So, today would be my mom’s 55th birthday. In honor of her, I am posting the eulogy I wrote and delivered at her funeral. I think she would have liked it.
Kelly German really enjoyed a good theme. When I think about my mom, the best theme of who she was Is LOVE. I have never met anyone with the same capacity to love that my mom had. She was fiercely loyal and could not give enough love away. If you visited our house, you never left empty-handed – physically or emotionally and yet somehow she always had more love to give. Mom loved to laugh and tell stories. She had an insatiable hunger for knowledge. Mom was incredibly proud of us kids and would joke that she wasn’t sure where we came from since each of us has a more adventurous spirit than she gave herself credit for. She was beautifully empathetic and always willing to lend a helping hand (or lend my dad’s helping hand). My mom was beyond generous and truly wanted the best for you, even if it came at a personal cost to herself.
I’m also fairly certain, before friends were allowed to come over, they were instructed NOT to get wrapped up in any of my mom’s latest plans or ideas by their spouses. But people were rarely able to turn her down! Mom was a visionary for sure, and when she pitched the idea it just never seemed as time or labor intensive as it could turn out to be. In fact, it would sound BRILLIANT! Doing things the Kelly German way, included presentation, a lot of love and wild creativity. She would set new standards for excellence and it was always bigger and always BETTER than anyone could have imagined.
I used to make a joke that our family was a lot like Job’s, only not as holy. In our household, we learned to laugh at not only our fortunes but our misfortunes. My mom made sure we recognized the blessings that were bestowed upon us and would try to make our lives better no matter the situation. I would often talk to her about struggling with God’s plans for me and the family with my mom. When I would lament that life was not fair she would usually break into song at this point, maybe a Beatles song about how “all you need is love” and then tell me I had to trust that God knew what he was doing. She would say I didn’t have to like it but I had to trust it. My mom helped to build our family using her faith and love as corner stones
I know many of us are thinking about the things mom will miss – future and current spouses she would love to run through the German Gaunlet (again and again), future grandbabies and great-grandbabies she could tell stories too and treat with the weirdest candy ever and the retirement days with my dad and friends. She will miss the new quirky facts she learned on Jeopardy and giving us advice – both solicited and unsolicited. But probably more than anything, we are selfish and thinking about how much WE are going to miss her. I wrote to a friend to tell him mom had passed away. I told him, she had adored him. My friend wrote back, “your mom was ADORED by me”. This is the truth; mom touched more lives than she ever realized and had an impact on more people than she could ever know.
So the next time you hug a person, remember my mom would have held you a little tighter and a little longer. She would have given you at least one kiss but probably more. Mom would have said, “I just love ya” and then pulled you in for one last embrace. Keep my mom’s memory alive by following her example and loving with your whole self. My hope is that we can attempt to fill the void mom left behind with love – for others and each other. It can be part of her legacy.
Happy Birthday Mom! Love you!