Friday, May 23, 2008

Mom's Obituary, Photos and Stuff...

I wanted to thank everyone for their support and friendship during the past week since my mom passed I mentioned, I was with her at the end and her passing was very quiet and peaceful.

I'm back in Chicago now, and thought I'd share her obituary and some pictures that I've always found comfort in.

This is the obituary that ran in the area newspapers.

It was slightly edited from what I wrote for them, but they got the gist of it:

Mom Obit

This picture was always my favorite one of Mom and me.

It was taken in 1997, about two months after I'd moved here:

Aaron&Mom 1997

She'd just turned 50 about two weeks before, and I remember thinking that she didn't look anywhere near it. (And yes, I know, I had more hair then.

So what? Shut up!)

The next one was taken not long after that. My aunt Teri was in town (she's in the green shirt), visiting from Louisiana, where she'd recently moved.

I couldn't get down there, because it was short notice, but Mom gave me a copy of the photo:

Family Picnic 1997

My uncle Jim (mom's brother) is on the top left, and my aunt Fay, whom I've mentioned here before, is on the top row, second from the right. They still pretty much look like that. The rest of the family has changed somewhat (mostly because lots of them are kids, and they've grown up!).

We got lots of really nice floral tributes, including this really gorgeous one from The Joans:

Joans Flowers 003

I brought it home with survived a three-hour car ride and I gave it some water when I got here. The lighting isn't the greatest, unfortunately, but you can see what a nice job our local florist did.

The local funeral home, Weber-Hurd, has an online guest book where friends can send messages to the family of the deceased. There were quite a few really nice messages when we looked at it over the last few days.

There was also this one, located at the top:

Bonnie Bitch

Aunt Fay got to watch the steam pour out of my ears when I read the third sentence: "Sorry to see there's no Catholic mass or funeral."

WTF, Bonnie Stroot?!

Allow me to explain something, Bonnie: there was no Catholic mass because Mom didn't want one. She didn't even want a visitation, really, but we had one because we thought it would be nice to have a place where her friends and family who don't see each other often could gather and share their memories. I notice that you weren't there, Bonnie Stroot, although you seem to have had time to write a snooty message.

I shouldn't be too hard on Bonnie Stroot. She's a good Catholic (apparently), and it's important to her that other people be good Catholics, too. In fact, she's such a good Catholic that before she married Dr. Stroot, he had his first marriage annulled. Which, I suppose, means that his four children from that marriage (and with whom I went to grade school) were then illegitimate. And also that her first marriage to one of my dad's best friends, and which produced a lovely daughter who was also in my class, didn't happen.

But when one wants to marry a rich chiropractor, such trifles fall by the wayside. So you go ahead and pray, Bonnie. Pray for enlightenment. My mother had already found hers, and practiced it daily. I hope you can understand that.

And if not, who the hell cares? Go suck an egg, Bonnie Kruger Seidlarz Stroot.

(Authors note: Bonnie K-S-S is not on MySpace, so I shall share these sentiments in a respectfully worded thank-you note, provided by the funeral home.)

Most of all, I've been very glad to spend time with my family this week. They all came together and remembered my mom the way she should be remembered. And for that, I love and cherish them...I'm proud that she was my mom.

Peace out!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A wonderful tribute to a great christian woman. Great pictures. Bonnie Stroot, God is not a Catholic or Baptist or Mormon, God is love. Religions came about created by humans to try to prove they were right and everyone else must be wrong.
Aaron, I read in Dear Abbey, about a woman who feared her man was losing his hair and felt that if he did go bald she just couldn't marry him. Oh, the fun you'd have with the reply to that , huh? (I can't read any advice columns now without thinking WWAD) What would Aaron Do! Ed

7:21 AM  
Blogger American Girl said...

Thanks for sharing the events of the last days with us. I hope blogging about your mom's passing helps you in some way.

Good for Bonnie for giving you an opportunity to express any anger you might have. Although I do think she might be a bit surprised by it. She seems a little, oh, what is the word, fucking stupid.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Ed: Thank you so much...I think you and Mom would've gotten along famously. She felt much as WE do, and had no patience for the hypocrisy of the organized Catholic church. I shall explain this to Bonnie in that very respectfully worded note, although I doubt she'll get it. I'm really not worried about it...I know in my heart Mom was right!

Sarah: She IS pretty thick...I remember some of the stories Mom told, not to mention Aunt I'll just make sure she knows that the absence of a Catholic funeral was in accordance with Mom's wishes. She'll probably remember me as the fat boy in Julie's third-grade class. So what...I've NEVER had to pay the Vatican $5,000 to negate one of MY relationships...

11:23 PM  
OpenID afod said...

Such a shame that she had to lose her life at such a young age. Your posts about your mother always reminded me of the fortunes with my mother and to not take them for granted. Your posts also helped bring to light a sense of mortality through your own realizations. It's a scary scenario that I thought I could prepare myself for. I don't know if that will happen. (((((Aaron)))))

9:15 PM  
OpenID afod said...

P.S. - You're cuter without the hair. :-)

9:18 PM  
Blogger BC said...

Thanks for sharing your memories and pictures with us, Aaron. Take care.

1:15 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Steven: Thank you. What I've found is that you can never prepare as much as you'd like, because there just isn't any way to know how it will feel until it happens. In our case, Mom had been sick for several months and was already "gone" in a way, so all that was left was to hope and pray for a peaceful end. We got that, but I'm sure that there will be times over the next several months that it will suddenly hit me that she's gone. I hear that it does get easier with time, though...thanks for the hair comment, too. I can't believe how much time I spent messing with it back then. It's so much easier to towel and gel it and go, now that it's short...

BC: Thanks for letting me share them! And also for your beautiful card (you'll also get an official thank-you note, but since I have you here now...:-))

10:55 AM  
Blogger Stephen Rader said...

You are in my thoughts. I fyou need anything at all, please give me a call. Much love.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Thanks Stephen. I'm sure I will need to go for a drink at some point!

2:40 PM  

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