As the June issue of Cape Cod Life was headed to the printer, my 90-year-old mother died very peacefully in the company of those who loved her. At the funeral, my brother Kevin and I were each invited to speak “some words of remembrance.” In honor of all our mothers, I would like to share with you what I said and read.
I started by telling all those at St. Julia Church in Weston that it seemed right that I should talk. Because I know that, out of eight children, 20 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, that Mom always liked me best.
I went on to say: “My father died in 1980. A year or two after he died, the rest of the family who still lived there were moving out of the longtime family home in Newton, just outside of Boston. Very near the end, I visited our home and came across a few books which had belonged to my dad. One in particular caught my attention; it was entitled The Best Loved Poems of the American People. On the first page I found a note “To Joe, Merry Christmas 1944. Love, Helene”; she was my father’s youngest sister. I took the book home with me to Cape Cod. Once at home I began to look at the book more closely. I was surprised to find that out of the 620 pages of poetry, only one page had the top corner folded over as if to mark and remember this particular poem. My father had the book for 36 years, and now I have had it for 32 years, and still only one page is folded over. And it marks this poem.
From all my family, heartfelt thanks to relatives and friends for your prayers, kind words, and condolence cards. The card from Marianna Lynch, who has worked for Cape Cod Life for 23 years, and her husband, Jim, included the following quote. It was printed by Crane and Co., and I don’t know how anyone could sum it better for all of us:
From a headstone in Ireland
“Death leaves a heartache
no one can heal
love leaves a memory
no one can steal”
Brian Shortsleeve, President and Publisher