Feb 2017
24

For Mom

My mother passed away this week after her third battle with cancer. This is what I said at her memorial service.

My name is Aimee and I am Greta’s eldest daughter. My sister Karrie, my aunt Heidi and I thank you for joining us today.

My grandparents emigrated from Germany in 1951 when Greta was just 11, and Heidi 5. They arrived at Christmas and met people from Zion Church, including Albert, that very night.

My grandparents worked in factories and my mom went to high school at Patterson Park, making friends that would last a lifetime.

Even though she dreamed of being a flight attendant, she buckled down to work as a secretary, got married and had me and my sister.

After my father’s early death, she returned to work first at the high school library, then at what eventually became Euler ACI. She worked there until her retirement and again made many friends who she stayed close with for the rest of her life.

During my childhood, we attended church here at Zion and I know this community has always been a safe haven for her.

I love that my mom had friends from all aspects of her life. Thank you for sharing your Greta stories with us. Many of you have said how much you will miss her big laugh, and trust me, I will too.

Since both my mom and my Aunt Heidi lost their husbands early in life, they turned to each other for comfort and friendship. We have often referred to them as “frick and frack” over the years.

They traveled together, visiting us in Denver as well as trips to New England and up down the coast of California.

But beyond that, they shared the simple things in life, like watching game shows, each from their respective houses, while talking on the phone together 50 times a day.

I ask you, friends of Greta, to help me support Heidi… because I know she now has a huge gaping hole in her life.

If you know my family, we are all girls. From Germany to America, generations up and down, it was girls upon girls.

When I told Mom I was having a boy she said, and I quote, “what the hell are we going to do now?”

What she learned is boys are pretty special. Her grandson Dex was soon followed by my sister’s son and I know they were the light of her life.

People have said cancer took my mom too early and that is certainly true. But I also think about how hard she fought, for how long. She had heart and cancer problems for many years.

She fought hard, so she could be with us longer. Because mom was a fighter.

Her life wasn’t always easy but she sacrificed and scraped so my sister and I could have a better one.

In the end, the family was all there with her, over varying times, that day.

I was honored to hold her hand as she passed.

I told her, “We’re here.”

She said, “I know.”

Those were the very last words she spoke.

Many people hoped to see her before she died, and I’m so sorry that didn’t work out.

But I want you to know, that she knew.

She knew that we all loved her.

Thank you.

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4 comments

  1. What a beautiful, tender eulogy, Aimee. When I look back on the words I spoke when my mom died, it is the same — a time of tender love, holding her in your two hands and releasing her gently into what’s next. And also deep gratitude for all you’ve had with her. Sending love, as always!

  2. Kriddie

    What a beautiful tribute to your Mom’s life & the love she spread with her big laugh & love for her friends & family. Thanks for sharing. Love you Aimee!

  3. I’m glad you had that time, Aimee. My
    Mama was also an early widow. Unfortunately, in the whirlwind of open heart surgery, I never got to say goodbye. After the surgery went bad, she was in an induced coma. I often wondered if she knew if I was there. It took me years and years of struggling with that to finally come to that peace. When death comes, no matter how abrupt, we know. Even if it takes a while to realize. Peace and love to you.

  4. Sarah Staney Vermillion

    What a sweet tribute to your mother! She will live on with you and your family. Your memories and her example will always bring you peace and happiness. I know being there with your parent at this time is an honor that you will always be grateful for. Thinking of you and your family.