i had the honor of giving the eulogy at my mother's funeral a few weeks ago.
i'm not just saying it was an honor because that's what a good son is supposed to say. it was an honor for me. writing it was an act of love and a small token of my appreciation for being able to call myself Mary Losch's son.
it would be a lie to say that it was one of the hardest things i'm ever had to do because it wasn't. while it was difficult to maintain my composure while i spoke (i did a fair job of doing that. plenty of tears and lots of deep breaths got me through it sort of.). it was very easy to talk about the woman that guided me in the journey to become the person that i am today.
she was my everything growing up. she was that constant, steady force that i knew i could count on for anything. her love and wisdom were special gifts bestowed upon me and my sisters. i knew that i was lucky to have her as my mom. even at a young age that was clear to me but it wasn't until i got much older that i fully understood the rarity of having that kind of luck.
now is when many of you are thinking, "well my mom is/was great and all mom's are. what makes you think you are so special?" you may be right. your mom probably is/was great. i hope so. all i am saying is that it's been my experience that not all people have that experience and those of us who have should remind ourselves not to take that for granted. it is a gift, a rare element. hell it might as well be stardust.
in an effort to help me continue to work through all of the feelings and thoughts that i find myself swimming through daily, i thought i would share the eulogy with you. it helps me remember her to share her with others. it is my hope that those of you who knew her are reminded of her and those of you who didn't know her get a tiny glimpse of what an amazing soul she was and is.
here it is.
good afternoon and thank you for coming. i am tim losch.
Mary was my mom but also mother to three daughters: Mary Ellen, Christina and Laurie.
before being our mom, she was a sister and with that title she was also known to many as Aunt Mary. and of course she was know as friend to a host of others.
each of us has memories and stories of mom. i could regale you with stories all afternoon and into the night but i won't. instead i will focus on a single example that i feel illustrates the greatness of my mom and the force behind those things that each and every one of us is thankful for in her.
mom grew up in a home where literature and poetry were honored and loved.
words had meaning and value.
they informed your daily activities and choices, as well as your outlook on the world.
poetry and quotes of great writers were committed to memory and recited aloud and shared with others.
among those oft-recited quotes was one from the 18th century English poet Alexander Pope. "act well your part, there all the honor lies."
this quote was recited several times each day as she grew up.
whenever one of the smith kids left the house, a parent would say to them, "act well your part."
the child would then respond, "that's where the honor lies."
you may notice that the Smith family too an ever so slight liberty with the exact quote by relaxing it a bit. i like to think that it was their way of making it less formal and more fitting for this lovely mountain town that we find ourselves in today.
well mom continued that tradition with her children. i can't remember a time when i didn't hear that exchange between mom and one or more of my sisters or between mom and me.
it was part of the fabric of our lives and without knowing it; we were being given a lesson each and every time: that your actions matter. reinforcing with every recitation that our actions mattered. not only to ourselves but also to others in our lives and to everyone we encountered.
mom lived each day of her life using that quote as her guiding principle.
listen to it again, "act well your part, that's where the honor lies."
there is such power and wisdom in those words.
if each of us pauses and thinks on them for a moment, we can recall examples of how she demonstrated that principle in the way she treated us and interacted with us.
- she lived with: love, humor and compassion.
- she was quick with that enchanting smile and sparkling gaze, as well as with a tender thought or comment.
- she shared her intelligence and curiosity for knowledge with us.
- she gave her support freely and was unfailingly loyal.
- she encouraged us and built our confidence.
- she was our caregiver.
- she was an example of how to live:
- and with purpose and duty to those around her.
all of us are thankful for having had the privilege of being in her orbit and to bask in the warm glow of her love, light, wisdom and affection.
i ask you to celebrate and honor Mom's life each and every day by remembering to always, "Act well your part..."