Two months ago today my precious mother passed away. In the same month Senator John McCain died. As I listened to his eulogy it was clear that I would prefer my mother’s type of eulogy at my funeral vs. his. Today, two months later, I want to share the eulogy I gave at my mothers funeral…..
My family & I wish to thank each of you for being here to celebrate the life of my mom. Dorothy Belle Garrett was born 11-30-1930. She had 2 sisters. 4 children and 11 grandchildren and a precious great granddaughter. She loved 2 men and was married to Charles Snow for 20 years and Art Garrett for 20 years. She was a widow for the past 28 years. Her family was her world.
Mom had a difficult childhood and in fact experienced much adversity throughout her whole life. However she never complained about it. Most people did not even know details of her life story. In our long conversations from many years ago, Mom understood Scripture teaches that suffering is a gift, because suffering brings about God’s purpose in your life. Mom did not run from suffering she embraced it. She never acted like she was a victim. She was a positive person and accepted everything that happened to her as part of life. Mom had joy because of Christ. She was the most grateful person I have ever known. She gave more than she received and Her life had value up until the very end.
I believe that her innermost feelings of suffering made her the amazing woman she was. My mother was the most loving person I have ever known. Her love was unconditional. She had little but was the most generous and received joy in giving. She was sinned against in many ways but was the most forgiving. The only person mom communicated she disliked was Jane Fonda. That is all. I don’t believe I have ever witnessed another person who lived out Christianity as she. She was never bitter, unforgiving , angry, negative or estranged from loved ones. Mom was the best Christian in our family. Many people say they are Christian but are not really changed people, mom was the real deal. Churches would be overflowing if people loved like my mom loved.
Mom’s spiritual gifts were giving, mercy and intercession. She was a prayer warrior. Mom prayed throughout the day but especially as she lay in bed at night. She always prayed out loud. Mom loved the Bible and in fact read it more than any person I have ever known. She found comfort in the Scriptures and had a childlike faith that pleased the heart of God.
Almost 4 years ago Mimi moved to Fairhope to live with my family. Within a few weeks she told me it was the best decision she had ever made and wished she had done it years earlier. She enjoyed good food, seeing new things, the Fairhope Pier, going to the Mardi Gra parade being in a Bible Study & shopping. She was excited about the large flat screen TV in her room. She loved people to sit in her room and just talk and look at photos with her. She loved talking on the phone to loved ones. Mom asked me to get her up early so that she could sit with Aaron while he ate breakfast before school. She loved BK cheeseburgers. If she didn’t like what I cooked she would ask Todd, Matthew or Aaron to go get her a BK cheeseburger. She always asked for 2. One for her and one to feed my dog even though I asked her not to. In Fairhope She got manicures, eyebrow waxing and she got her hair done every week. She had a couple of hard weeks when her medication needed adjusting but after being in the hospital she returned back to her normal self.
Mom spent the last couple years in Westminster skilled nursing facility. She continued to be so well cared for. Mom loved the staff, the residents, her room and especially the food. Westminster is not your typical nursing home but more like a 5 star resort. I asked her often how she liked living there and every time she told me she really liked it. Every 2-3 days I visited and she ALWAYS responded with a BIG smile when she saw me. She was so grateful for those visits but not more than I. Mom loved looking at her photo albums and they often served as a catalyst to remind her who people were that she had not seen in a long time. She often asked to talk to people on the phone after seeing their photos.
The last 4 years mom was very happy. She laughed often and was grateful for everything. Mom enjoyed eating ice cream every night. She continued to say thank you and I love you every day.
Last Thursday mom woke up happy. In fact she was smiling, talking a lot and singing. Then all of a sudden, within a couple of minutes, she stepped into the arms of Christ.