Thank you all for coming. My mom always loved a good party. No matter the occasion or reason, so this counts.
She also loved Elvis Presley, open faced crab sandwiches and a cheap glass of wine. She would always order a glass of the house white wine with an extra glass of ice, then complain about the price, even as she ordered the second glass. I’m sure most of us have memories of things my mom said or did and the times that were spent together.
I remember all the fun trips to vacation village in San Diego when I was little. With the stopover to visit our family in Los Angeles, the Rhodes and Skibbas, which started our Disney addiction. Still looking for a good rehab program.
I remember my mom taking me to the hospital many times for my asthma attacks, stitches, etc. Sometimes in the middle of the night.
I remember all the sports, practices, games, tournaments that she took me to, sat through and cheered for me.
I remember all the nights I crawled in bed with them when I was afraid of the dark and the monster under my bed.
I remember the support, hugs and kisses when I needed it, even if I didn’t want it.
I remember her potato salad and tuna salad that no one else can come close to. I’ve wasted a lot of money at restaurants trying.
I remember the backyard parties, some with my friends, some with theirs and some with both.
I remember taking her to see Mr and Mrs Smith and her telling me it really wasn’t her kind of movie...weird.
I remember when she beat cancer and quit smoking 20 years ago and how proud she was and how proud I was of her. My mom always said it was one of the hardest things she ever did, along with losing my dad, losing her ability to drive and getting me to listen and follow rules growing up.
I remember my mom’s first experience with a phone scam. They called, her grandson was in jail in Mexico and needed money to resolve it. She was onboard until they said the grandson’s name was Pat. She told them she needed to do some research and called me to say what happened and asked if Garrett was in Mexico. I said Garrett was fine, not in Mexico and, based on my high school and college experiences, if she ever got that call again, she should respond….Well then he probably deserves to be in jail, then hang up and call me.
My mom loved her Grandchildren, Taryn and Garrett, more than I can ever express. She also loved my wife Michelle, who was the best daughter in law my mom and I could have hoped for. She was so happy when she finally got grandchildren....key word finally. There were many things I didn’t do fast enough for my mom...marriage, kids, homework, chores.
We remember the Disneyland trips and required picture in the front of the park.
We remember the Monterey trips and required picture at the bench.
We remember her taking Taryn and Garrett on our Thursday “Date Nights”. Taking them on trips to the dollar store for toys, Burger King for dinner and always watching Survivor.
We remember Taryn and Garrett making a special place for her to sit on Christmas morning and how much she liked it.
I have so many memories of my mom and the awesome, and sometimes funny, things she did for and with me. Too many to share here.
Last but not least, my mom loved all the great friends she had in her life. Sadly, some of them went before her and way too soon. I want to thank you all for loving her back. Thanks also for taking her with you, picking her up, taking her out, getting her food and just spending time with her. She hated not being able to drive and though I’m sure it wasn’t always easy or convenient for you, she and I appreciated everything you did.
There were 2 main periods in her life that stand out to me that she would happily reminisce about. One was her early years with my dad and the times they had with Mary, Roger, Mike and Connie. She truly loved you guys and wished she could have spent more time with you. If only she wasn’t afraid to fly. The other was her time at De La Salle, as an employee and a parent. She was proud of that community, the mission, the product and that Taryn, Garrett and I were part of it. She made so many lifelong friendships and great memories there. Thank you, her family and friends, for giving her all those wonderful memories.
As much as I know she’s missing all of us here, I also know that she really missed my dad and some of her friends that aren’t with us and will want to catch up with everyone.
I’m sure right about now, my Dad’s saying… Donna, we don’t have to say it all at once, we’ve got eternity. I’m also sure she’ll be checking in on us when she’s done chatting and now she can go anywhere at any time without anything holding her back. Not her health or even the Department of Motor Vehicles.
I am so thankful for and blessed to have had the great parents I had and I appreciate everything my mom did for me and for my family. She was a good person with a strong faith in God, who worked hard to try to do the right thing and help the people in her life. I thank her for the example.
I love you mom and we miss you already.
My mom was always a Spartan and once a Spartan, always a Spartan.
In our tradition,
St. John Baptiste De La Salle- pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts - forever