Eulogy for Lisa

Today The LMM Fund Team is sharing a portion of the Eulogy Lisa’s oldest sister gave during her funeral 7 years ago today on October 4, 2008. Keep a box of tissues handy.

“Many of you here know Lisa as an adult woman. A mother, a wife, an aunt, a Godmother, a friend and a sister.  Lisa was simply…. faced with many challenges, she had a stubborn nature, was fiercely protective of those she loved and was full of passionate emotions. She was unique in every way.  At this moment however, I want to tell you of Lisa the little child, as I am the only person alive who remembers her then and this might explain why I had such a protective nature towards her.

Lisa was born Nov 9, 1963.  She was 6 weeks premature and thus was such a tiny little thing when she arrived home from the hospital, to her dresser drawer of a crib.  Now home however, was a one room garage that was shared by our mother, me age 7, Jimmy age 4, Debby age 3, and Bobby age 10 months and “baby girl” a newborn.  I say baby girl as my mother could not think of a name for her due the stress of so many children and a wayward husband, thus baby girl it was for many many weeks.  Finally our little angel was named Lisa, consecrated to God, it was a perfect name as her life, her children were her gift to God. 

Lisa was an angel from the moment I saw her, she was so tiny, so perfect.  I was in love!  We were poor but I did not notice because we had each other, we had this little doll to play with. My mother struggled to feed us and clothe us and keep us warm but somehow she did and we survived.  I am afraid her early lot in life most definitely affected her health. Her childhood was not easy as she struggled with the effects of someone in her life that hurt her but she still smiled, laughed, hugged, loved and just wanted to be loved. She was an innocent then and remained so her whole life.  She was not only my baby sister but my baby girl and had remained precious to me no matter what. She went instantly into to heaven, that I have absolutely no doubt! 

That being said her greatest accomplishments were by far her children. And to see their strength of character and determination these past two weeks humbles me and gives me great comfort in knowing that the best qualities they posses they have they gotten from her. She passed on her ability to love, to think of others before oneself, to be faithful, to listen, to value relationships above money, to befriend the lonely or disabled, to forgive, to be generous.

Let me tell you of her gifts…

Rayah, my God she is so precious.  She is funny, smart and outgoing.  She is happy, beautiful and tender.  She lights up any room she is in and a hug from her little heart can melt all around her for miles.  Walter to see you with her this week gives me the greatest comfort.  You are a wonderful and loving father. You will be a wonderful mother as well. She is in good hands.

Joshua, has always been a delight to his mother.  He is even tempered, sometimes introspective and absolutely kind.  He is a typical young man who likes to hang out with his buddies, ride his skooters, play video games but your Mom would tell me you loved talking to her and you were protective of her and she valued your uniqueness and despite the fact that your mother was poor you rarely if ever complained about anything.  You are selfless, you were her favorite boy forever. You wanted nothing more than love from her, your character is amazing. She would tell you to focus on school, stay true to what is right and be kind to the women in your life. 

Ariana, your spirit and energy recharged your mother.  When she was depressed or tired in body or mind you challenged her to get up and get going.  She needed that and you made her think and have fun.  That is awonderful quality, you encourage people to have fun, interact, get going.  I remember the day you were born and as your father and I watched your birth I sensed greatness in you.  You need to go to college and change the world, you are brilliant, your laugh rings in our hearts, and you were your mother’s friend, to the end. A friend does not tell someone only what they want to hear but they tell them the truth, you did that and that my dear probably kept your mother more alive in spritthan you know. In fact, your mother told me recently, she needed you to keep challenging her as it kept her healthy and energized. She would tell you today that she wants you to be happy and enjoy your youth, sing, dance play and relax!  It is time to be free of heavy responsibilities.

Danielle, you are and have been both a mother and father figure to your siblings for such a long time.  You took the high road on more than one occasion sacrificing so much, so that your siblings could have more. Watching you this week reminds me that you are wise beyond your years.  I suppose out of duty but mostly out of love. You are generous, hard-working, brilliant and self-sacrificing.  You will do great things Danielle, but you will encourage and foster great things in your siblings. I can imagine that your family will gather around you for years to come and you will be called blessed.  This comes with awesome responsibilitties but awesome rewards I can attest to that. You will be the center, you will be the matriarch for your families generation, you will be loved!

Lisa and I talked almost every day.  If we went too many days we would both be sad.  She was my sounding board, my keeper of my mudane musings, and my friend.  I will miss her laugh, her voice, her interesting way of keeping house, her turtle collection, her cats, her doctor pepper, her music, her faith in us, her unwavering love.  I will never quite be the same without her but that is OK because for 44 years she was mine.”