we learned that the battle plan was not working, and we sat with the doctor, her is the doctors office, me on Zoom, receiving the news, she sat for a moment, looking off into space, and turned to say …. It is what it is ! ….. You see, in the end, although painful at times, her last months with us was spend doing what she relished the most - enjoying times with Family and friends. – bring those important in her life together - she was… the common denominator for all of us in this room.
Today we celebrate the Life of Roslyn , AKA Lynne , Aka ‘Rocky’, a remarkable woman that has touched us all - individually, in her own unique way. We all are so much better for having her in our lives and her legacy is the memories she leaves in each and every one of us.
Canadian poet Sharon Catley
Rest your head, my weary traveler
This earthy journey is at an end.
Say goodbye to those who'll mourn you
Acquaintance, family, friend.
Steadfast wife and noble mother
All your duties are complete
Your reward a new adventure
Take this gift and be at peace.
Leave behind the tears of loved ones
Lay your heavy burden down
Cast aside your worn out body
Pain and suffering be gone.
Just ahead someone is waiting
Who has passed through Heaven's door
Anticipating your arrival
A celebration is in store.
Prepare to step beyond the curtain
Separating life from death
Answers to all life's mysteries
This and more you shall possess.
Thoughts of you will bring us comfort
You're in our hearts, you are not gone
And in our time we'll come to join you
One last farewell and journey on.