I expect to treasure every single minute I ever spent in her presence over the fifty-some years I knew her.
The reason I didn’t write about her on Saturday was because I was waiting to receive something in the mail from my brother-in-law, Don Ford. It’s the eulogy that was offered by Lorraine’s son Jim Ford (my nephew) at her requiem mass. I received the copy today. Here’s what Jim wrote.
Lorraine Agnes Wilson was born in Waterloo, Iowa in 1925. She married Don Ford in August, 1946 and began a life of travel. From 1946 to 1971, the family made 8 major moves. To help you all understand and remember the wife, mother and friend, I have outlined Mom’s life so we can all remember a time or two we shared with her.
Charles Darwin said, “A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life”. We believe that applies to Mom and the way she loved life.
In 1955, the family settled in St. Louis, Missouri and I was born in 1958, followed by Steve in 1960.
In 1966, the family of six moved to Dayton, Ohio where Leslie was born in 1967. From Dayton, the family moved to Denver, Colorado in 1969.
In 1970, the family was off to Alexandria, Virginia. Finally, in the summer of 1971, the family moved cross-country for the last time and settled in Eugene (although none of us knew or believed that at the time!). The family has been resident in Eugene for the past 29 years.
Jerome Fleischman said, “It takes courage to live – courage and strength and hope and humor”. That was the wife, mother, and friend we would like you to remember with us today.
. Her family and friends first and foremost. It was important to Mom to have those she loved near her as often as possible, especially her eight grandchildren.
. Her Oregon Ducks (University of Oregon), more specifically the basketball team. As a Daisy Duck, she traveled with the team, attended tournaments and came to love the game of basketball. So much so that we all learned not to call Mom on the phone during key parts But she always found time to call after a key Oregon victory and the first thing we heard was “How ‘bout them Ducks!”
. Trips to Iowa. No matter where the family was in the world, we all remember the many visits back to Cedar Rapids to be with the grandparents, sisters, brothers and extended families. These were some of Mom’s happiest memories and ones she loved to share over and over.
. Shopping trips. No matter the occasion, Mom was up for shopping, whether it was buying clothes for one of the kids, antiquing or just hours of window shopping. Mom knew how to find a bargain, or spend hundreds of hours until she did!
. Traveling. Mom was fortunate to have married into the military, which offered many opportunities to travel. She and Dad traveled to just about every state in the United States plus Europe, Canada and Peru and Panama in Latin America.
. Christmas time. I think Mom’s favorite time of the year was Christmas. She loved the season of giving and spending time with the family,
. Baking. Mom could bake with the best and we all have benefited over the years from some type of pastry, cake, pie, or special dessert that Mom made.
. Apricots, cranberries with whipped cream, instant coffee, and dark chocolates.
. Glenn Campbell, country music, and Erma Bombeck.
These are but a few of the things we remember about the woman we all have come to love and will remember for the rest of our lives. Mom would have wanted you to remember her in your hearts and all the good times she shared with you.
Jonathan Swift said “May you all live all the days of your life”. Mom did, and she would have wanted you to as well. She lived for 73 years on this earth and spent 54 of them married to Dad while raising a family. She is looking down on us today and smiling as she remembers each of you.
I’d like to leave you with a poem written by Jenny Joseph. Many of you have seen and will remember it immediately. It is entitled, “Warning: When I am an Old Woman
|When I am an old woman I shall wear purple