As Always Be Good & Be
As I have stated before, Granny Annie's hasn't been in the best of health for a long time but her death has still come as somewhat of a shock to me (and my family.) When I got to the hospital on that Sunday, we realized how quickly her body was shutting down. The words "48 hours left" were said and I didn't want to believe it. Mom was STUBBORN Irish , but I knew how much she missed my dad and wanted to be with him. Jamie, Kerri Ann & I took turns over the next days staying with her around the clock. Kerri Ann & I were with her holding her hand (Jamie was waiting on her husband to get home from work) when she passed away @ 5:20pm.After we left the hospital, it was off to the Funeral home where thankfully mom had taken care of everything (she preplanned her funeral right after my dad passed in 2003). The next five days are a blur.My In-law came in from Upstate and Maryland,& family from Kentucky, Pennsylvania & Connecticut.Someone had asked me if I had had a "sign" from mom that she arrived. Matter of fact I got two (if you want to look at it that way) the first was on Wednesday afternoon, I was home alone and on the phone walking from the living room into the kitchen when all the sudden it felt like I had walked thru a cloud of cigarette smoke. I could smell it and taste it. (no one has smoked in this house since June. The person I was on the phone with said"its a sign from her" The second "sign" was on Thursday afternoon, we had a private viewing (Jamie & Mike,Kerri & Pete, Andrew and myself) and I wasn't happy with how her hair looked,(one thing mom was all about was her hair, it had to always be just so). I said to my sisters I wasn't happy, they agreed and we talked to the staff about having it fixed before the evening services. I left and went to get a trim on my hair. I get to the salon, hair get washed, Theresa starts to trim my hair and the lights go out. (Here on the Island we were having very high winds that day.) They come back on 60 seconds later, only to go back out a few minutes after that. So after sitting in the dark for about 20 minutes and finding out that the power company said lights wouldn't be back on to 7pm, I told Theresa I needed to get out of there, so she finished my "trim" with 6 of her co workers around me with light from their phones showing the way. I started to laugh and was asked what was so funny, I explained where I had just come from and what I had said and that it was my mother doing( the power failure) that she didn't want my hair to look better then hers. LOL.
Below is the beautiful eulogy that my sister Jamie gave on Friday night.
On Tuesday, I lost one of my favorite people in the whole world: my beloved mother, Annie . But mother doesn’t begin to do her justice. In many ways, she was more than a mom to me and my sisters The past several weeks have been such a hellish mix of hospital rooms and funeral preparations that I really haven’t had a chance to stop and remember all of the joy she brought into my life. If you get past the cheesy A-Z structure, I think you’ll get a glimpse of the incredible woman I came to love.
A for Annie. Quite simply, a great lady.. A is also for Aislinn, the granddaughter she never got to meet. A is also for Annie’s Stationery Store, a place where mom and dad made numerous life long friends.B for Books. Annie spent most her final years reading tons of books. She would read several in a week. 10 days before she passed I asked her if she wanted me to get her book out of the library…she replied, ‘ No, I’ve read them all’. B is for Bulfin; Peter Bulfin. Just knowing Peter was in heaven to greet mom makes me feel so much better.C for Carleigh, her newest grandchild who brought such innocent joy to her life. C is for cracker, preferably Ritz. With peanut butter. Only Skippy. Is it any wonder Saorla’s first word was cracker?
D for Donna, her eldest. She loved you Dee more than you’ll ever know. She always marveled at your strength and was worried about your sensitivity. As my parents always used to say, “Donner, get the front!” D is for Disco lessons in the 70s.E for Eggs, 2 sunny side up, fried in bacon fat with the bacon fat on the eggs or egg salad sandwiches. Either way, Annie loved her some eggs.F for Family and Friends: the two biggest sources of pleasure in her life. F is for Fin, a wonderful family whom my parent cherished. Micheala, Rachael and Connor were my parent’s adoptive grand kids who they adored. F is also for Fianna a joy and wonder – her 2nd grandchild the one who could also make Granny laugh. F is also for St. Francis. My mom was a patient at St. Francis as a child. When I started working at St. Francis last year, she cried because she held St. Francis so dear to her. F is also for five finger discount. I won’t say anymore but Aunt Sally knows what I’m talking about.G for grandchildren, next to a VO and Diet coke (in a pint glass, little ice) nothing would make her face light up more. G is also for Granny, someone who will be missed by 4 loving grandchildren.H for her favorite weekly routine: her Hair appointment with Janet. Her hair was so important that she was in labor with me but wouldn’t go into the hospital until her hair was done. H is also for heaven, a wonderful place where mom is finally reunited with Dad as well as many cherished friends, The C, The Co, Marge B, Rocky Gi, Walter A and so many more. H is for Hunter, her maiden name - a name she was proud of. H is hearing or lack therof.I for Ireland, home of her beloved mother and a place she enjoyed visiting. . I is for the Irish Coffee Pub, a warm wonderful place where she always felt at home and made some wonderful friends.J for St. Jude, for whom she had a devotion throughout her life. J is also for James her beloved husband and partner in life whom she is finally united again with,K for Kerri, her baby. She worried about you Kerri more than any of us. I know she will guide you through life because she never wanted harm to come to you. May you live your life with Mom’s guided hand always showing you the way..L for Love…love for her beloved Jimmy, her children and grandchildren. L is also for Liverwurst, on rye, with mustard. L is for library, although at the end, she apparently had read every book..M for Me, her favorite daughter, or at least I like to think so. M is also for Margie her confidant and cherished friend. M is also for mother, she may not have been June Cleaver, but she was ours and we loved her.N for Nancy and John F, two wonderful friends who stood by mom through her darkest times.O for the Oconee…she always liked a good meal in the diner.
