Part of Funeral Talk written by daughter, Stefenee, given by her husband, Dan.
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Mom, I remember…
•Beginning at three years old, trying to follow your dance steps when you were dancing in the living room each night after work, often ending up on my derrière.
•You teaching me dancing lessons in my early years. The first dance was to the tune of “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window” taught to Sherrie and Sue Bird and me.
•Driving to SLC for dancing lessons every Saturday, then later to Provo. The best teachers were provided.
•You sitting up all hours of the night making dancing costumes until your fingers were raw from scratchy material.
•Choreographing my dances and practicing with me until I was prepared.
•Coaching me on parts in plays; helping me memorize my lines and involving myself into the character.
•Making me practice the piano – practice, practice, practice. Sorry that I just couldn’t make that a big part of my interests. Now I’m older and can no longer leap, jump and spin around and my voice is raspy and flat, I’m sorry that I didn’t pursue that talent. However, I have your arthritic hands – so that wouldn’t have worked anyway.
•Your artistic help with our cheerleading and your willingness to make us look good. You enthusiasm was always appreciated.
•Seeing your proud, smiling face in the audience when I performed. You and Daddy traveled all over the country to be there to support me for which I will always be grateful.
•Helping my high school trio put expressions into our singing so that we were entertainers. (The song on the back of the program is a song the trio sang at many funerals and Stefenee has found great comfort in those words as she has sung them to herself these past few months.)
•Our many vacations during the summer months when you and Daddy were out of school. How I was the designated Stop and Go person calling out if the light was red or green.
•You taught me how to read a map. I picked up your good sense of direction.
•All the historic stories you would weave into our vacations and stopping at every historic marker so as enrich my history lessons. You being appalled at my saying I hated History. You said, “How could you? I taught History and so did your Grandfather!”
•The many accidents we came upon in our travels when you administered first aid and helped people before the medics arrived. How you received many letters and thank-yous from folks for years afterward for your kindness.
I remember the little, blue, lifeless boy that was pulled out of the ditch across from our house and how you breathed life back into his body.
I remember …
•How meticulous you were about the house and cleaning the entire house every spring including all the cabinets, closets, walls, floors – not missing a single tiny corner. The same went with the yard. There were never weeds in the garden – only beautiful flowers and shrubs and trees with the vegetable area arranged to be as artistic as the rest of the yard.
•You were always a very hard worker. Up early in the morning to go to teach school; home at night to work in the yard or clean the house or help me with homework or work on one of my performances or contests; or back to school for an after-hours activity. I don’t remember ever seeing you not being active. You like to throw things together to make a dish or two. You got the knack from your mother and everything you made tasted delicious.
•You always liked to look your best and wanted me to do the same. I think of the times spent shopping for clothes, hats, shoes, prom dresses and others. You will always be remembered for your hats and how you liked to dress up.
•You taught me manners, how to put on make-up, how to fix my hair, how to set a table. How to walk and talk. How to write thank-you notes. How to be poised. I remember you saying to me as I went off to college – “Remember, Stefenee, you may be beautiful on the outside, but it is what is on the inside that is what really matters. Make sure that people know what a sweet personality you have.”
•You encouraged my friends to gather at our house. They came often because they always felt welcome and comfortable there – even though both parents were school teachers! Neither of you were intimidating, but always friendly.
•You were always very patriotic. A staunch Democrat. Voting in every election including last November when it took you 4 hours to vote due to some mix up on your registration.
•You knew everything that was going on in the world because you faithfully read the newspaper everyday and watched the television news. Current events has been important to you and I, too, have that enthusiasm for wanting to know what’s going on.
•Looking for four leaf clovers
•Picking up pennies
•Never going under a ladder
•Never opening an umbrella inside
•Never crossing a black cat’s path
•Never giving a sharp object to a loved one without first having them give you a penny for payment; thus not severing that relationship.
•You finally giving in to my having a dog when I was 10 years old – but swore that we would never have a “house dog.”
•Your visits to my homes after I was married.
•Times spent with you in Arizona.
•Your many adventures – one when you hiked the Zions Narrows and took your make-up bag as your survival kit.
•All your many travels throughout the world and reports about seeing all the things you had previously studied or read about.
•When you accompanied me to the temple to take out my endowments and later be sealed to Dan.
•Your eightieth birthday and how surprised you were that your baby daughter could pull off a party without your help – I was 52 years old, but I don’t think you ever saw me past 18!
•Your precious dogs: Puki, Sasha, and Demi – who were not only allowed in the house, but slept on your bed! My, how things changed through the years! These last few years I was often called, “Demi.” I didn’t mind because I was grateful you had a loving and faithful companion and was not alone. I’m sure Demi misses you, but she is in a good home, Mom, and you don’t have to worry about her.
I learned from you…
•Even though you are hurting inside, try to put your best face forward.
•Try not to judge yourself too harshly; all you do is end up having too many regrets for which there is nothing to be gained.
•Try not to be such a perfectionist that you don’t realize your many achievements and successes.
•Keep humor in your life.
•Your Mom is always there when you really need her no matter what situation you are in. Even now, I’m sure I’ll feel your spirit around me at times, just like I have felt Grandma and Aunt Della.
•Remember the Holy Ghost is close by when you are worthy of Him.
•Always say your prayers – Heavenly Father is there for you.
•You saying to me, “I will come back to haunt you if you don’t get things right”
I love you, Mom. I hope I’ve shown the love and respect for you that I feel. You have been a good Mother. Until we meet again – be happy, be content, be pain-free, feel loved, and be at peace.