I want to share my husband’s eulogy with all of you because I want everybody to know what an amazing husband, father and friend he was to so many. He truly made me a better person and I am so grateful for his love, support and belief in me. I was truly blessed to have a man love me like he did. It’s one thing to write, but it’s another to write from the heart about someone you loved deeply. I hope my love shines through these words and makes you enjoy the simple things in life:
First of all, I would like to thank all of you for celebrating Mose’s life today. It would have meant so much to him to know that he was so loved. And it means the world to us that you took time out of your busy schedules to honor him today.
I have to be honest with you, the last thing I thought I’d be doing today would be standing up here in front of all you reading my late husband’s eulogy at the age of 45. I thought about having someone else read this for fear I wouldn’t be able to get through it, because for the past few weeks I think I’ve cried more tears than I have in my lifetime. But through those tears I remembered what Mose always said to me when I was upset about something… he said, “ I am only happy when you’re smiling” So here I am, trying like hell to put a smile on my face.
I’m not going to sit up here today and talk to you about how Mose and I met, or tell you about our love story throughout the years. I think all of you in the room are very much aware that we lived a full, rich life and in the 7 years I have been with him we loved more and experienced more than some people could say they have done in a lifetime. What I want to share with you today is WHY we lived life to the fullest and how we could all learn a few things from Mose about being happier and content in our lives, and live like it’s the last day of YOUR life.
It’s not easy for someone to take a step back, reflect, identify and admit their own weaknesses. Before Mose came back into my life I had experienced heartbreak and tragedy of my own with the death of my father in 1994. He was taken from us at the young age of 53. I became angry and bitter at the world. I couldn’t understand why someone so close to me was taken away so young. I questioned my relationship and trust with God. After all, in my eyes if there was a kind God, he wouldn’t allow such devastation and unfairness to the ones close to the dying. My father’s death created a sense of pessimism within me, often looking at the glass as half empty vs. half full. What I didn’t realize was how much this negativity was impacting my own life. My relationships with other people had suffered and I felt like my way was the right way because I was entitled to feel bad. Mose was the one person who came along and changed all of that for me. He was the only person in my life who ever stood up to me and challenged me to look deep inside of myself and try to understand what I could do to create a different perspective on my outlook on life and relationships. He was the only person in my entire life that I ever listened to. As I grew closer to him in my adult life, I learned about all of the adversity he had faced growing up and it made my problems seem minute compared to what he had been through. He taught me the meaning of gratitude, appreciation, self-respect and respect for others. He also taught me how to live with patience, tolerance and forgiveness. He encouraged me to be myself at all times and to walk into a room with a smile on my face and treat people the way I would want to be treated. He taught me the true meaning of empathy and to understand that everybody is fighting their own personal battles which affects their behavior at times. He taught me to judge less and accept people for who they are, and not as who I assumed them to be. Whenever I would get upset about something that was said about me or someone who was judgmental towards me he would tell me, “I’ve lived my entire life believing there are two sides to every story and never judged. But I know 90% of the people out there don’t do the same and I’m fine with that. But I will not let the 90% change me. No wonder he beat the odds growing up. He outlook on life was extraordinary and it showed in everything that he did.
And exactly 5 days before he died, we had attended a Catholic mass for an award Nicolas was receiving for CYO basketball. It was the first time I had been to church in almost a decade. When we left mass that day, he told me how he felt a sense of peace after attending mass and how he had always wanted to become baptized in the Catholic Church, even as an adult. He talked about his childhood and how he was brought up by Irish-Catholic grandparents and spent a lot of time fishing with his grandfather and one of the local priests of their parish and how he recalls how those were some of the most comforting times in his childhood. I asked him why he had never brought this up to me before and he told me, “Because I knew how you felt about God.” The day Mose passed, I was in disbelief and shock which turned into anger, betrayal, frustration and sadness. I started to sink back into my negative thoughts about how there must not be a God at all since a God who is good couldn’t possibly take not one, but two of the most important men in my life. But I took a step back and remembered all of the things that Mose had taught me in the 7 years he had been back in my life and I started to think positively and allowed myself to trust that God is not a punishing God and that he takes the best people on this earth and He uses them as messengers to teach us all how to live the most fulfilling life we possibly can until the day WE pass away.
