(This is a presentation I made at my mother’s funeral service in September of 2005.)
I’d first like to thank my father for everything that he has done for my mother over the last number of years during her battle with Alzheimer’s. I know that many of us here, and many people not here, are very appreciative and moved by your faithfulness and commitment, Dad, over these years. Just last night when I was picking up Chinese food for dinner, the owner of the restaurant talked to me about just this, how he had observed your solicitousness and loving assistance to my mother. So on behalf of many, many people, thank you from the bottom of my and my sisters’ hearts.
We all know about what a wonderful human being my mother was, what a wonderful personality she had. Here are some of the words that I’ve seen or heard people close to her use to describe her: character, demeanor, modesty, charm, graciousness, quietness, dignity, elegance and class, a kind-of humble and egalitarian classiness.
My mother was a shy, private person, but she believed in standing up for what was right. She was not one to go to demonstrations; she probably went to no more than a few over her life, but here’s an example of what she did do. This was something I found when going through some of her files the evening that she died. About 15 or so years ago she wrote a letter to myself, Mary and Marti, describing several acts of bigotry that had taken place in Lancaster. She enclosed a pamphlet about the issue for us. In the concluding paragraph of her letter she wrote, “So I’m sending this along, just as a reminder that ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.'”
My mother was also very involved in church and community groups. One of the files which I looked at on Monday evening, a file entitled “BZG funeral,” had a list of groups which she had been involved with since 1965. There were 18 of them. She was a person who gave of herself for others.
Mom was a loving mother, doing all the things a mother does, driving us to jobs and activities, giving us guidance as we grew and developed.
Even when she was in the latter stages of her battle with Alzheimer’s she tried to be part of the family. I remember a time, probably a year and a half or so ago, where a number of us were sitting at the dinner table together, talking. Somehow the conversation turned to when my father and mother first began dating. My mother was quiet, trying to listen and understand, but at this point she was asked by someone what she thought. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but in her witty, ironic, pithy way she said something that brought smiles and a few chuckles from all of us.
My mom was not a sentimental person, so I’m not going to get sentimental as I conclude. My mother is at peace, she had a good, long life, doing much good for others. I’m sure she would want me to say, in conclusion, “do God’s work on the earth.”
(This presentation was made at Barbara Zigler Glick’s memorial service on September 23rd, 2005 in Lancaster, Pa.)