If you did not know my mom, the eulogy I delivered may not make a lot of sense; but some of it will. What you should know is that How Are Things in Glocca Morra? was my mom’s “theme song,” as so many know. My mom had a wonderful voice and she sang Glocca Morra with such passion. She has now arrived in her Glocca Morra—heaven.
Here is the letter to my mom that I read as her eulogy…
I have one question that I have always longed to have answered — How are things in Glocca Morra this fine day, now that you have arrived? Somehow, my quaint picture of that “willow tree still weeping there” is interrupted by your planning a grand extravaganza complete with theme, costumes, and dance number. I can only picture you convincing Fred, Frank, and Bing to star in your heavenly production, and telling Busby Berkley “thanks” but you don’t need his help. Even God must be shaking his head in utter amazement — because you are an amazing person!
We tried our best to celebrate your life in the funeral Mass you just watched. I know that you sat back and beamed when your grandchildren Katie, Jacqueline, Allie, Carly, Jake, and Jenny read scripture, asked for intercessions, and brought forth the gifts. You never hesitated in speaking your mind, so when you told Susan and me that the music at Saint Stephen’s was “heavenly” we were blessed when Barb Upton and her daughter Liz could perform. They will help answer that burning question, How are things in Glocca Morra? in just a few minutes.
Well, we are all off now for the party. Susan made sure we served the very best because she learned from you how important a good meal is to a party. That’s a little ironic given she was the last person to be with you in this world planning your menu for the week while watching the Giants beat the Skins. Yes, mom, Van is smiling at that comment and the Philly contingent is thanking me for not mentioning the hapless Eagles. And, mom, don’t even think of asking God to redo history by having your beloved Yankees not tank to the Tigers. If Mr. Steinbrenner made it to heaven talk to him about getting rid of A-Rod and building a real team.
I didn’t dress you, mom — Kristin did that with Susan. So, don’t blame me if they didn’t pick out the right clothes and jewels. What I did do was take my best shot at writing your obituary. I won’t repeat it here because we distributed a copy to everyone at the funeral home and church. I just hit the highlights because to list everything you accomplished in life would rival War & Peace in word count.
Timmy, who helped pick the readings for your mass, arrived with Aleatha and found one of your weather broadcasts. We’re going to play it during lunch. Tommy found you a resting spot near the Babe and Billy Martin, and your Prep buddies Malcolm Wilson and Bob Alplenalp are around the corner. Tim and Tom are going to miss you dearly, and I know will visit your resting place to make sure it has some Yankee blue flowers on occasion.
It you and dad go over to Susan’s parents, I hope there is no talk of politics. Remember the instructions the first time you guys met and Susan and I could not be there. Then again, I know there are no divisions in heaven; just kindred spirits basking in God’s love, light, and grace. You are surely in a lot better place.
Say “hi” to all the people up there who were talking to you the last few weeks about joining them. I wish I could have seen our Ticey Boy, as you called him, bound over Rainbow Bridge like the eternal pup he now is to greet you. And you running with him past that little brook running down to Donny cove to meet family and friends. You’re that size 2 beauty again that dazzled audiences with your smile. Then again, even at 85 everyone who met you the last four weeks said you lit up the room with your unique Glo.
Susan is giving me the evil eye to wrap this up, Mom. I just want you to know that you had a huge impact on everyone you met. The words I have heard the last few days to describe you include “effervescent,” “radiant,” and “dazzling.” I know you are always only a heartbeat away and I will end here with the last words I spoke to you — “I love you, mom.”