If you’ve ever read the book, “The Secret” and you knew Mose well, you would have thought he wrote that book. The premise of the book is about the law of attraction and how one’s positive thoughts attract a positive life. There is an excerpt from the book that lists promises that you should make yourself to lead a more fulfilling life. They are printed in the program that we distributed them today I won’t read them all, but there are some that resonated with me that are similar to the way Mose lived his life:
I saw him make these promises to himself each and every day through his hard work, his unconditional love for his friends and family, how his smile and his hugs would light up a room, and for his insane love for life in general. I wanted to be more and more like him. Throughout the past few years I slowly started to mirror this behavior and found that my life started to become more positive in ways I couldn’t even imagine. I am still a work in progress, but I am so grateful to him for encouraging me to be a better person and I promise him that I’ll promise myself to practice these for the rest of MY life.
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the love he had for Dante, Nicolas, Jack and Matt. He loved his children with his heart and soul. They were the light of his life. Dante was his baby girl who he had a hard time watching turn into a young woman. It was often he would have a tear in his eye when he talked about how much he wished he could freeze time with her. He cherished every single waking minute he had with her and I have never seen a father light up the way he did when she was around. It wasn’t unusual to see him up at 5am packing a cooler full of food for an all-day volleyball tournament. The only thing he ever complained about was how early he had to wake up Dante and how much he hated to do that. This was coming from a person who used to wake up every weekday at 4:20am to commute to the city and weekends were the only time he had to sleep in. And then there was Nicolas. He excelled in basketball, baseball, football and the saxophone. He told me one of his favorite memories with Nicolas was when he was one of the assistant coaches when his baseball team traveled to Cooperstown. I think he talked about that trip for a year straight and how special it was that he got to share that bonding time with him and his team. I remember watching him outside of our front window as he pitched whiffle balls to Nicolas and how it used to warm my heart to see how happy and how proud he was that both of his children were turning into extraordinary young adults. Last weekend Nicolas’ baseball team won their tournament and I have no doubt he was up in heaven high-fiving and hugging everyone yelling, YA BABY! and smiling big.
He was also an amazing stepfather to Matt and Jack. Just recently my boys got their driver’s permits and it was HIM that they wanted in the car instead of me because he was so much more patient with them. He was their biggest fan, whether it was giving Jack high-fives when he played a great basketball game, or came in first place in a swim race, or when it was Matt making him laugh during one of his improve performances – he always reminded me of how incredible my kids were and how happy he was to be their stepfather. I am going to miss his life lessons on making sure the boys knew to wash their hands every night before dinner, or how to put the toilet seat down for their mother, or his political debates with Matt. Matt, I think you know who you SHOULD vote for in this election. Don’t let him down.
There have been many nights that I’ve wondered how I’m going to live my life without him, but I recall reading a quote from Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook who recently lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. She was talking to one of her friends about a father-child activity that her husband was not here to do. They came up with a plan to fill in for her husband. She cried to her friend, “But I want Dave. I want option A. “Her friend put her arm around her and said, Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.” Mose, I promise you that not only will I kick the shit out of Option B, but I’ll stomp, punch and pummel the shit out of it too.
I am so grateful for the time I had with this man. No matter how big of an argument we would get into the night before, and no matter how mad we would be at each other, he would always kiss me goodbye when he left in the morning and always told me, “You never know if today will be the last time we see each other.” Boy, was he right.
When you leave here today I ask you to live YOUR life as if today is YOUR last day. Tell the people you love how special they are to you. Randomly text your loved one during the day and tell them how amazing they are and list some of the things you love about them. Try to forgive that person who hurt you. Try to judge a little less and understand both sides of the story. Dance in the rain. Jump in the pool with all of your clothes on. Eat carbs. Book those tickets to Vegas on a whim to see your favorite band perform. Hug harder, kiss longer, and love deeper. I am proud to say that I have done all of those things, and I am even prouder and more at peace in my heart and with God knowing that I did them with the love of my life. Thank you.