My Facebook Thoughts

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Rest Mom, Rest

This week my sister and I said goodbye to our mother.

Frances Plocharczyk was the kindest, gentlest soul I ever had the privilege of knowing.  I was proud to be her son and prouder that she was my mother.

The following is the eulogy I had the honor to write.

God Bless You Mom.

1936 - 2017

Thank you all for gathering with us to rejoice and remember Mom, Ma, Grandma, Fran, Franny, Aunty Fran, Mrs. Plocharczyk, Mrs. P, or Mom Ploch.  Yes, Mom was somebody to so many people and she wasn’t even on Facebook.  As kids, my brother and I called our Mom so often during the summer months our neighbor’s parrots used to mimic us calling her. 

I’m sure each of you has a fond memory of our Mom.  That is who she was.  She was that person you would meet that makes you feel good and positive regardless of how you felt before you met her.  The amazing thing is she had no reason to be such the positive soul she chose to be.

She grew up at the end of the Depression during WW2.  Her family was not wealthy, some might even say poor.  She had four children, Scott, Todd, Gail and Mark.  All boys were physically disabled with Todd dying at the age of seven.  Our Dad worked while Mom took care of the home.  Dad died 30 years ago leaving behind a small insurance policy.

Despite what many would call a hard life, Mom stayed positive.

There was always food to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over our heads, and presents on holidays and birthdays.  When you visited her house you were welcomed with,
“Can I get you anything?”

And by the time you left her house, you left having eaten some amazing homemade food, having drunk a good glass of your choice, or having a good laugh about the past, present, or future.  You left her home feeling full in body and soul.

To us, she was Mom.  She was Gail’s roomie, cooking instructor of the family’s recipes, dinner partner after one of too many doctor’s appointments, and best friend.  On her last night, Gail sat with Mom watching a Harry Potter movie, a simple Sunday evening.  This was what Mom liked.

To Mark she was the source of never ending support.  When he wanted to enter a computer training program, Mom never hesitated to support him.  It meant getting up early to be ready for a van to take him downtown to class for nine months.  It meant having his shirts and ties ready for work.  Her support helped him get his start in computers which changed his life forever.

To Donna, she was a second mom.  She was a good listener whenever she had a problem.  She taught her many Lithuanian traditions that Donna cherishes to this day.

To Jimmy she was a great person to be around.  She was always happy.  Jimmy knew he was especially loved as her one and only grandson.

You can’t talk about Mom without talking about her cooking and baking.  She could get a shoe to taste delicious.  Over the years she had created more lamb cakes around Easter than the Shepard’s flock of sheep.  The list of specialties is too long to list.  But rest assured, she has past the cooking torch to Gail.  Gail will be taking lamb cake orders after mass. 

Mom also got to be a Grandma.  It was fun to see her watching Jimmy grow up.  He does enjoy cooking from time to time so maybe her love of cooking rubbed off on him as well.

I think I can best sum up the type of person Mom was by sharing a story about the day Scott passed away.  She had taken care of Scott for 54 years.  In the last few years it was extra difficult as Scott required help with every aspect of his life.  As Gail, Mom and I gathered around during Scott’s last few breaths, Mom says to Scott as he lay there,
“I hope I did enough for you?”
She gave him everything she could and was still concerned if it was enough.  That was who she was.

I won’t go as far to say our Mom was a saint.  She did; however, seem to embody two quotes I’ve always liked by Saint Teresa of Calcutta

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action."


"In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."

Our Mom did not change the world.  She did, change the world of those around her.