With love from her 6 daughters–the Maki girls
We could always depend on Mom to help us through anything. Mom’s counseling sessions continued even while she resided at The Cottages Memory Care. Some of the staff there would go to Mom’s room when they needed to talk, and sure enough, they’d come out feeling better because Mom helped them to resolve a situation or put them in a better mood. She has touched so many people and has been the epitome of what being a mother is all about. Mom’s mothering never stopped. It was natural for her to want to help take care of some of the residents at The Cottages. There was this one lady whom Mom thought was Aunty Dolly. Mom would hold her hand and have conversations with her, always concerned and wanting to be sure to help her if she needed anything. Then she’d gently kiss her hand. Mom always had a smile to give. Several of the staff at The Cottages have told me that whenever they needed a pick-me-up, they’d ask, “Where’s Phyllis? I need her smiling face.” We are who we are today because of Mom’s wisdom and love. She taught us responsibility, good work ethic, generosity, and most important of all, love, never missing a day to show us affection and tell us how much she loved us. That love has been handed down from many generations.
Growing up with Mom’s homemade, from-scratch cooking and baking is something we will forever cherish. Mom comes from a long line of wonderful Italian cooks, and we are blessed to have learned from the best! Mom inspired us through her love of music. All six of us girls learned to play an instrument and sing. Mom’s love of music was evident right to the end. That’s one thing about Alzheimer’s Disease—music is one of the last things to go. Mom played the piano at The Cottages up until a few months before her passing. On one of my sister Laurie’s visits in June 2017 to help me with Mom, Mom was in front of her bathroom mirror holding her babydoll that she got from Hospice. Laurie put in a CD of the Beach Boys music, and when she turned around, there was Mom dancing in front of the mirror, hips swaying back and forth!! Even when Mom was bound to her Broder Chair, you’d see her tapping her foot to music as it played over the speaker system in the facility!
Mom taught us to show kindness and respect to everyone, no matter who they were or what they looked like. And, of course, she taught us about God and our faith, referring to the Saints often, having a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and praying constantly. Her daily routine included 3 hours of prayer every morning beginning at 5am and reciting the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00 every afternoon.
My sister Kathy shared a poem with us the week of Mom’s funeral. It’s called The Dash by Linda Ellis. It tells the story of a man who spoke at the funeral of a friend. He refers to the dates on the tombstone, the first date being the date of birth and the following date, well we all know what that date represents. But what matters most is the Dash between those years. Life here on earth is not about what we own or how much money we have. What matters is how we lived and loved during the time between those two dates—The Dash. Mom, you lived the Dash well.
We are forever grateful to God for you!!
Thank you for your unconditional love, your life and the life you gave us.
We love you and miss you so much!!
Until we are together again, rest in peace, Mom.