With our 4 dogs and 1 visiting foster dog, this place is going to the dogs!
Following is the eulogy I delivered at my mother’s funeral today:
My mother Hazel Marie Martin died peacefully in her sleep from cancer on March 27, 2014 at the age of 81. My mother was a beautiful person inside and out. She helped so many people during her lifelong career as a registered nurse, culminating in her role as Director of a 400-bed nursing home. When she wasn’t working, Hazel volunteered at her church, taught classes for the American Cancer Society, and was a leading fundraiser of Relay for Life, among many other charities. Hazel was honored with numerous awards such as Volunteer of the Year 2004, Florida Church of Christ Woman of the Year 2005, and the Hope Award in 2007. She helped so many people with her selfless acts that when she herself needed assistance toward the end, my mom was overwhelmed by the generous response.
My mom taught me that it doesn’t matter what we are, but rather who we are, and that most people are inherently good unless they prove otherwise. Hobbled by severe rheumatoid arthritis in her later years, my mother taught us by example that no matter how sore or tired or weak we feel, it’s essential to get out of bed, get dressed, and leap headfirst into the world, because every day is a gift that should never be wasted. My parents and especially my mother gave me what I believe are the two most important things a parent can give a child: unconditional love and a strong sense of self-worth. Unconditional love is the anchor that kept me from spinning off the planet during my darkest days and reassured me deep down that everything would be all right. And self-worth is an antidote to pain and pettiness that allowed me to love others fully and accept their love in return. The world was a better place with Hazel Martin, and we will all miss her deeply.
Our dogs are not supposed to be on the furniture when we are gone…
This is one of my all-time favorite photos of yours truly with my dog Jodi. This photo was taken around 1968 when I was 4 years old. Jodi would lay with me in my bed whenever I was sick, which was quite often when I was a child. Coincidentally, our new dog Mickey looks a lot like Jodi.
Theresa and I enjoyed three relaxing days at the Sirata Hotel on St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.
As luck would have it, my siblings and I were all in Florida at the same time, so we enjoyed a family reunion dinner with my mother Hazel as the guest of honor.
We had to buy a new dog bed for our new dog, Toly. He fits in his new bed perfectly!