My Mom passed away on 12/16/14 from complications resulting from diabetes. She was an amazing woman. I thought that it was only fitting to share my Eulogy for her on the website that was started to honor her. I realize that the Eulogy is a little long but I wanted people to know her story and understand her struggles.
In Loving Memory of Ruth Myers…
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
So we are here today to say goodbye to someone who was incredibly special to all of us. To those who are here with us today she was many different things. She was a mother, an aunt, a sister, a grandmother. For others here she was just a great friend. She was the kind of mother who always put her children above everything else, especially in the last several years of her life when her struggle with diabetes and its complications was at its worst. Her struggles and her pain would never get in the way of her being there for us kids. She was the kind of grandmother who would stop the earth for her grandkids. She was the kind of grandmother who, even though had very modest means, would always find a way to make Christmases special for her grandkids. For those of you knew her as Aunt Ruth, Sis, or a great friend, then you experienced the same beautiful and loving Ruthie that we experienced as children and grandchildren. She was one of the most genuine people that you could ever hope to meet. She always welcomed you with a warm, caring smile, and if you were at her home she welcomed you with a warm, delicious meal.
To some of us and maybe even many of us- she was an inspiration. She fought through odds that many, including myself, thought she could not overcome. And yet somehow she would find a way to fight through one challenge after another. She not only managed to get through one leg amputation but then a second leg amputation. She endured numerous eye surgeries as well as all of the mental and physical fatigues that living a life with diabetes presents. She endured the final shutdown of her kidneys and the transition to dialysis. A few months ago, she was challenged with more heart complications and had to have a pacemaker put in to save her life. Once again she endured. For those of us that live with diabetes, and who truly understand the daily grind of living with this terrible disease, her triumphs are even more amazing. It is incredible to think about her fighting spirit and relentless courage. She was an incredible foe in a difficult 20+ year battle with diabetes that destroyed her body but could not break her soul or her spirit. I only hope that she understands how much pain we have endured with her as she has battled. Her story is one that not many others could tell, nor would want to tell.
Over the last 5 years or so, my mom and I developed a very tight bond. Some of that is because we both were fighting the same invisible disease. We were fighting the same disease that claimed the lives of her Mother Grace, Her father Robert, and Her sister Betty. Diabetes also affected her brother Carl. Diabetes now also affects her daughter, my sister Cathy. Regardless of the reasons for our newly found bond, I am extremely thankful for it. When we were younger, we did not always have the best relationship. I truly believe that as we both grew into our relationships with each other, the gravity and seriousness of the situation replaced the disagreements over petty and mundane issues. We learned what it meant to have a trusting, adult relationship with each other. That relationship rewarded us with love built on mutual respect, genuine concern, and unwavering support for each other. Mom also worked for several years to help fix the strained relationship between my younger brother, Scott, and me. It pleased her immensely to see our relationship begin to heal. In the end, she only wanted her kids to be with each other and be there for each other.
As I speak for her children today we are torn between incredible sadness for the loss of our Mom and the comforting relief that she is now in a much better place. Last Tuesday morning she was in a terrible fight with the horrible, invisible, and silent disease that is diabetes. Today she is pain free and hopefully running carefree for the first time in many, many years through the mighty heavens above. She is no longer scarred by diabetes. She is whole again. My son, Avery, loves superheroes and he used to say that “Grammy is like Ironman” because she had metal legs. It pleases me to say that Grammy is no longer like Ironman. She is like us again. I have no doubt that she is watching over us and is extremely sad for our sadness but understands our comfort in her new found relief.
As I was writing this and trying to find the words, I thought about what I had written earlier about us gathering to say goodbye. I would like to reconsider my words. I don’t think that we should actually be here to say goodbye. I believe that we should be here to quietly celebrate her newly found freedom. Her freedom from pain. Her freedom from suffering. Her freedom from fear of death. But more importantly we should be here to quietly celebrate her freedom from Diabetes and all of its complications. As difficult as it may be for us to let go, it was even harder for her to let go. She continued to fight just to be with us for one more Christmas, or one more birthday, or just one more phone call. We must now be willing to let her know that she is free. There is no way for me to stand before you and put into words how difficult it will be for us (her children) to move forward without her. We all know that she will always be with us, watching over us, protecting us, watching her grandchildren grow, and sharing our lives with us. They say that people don’t really die as long as their memories live on in us. If this is really true then mom will be alive for many, many, many years to come.
There is an old Buddhist quote that I want to share to wrap this up.
“When you are born, you cry, and the world rejoices. When you die, you rejoice, and the world cries.”
She is now rejoicing.
Mom, the world will be a much different place without you in it and you will be truly missed!
In Loving Memory of Ruth Myers
March 15, 1949 - December 16, 2014