Sunday, May 13, 2007

Remembering Mom

Mom and me... July 1999

I couldn't let Mother's Day pass by without a tribute to my mother.

One of my favorite pictures of my mother as a young woman

Here is a copy of the eulogy I wrote for her funeral. It's been nearly seven years, but I can remember those moments before she died like they happened yesterday. My mother was my best friend and I miss her presence in my life every single day. Love you, Mom.

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Words of Remembrance for Anna (Figlar) Alzo

written by Lisa Alzo and read by Rev. Edward Bunchek, at funeral mass on September 16, 2000, Holy Trinity Church, West Mifflin, PA

Thank you for coming today to show your love and respect for Anna Figlar Alzo. This is a testimony to how many lives she touched—family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances. Each of you present today—as well as those who wanted to come but were unable—will have your own special memories of Anna. She had a deep love for her family, and she had a tender way of making all who knew her feel special. She always listened to what was going on in your life and she worried about you—your well-being and safety, whether you had to travel across town or around the world.

It’s difficult to fully express what a wonderful woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt and friend Anna was. She was a beautiful woman, inside and out. She was generous and kind—always giving to those around her without expectation of anything in return.

The oldest of seven children, Anna was the “mother hen” to her brothers, John, Joseph and Michael and her sisters, Helen, Geraldine and Margaret. She carried out her responsibilities fully, lovingly, and without complaint all the way through to her final days on this earth. As a wife, she was devoted to her husband Johnny—cooking him homemade meals and caring for him during his own times of illness. As Lisa’s mother, she taught her daughter many things: to have respect for her elders, to trust in God during difficult times or times of important decision, and how to love without condition. As a friend, she was loyal and devoted – always ready to lend a helping hand.Most of you know that Anna was given many crosses to bear during her lifetime. At a young age, she had a risky operation to correct high blood pressure. Having lost her first baby, Anna didn’t know whether she could have children, but eventually Lisa came along. Anna suffered great loss when her parents died as well as her brother, John.

During the past 3 years Anna faced her own declining health—surviving triple bypass heart surgery in 1997, followed by a grueling regimen of kidney dialysis treatments. More recently, several other medical complications slowly took away Anna’s quality of life and kept her from feeling well most days. Yet, through it all, Anna was a fighter. Determined to keep her independence, she fought her illness until it became too much for her to bear. For nearly a year, Lisa was fortunate to have her mother staying with her at her home in Ithaca, NY, a place she grew to love.

Always her confidante and her friend, Lisa became her mother’s primary caregiver. Lisa prayed constantly for her mother’s comfort, safety and happiness. Anna was so strong in facing her illness. Determined and stubborn, she always wanted things on her own terms, and even knew how she wanted to die.Not having Anna present will leave a huge void in our lives, but we should all take comfort in the knowledge that physically, emotionally and spiritually she is finally at peace.

A recent popular song includes the words, “In the arms of the angel, may you find some comfort here.” Now Anna has been taken by the angel to receive her comfort from the Lord who has put an end to her suffering and pain. Anna will be sadly missed, but she would want all of you to leave here today not mourning her death, but knowing how happy she was to have all of you in her life.

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