|Eulogies given at the funeral of Molly Gagliano, December 31, 2004.
The first eulogy was by Nick Gagliano, Jr.
My brother, my sister and I had adopted a cat. We told our mom that we would take care of it, and feed it . Of course you know what happened. Our mom ended up taking care of it and feeding it . we told our mom the cat's name was Tiger. T i g e r. Now, if your Molly Gagliano and you are originally from Trenton New Jersey. T i g e r is pronounced Tagger.
In the morning to call the cat we would take our turns calling, "Here, Tiger, Tiger, Tiger, The cat would not come. Then we would wait for our mom to show up in her nightgown and call the cat. She'd call, "Here Tagger Tagger Tagger" and the cat would come.
That is a humorous tale about my mom, but it is so typical of her life.The first thing she thought about when she woke up was meeting someone else's needs, not her own. She was feeding our cat.
All of us in the family including myself would ask her to do things for us. Mom can you wash this, mom can you cook this, mom cam I borrow some money. She never hesitated to serve her family. She never said, "I'm to busy," or "I have to do this," or any other excuse.
That cat would only come when she called it, because my mother knew how to talk and touch people's hearts. That cat responded, as so many other people have to her compassion. She had a compassionate heart . There was room for everybody, no exclusions. Just like Jesus.
My Dad told me how he met my mom. They met at a dance at the YMCA in Trenton, New Jersey. While dancing my dad stepped on her feet. Instead of apologizing for stepping on her feet my dad said, "I guess your just learning how to dance." My mom just looked at my dad and said, "yes I,m just learning." Not until later in their relationship did my dad find out that my mom had won dance contests.
Another funny story, and if you knew my mom you appreciated her sense of humor and her love of laughter; but another example of how she led her life. Instead of saying something mean she put the burden on herself. And now I will tell you about all the times my mom said mean things to me and other people. Are you ready here it is.
--- PAUSE ---
I hope you caught my drift. My mom always was kind and found the good in people. She would recognize the Jesus in you.
My mother was in this world when she was alive but she was not of it. She lived on a different spiritual plane than most of us. And that was reflected in the way she led her life - in her meekness, quiet demeanor, her prayer life, her constant devotion to her family and her unheralded acts of compassion and forgiveness - only to be followed by her unparrelled unconditional way of loving. Just like Jesus.
Oh. by the way, let me tell you what my mother's priorities were in this world: God, family, period.
The world will exclaim to me and say, "I am sorry to hear about the loss of your mother." I am here to tell you I have lost no one. I know with great assuredness exactly where my mother is. I also know where to find her. She is in the gospels. My mother was a living beatitude.
The world will also tell me and you that Christmas ends Dec. 26th. If you turn on your radio now you will not here any more Christmas Carols. Christmas is now. This is the Christmas season. Just look around at the church. The church is decorated to celebrate my mother's life.
I mention this because I'm sure my mother spent advent preparing her heart to celebrate the coming of Christ into this world. That brings me to another place I can find my mother. Right here in the nativity scene. Jesus came into this world not as a full grown man but as a baby, He came humbly, meekly, calmly, helplessly waiting to be held and nurtured. That is reflective of my mother's death. My mother left this world just as she led her life: humbly, meekly, calmly, helplessly into the arms of her Savior.
Let me conclude by taking you to another place I will always find my mother.
The second eulogy was by Richard Gagliano
On the surface, my mother, Molly Gagliano would not impress many as an extraordnary person.
She was a loving wife and mother, a capable homemaker, a good and kind soul.
But beneath her mortal cover, Molly was truly remarkable in many ways. In her heart was excessive love, unyielding faith and the courage of a thousand armies.
In her mind was the everlasting thought, "how can I give?" She sought always to be a friend, a helping hand, a uniter, never to be a burden or a divider.
Her soul was warmed by the fire of hope and lifted with the excitement of joy. Every day she spent on this earth she knew was a gift from God and she willingly passed that on to all whom she touched.
I don't suppose to speak for her. I don't have to, as her life spoke plainly:
"Keep your faith. It will never fail you."
Hold all you know in love closely and dearly and give all that you can, with all of your heart, every hour of every day. There is the path to peace and joy.
I know my mom would not want us to be sad today, though it is impossible to let her pass without many, many tears. But please pledge with me today, because I know she would want it this way - remember her only in joy and happiness. That is the gift she leaves for all of us.
Keep her in your heart and hold on tight!
The third eulogy was by Mary Ann Gagliano My mother gave me a very special gift before she left.
A gift that I don't need to decide how to pass down & divide evenly to my 3 beautiful children (her grandchildren Jessica, Emily and Julia)
A gift that I don't need to worry about keeping on a safe shelf so it doesn't break.
My mother (and father) gave me the gift of faith.
Anyone who knew my mother knew she always prayed.
Over these past few days my brothers and I have discussed this and wondered how many hours during the day she prayed. We've concluded it wasn't how many hours she prayed, but how many minutes during the day she wasn't praying.
I'd tell my mom about someone sick in my family, or a friend of mine or my husband Jerry's friends and when I'd talk to her the next day she'd say, "how's so and so doing - I've been praying for them."
Over these past few weeks I've realized the power of prayer & the power of my mother's prayers.
For I had this special peace before and during this holiday season.
I didn't get "holidayitis" as my brothers well know this term. I wasn't stressed out and I kept saying, "there are 12 days of Christmas."
This peace allowed us to have such a wonderful Christmas day with my mother and I know she enjoyed it greatly & saw the peace in me.
That day was the last time I saw my mother and again, I realize now how her prayers were answered.
For how much better does a departure from this worldly existence get by seeing and talking to your family for the last time on Christmas day, speaking her final words to her grandchildren by saying "I love you" for that is how she always said goodbye to them, and in her final moments,,,,, praying with her beloved husband of 57 years.
And look around you now at this church-the celebration of the birth of Christ and everlasting life.
Today when I cry I'm not crying for my mother for she always told us "Don't worry about me when I die, I'll be very happy with the Lord.
I only cry because I know now through her faith and through her prayers she surrounded me with the most loving family, relatives and caring friends.
I'll continue to try to pass along this special gift and know she'll be helping me through herself and through all of you.
Mom, today and tonight it's not "Happy New Year," but, "happy everlasting life."
I love you.