P for Pall Mall. After all, she’s the only person we knew who smoked Pall Mall red for over 50 years. P is also for Pathmark, a place she worked for over 20 years. P is for puzzles…mom loved a good crossword, word jumble or word find.
Q for Quality time with her grandchildren “ also known as anything involving a major meal.R for Road trip. Annie loved a good road trip. Whether it was Kentucky, Ohio or even our cross-country jaunt to Seattle, mom loved to go out and travel.. R is for rheumatic fever, a childhood illness that set the course for the rest of her life.S is for her granddaughter Saorla who judging by the walls in her house, you’d think was the single most photographed human being ever. S is also for Seamus, her only grandson who with the devil in his eye loved his granny more than anything. S is also for Squit, who are, though not related by blood, they are definitely our family. Aunt Sal, Uncle Bill, you brought so much joy and fun to my parents over the years. I only hope that my family will always be part of yours even though she is gone. S is also for Shepherd’s Pie, her favorite dish by far. S is for Scotland, homeland of her beloved father. S is also for sense of humor (When doing a report for a class about her her family's heritage, mom told Jamie to tell her teacher she was Irish with a shot of Scotch.)T for Tea from 7-11 – 2 tea bags, two sweet and lows, not too much milk.U for her Unparalleled sense of style. Whether she was going to the supermarket or a fancy wedding, she always had her ‘ face on’ which included red lipstick and her hair styled once a week.V for her VO and diet coke, her beverage of choice. V is for St. Vincent Ferrer, the school of her childhood, the church where she married. W for Weekends at the S...house. Mom would come for coffee & breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and spend precious time with Saorla, Fianna and Seamus. These visits created moments which will never be forgotten.X for her XL , generous heart.Y for Years of wonderful memories. Y is for parties in our yard going over both sides of the fence, especially 4th of July. Y is for Yellow Roses, her favorite.
Z for her Zest for life. When she was about 9 years old, the doctors told mom she’d never live to be 21. She outlived their expectations by over 51 years. If that’s not Zest for life, I’m not sure what is.
Thanks for the memories, Mom. We’ll miss you tremendously.
As Always Be Good & Be Safe
As Always Be Good & Be Safe
I am home in Heaven, dear ones; Oh so happy and so bright! There is perfect joy and beauty In this everlasting light.
All the pain and grief is over, Every restless tossing passed; I am now at peace forever, Safely home in Heaven at last.
Did you wonder I so calmly Trod the valley of the shade?Oh, but Jesus' love illumined Every dark and fearful glade.
And He came Himself to meet me In that way so hard to tread; And with Jesus' arm to lean on, Could I have one doubt or dread?
Then you must not grieve so sorely,For I love you dearly still, Try to look beyond earth's shadows, Pray to trust our Father's will.
There is work still waiting for you, So you must not idly stand; Do it now, while life remains, You shall rest in Jesus' land.
When that work is all completed, He will gently call you Home; Oh, the rapture of that meeting, Oh, the joy to see you come!
As Always Be Good & Be Safe
If you smoke, PLEASE STOP...if not for yourself then for the people that love you. Seem like such a simply request but one that isn't that easy to fulfill. I can remember asking my mother time and time again to please stop smoking and always got the same response, "I've been smoking so long quitting won't make a difference." Granny Annie started smoking when she was a teenager. Back in the mid 50's it was the cool , the in thing, elegant, sophisticated and of course she didn't just smoke any cigarettes she smoked non filter ones, Pall Mall. She switched to a filtered cigarette early in the 90"s and stopped smoking this past June. When I took her to the cardiologist in October for an appointment , he asked her if she was still smoking, she proudly told him "nope not one cigarette since the end of June" To which the Dr responded"That's Great, that was a big first step, Congratulations!!!.
Last Tuesday I received a phone call from the rehab telling me that my mother was in Respiratory distress and that they were calling in an ambulance to take her to the hospital.. She was admitted to the ICU in Heart Failure. Jamie ,Kerri Ann & I knew she didn't any heroic measure to be taken to prolong her life. So we knew a DNR(Do-Not-Resuscitate) was in order but then they asked about a DNI (Do-Not-Intubate) and we weren't sure. After talking it over with my sisters and a lot of praying for guidance I signed both on Wednesday afternoon. She is in End Stage Pulmonary Disease, and this morning I received a call from three of her Dr's all agreeing that there isn't anything left to do. Hospice is being called in to make her as comfortable.
So once again "If you smoke, PLEASE STOP...if not for yourself then for the people that love you"
As Always Be Good & Be
Happy 5th Birthday Fianna
Today is the 5th birthday to our niece Fianna. She is a bright energetic little girl who loves to dance, sing and play soccer. Happy Birthday Fianna! Have a great day and enjoy your party this weekend.
As Always Be Good & Be Safe