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Mom's eulogy

To her very last. quiet breath, mom lived and moved in the background, purely existing for everyone else around her.
Not wanting anything for herself.
“Don’t fuss,” she would say.
But she fussed over everyone else.
“Don’t worry about me!” mom would exclaim.
But she would worry and lose sleep thinking about everyone else’s troubles or problems.

Mama was a lot of things, and I wanted to share with you all a few of those wonderful, one-of-a-kind Gale traits:
Mama was a semi-activist in politics.

She started calling the White House on a regular basis about 20 years ago. She would tell the operator on the line that the “president should first seek approval from the U.N. on matters of war,” for example, or she would advise that embargoes were best. She felt it was her civic duty to give her opinion.

Mama was outrageously funny--even if she wasn’t trying to be.
When I was still single, Mom and Grams thought N.Y. Mets catcher Mike Piazza and I would be pretty good together.

So she called the clubhouse looking for Mike. She told the man who answered the phone, “I’d like to invite Mike Piazza to Sunday gravy dinner. I think he and my daughter would get along quite well.”
The kind man ‘took the message.’
Mike Piazza never came to Sunday gravy dinner.
But it’s one of my favorite memories of mom because it represents how bold, honest and REAL she was---and how incredibly devoted she was to her children, always wanting the best for us.

Mama was the most generous person on the planet.
In her last months, while battling stage 4 cancer, she worried about sending donations to this nonprofit or that cause. And she just HAD to donate to the leukemia and lymphoma fund that day because, after all, she said, so many are afflicted. I thought to myself, ‘Mom, you are fighting your own cancer now. How can you think of others now?’
But I knew the answer. It’s because that’s who she was. She put everyone else before her--- at her own expense many times.

Mama yearned to show her love through food.
And that also included her grand-dogs.
Sky and Ruby were the lucky recipients of mom's generous feeding. We called her the "weak link" because without a doubt, whatever time of day, she would see "those eyes" and just "have to" feed a meatball, some leftover pasta and lentils, some crackers if she had nothing else, or even a bracciola.

Mama was physically gorgeous. I would study her beautiful high cheek bones, her strong square jaw, and her delicate eyebrows that covered her warm, brown eyes. I thought, 'What a beautiful face.'

Mama was the protector.
She only agreed to chemo treatments because my siblings, father and I wanted her to.
She struggled with the side effects. And she was in more pain than she ever let on.
I’d ask her if she were in pain. She’d brush off my worry.
“I’m ok.” she’d always say.
She wasn’t.

I cried during the last week of her life, “Mama, I’m so scared to lose you!”
She answered, in her no-nonsense manner, so typical--- “I’m not going anywhere!! I’ll be right here with you. God told me so.”
That’s all she wanted of life-- to love and protect her family and good friends.

And I would have to say---with great pride and relief --- I think she succeeded.
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