I know without a doubt you are proud of your son, Bob. I can’t believe he even asked the heartbreaking question ,”Was I a good enough son?” My heart ripped in two when he asked that question. I know without a doubt that you are looking down on him today with such pride and love. He is a good man, Louise. I thank you so much for raising Bob to be the person he is. Your legacy lives on.
Is he a good enough son…..oh yes. Is he a good enough husband…..hands down. Is he a good enough father……the best.
I read this at your funeral last Friday. If only the world could have known you:
I was so nervous to meet Louise for the first time. I mean, what was she going to think of her son showing up with this girl, who had a kid and a truckload of baggage? I was a far cry from that nice Italian girl from Girard whom she had been praying about for all those years. Yet, Louise welcomed me in, loved my child and me, from the very start. She treated me as if I were top choice for her baby boy, Bobby.
Louise’s kindness was beyond anything a person could imagine. She possessed such true authenticity that is so rare to find these days. Louise loved fiercely and boldly and unapologetically. She had such a strong, yet gentle love, for all those who were graced with her presence. A woman so loved by all that her landscaper and interior designer came to visit her in her final days with us. Can you believe, the landscaper??
Louise was one of the most thoughtful people I had ever met. She thought of things that you needed before you even knew you needed them. She was always gifting us with random things that she picked up because we were always on her mind. I’m going to miss my candles, lotions, trinkets or a hot plate she picked up at the store because she thought it was pretty. The store Macy’s is going to indeed feel the financial downfall in Louise’s absence. Bob will miss the sonic toothbrush refills, body wash and underwear she bought him for the last 41 years. Wow, did I have so much fun making fun of my husband because his Mommy still bought him body wash and underwear – even after the ten years that we have been together. As I promised, Louise, I will take over and carry on your legacy. I will make sure your baby has new and clean underwear for the rest of his life.
My only challenge with my Mother-in-Law was that she wanted to spend a lot of time with us. I had to pack an overnight bag just to spend the day at John & Louise’s house. I know think about that one for a minute. Can you believe that my only issue with Louise was that she loved us so much that she wanted to squeeze out every last-minute of time with us? Oh Louise, what I would give to have you call us one more time when we were on the road 10 minutes after leaving your house, just so you could lure us back and give us something that we “forgot”. I put forgot in quotes because I’m convinced you hid our things to get us to come back so that you could give us just one more kiss and say just one more “I love you” before sending us on our way.
I want to share a quick story with you all about the power of God. The first time we brought John and Louise to our Christian church we were excited and nervous. After all, this church is not your Mama’s Catholic church. They came, of course, with an open mind and no judgment. Pre-service we have a band that plays contemporary Christian music and they totally rock out. On this particular day they went traditional and old school and sang ‘How Great Thou Art.’ That is the first and last time that Bob and I have ever heard them play that song in our church. Later after service, Louise shared with me that ‘How Great Thou Art’ was her absolute favorite and the song had brought her to tears in church that day. About 2 weeks ago, Bob reminisced with Louise in the hospital about the story and how we have never heard them sing that song again in the 3 years that we have been attending. So, a few days ago I was sharing that story with my Pastor at the church. He said, “Danielle, can you believe that we actually played ‘How Great Thou Art’ this past Saturday at service for the first time in a long time! In fact, everything that could go wrong with the computers did and the lyrics on the TVs disappeared, so the lead worship singer had to wing it and he nailed the song perfectly!!”
I do believe that on Saturday night, January 31st, God was calling his baby girl, Louise, home that night with the sweet serenade of her favorite song. Of course in true Louise fashion, it took her two more days to say goodbye without being able to speak a word. Just so she could share the last tender moments with those she loved so dearly. She was showered with love on Sunday. There were lots of kisses, whispers in her ears with words of encouragement that it was okay to go home and be with God, a back massage from me, the birthday girl and best of all, Louise got to share one of the most beautiful moments between mother and daughter. It was magical watching Karla and Louise share a special moment as Karla gave her a full upper body massage. Time almost stood still, the illness almost forgotten, the love between the two of them, Mother and Daughter, radiated through the room. Karla soothing her with a soft voice and Louise moaning in appreciation and adoration, so much was said between the two of them without a word being spoken.
Whether it was a close or a distant relative, or a neighbor, she always made sure she sent a card or gift for any occasion. She lived to give advice or encouragement to her kids and family. You never left her house hungry or thirsty. She always had a kind word about people, never a judgment spoken out loud. I never heard her raise her voice although Bob insists otherwise-I still don’t believe him. She was truly one of a kind.
All of us here in this room are so very blessed to be in on this little secret – God loaned us an angel for such a short – but oh-so-sweet time. Louise was an angel that shined as bright as the stars in the sky, with a soul as pure as the clear blue waters of Lake Tahoe, had strength as strong and present as the Rocky Mountains and was as beautiful as a morning sunrise across the rolling hills of Pennsylvania.
We love you Louise, forever and ever. How Great Thou Art.