Yesterday, I wrote as accurately as I can about my mother. It was not entirely a charitable review; and it wasn’t mean to be. Dead or not (She is dead – I’m still working on it) we still have serious issues. Nonetheless, the following is what I said at her funeral service. She died in Spain, but the service was held in Ireland. It was in the late Nineties. She died, as I recall, at the age of 78 – the same as her mother, my much loved grandmother, Vida Lentaigne. Given her lifestyle, she did well.
Where do words come from? I am no practiced speaker, but my brief words came fully formed on that occasion; and they were well received. They matched the spirit of the occasion.
“As many of you know I had many differences with my mother, but she was also the main creative inspiration in my life. As a consequence of that creativity, I have been able to do the kind of things I only dreamed of when a child.
The key, I was taught, was to be what my friends in the US refer to as “an out of the box” thinker. Most of us are limited in what we can achieve because we are brought up to operate within boundaries – within the box of convention and perceived wisdom - but Mother knew no boundaries. She lived life to the full. In a word, she was extraordinary.
That viewpoint is shared by more than a few as this little story will demonstrate.
Recently, I have been having an e-mail correspondence with St. Peter. Peter@thegates.com if you are interested.
After my inquiry about my mother his initial response was merely to say she had arrived at the Gates of Heaven.
“Did you let her in?” I asked. She had led a somewhat unorthodox life. Hitting the right destination was an open question.
There was no reply for some time, and I was greatly concerned.
I e-mailed again.
Still no reply.
I e-mailed a third time.
This time St. Peter responded immediately. First he apologized. He would have replied earlier but Windows 98 had crashed again – and he could tell me in advance where Bill Gates was going.
Then he said, “Of course we let your mother in to Heaven – and immediately. She was far from perfect, and I know she had a few adventures and gave you a hard time, Victor; but she was remarkable woman by any standards; and, by God, she is entertaining.
She was a remarkable woman; and, by God, she was entertaining.
She doesn’t really need a Memorial Service. She will never be forgotten.”