Tuesday, August 30

Audrey Marie Ducharme

Mom's Eulogy

First I say thank you to all of us for the loving care we gave mom. We all went beyond the call of duty. Kevin’s dedication to keeping mom engaged with laughter helped give mom the fullness of life as long as possible. I thank you Kevin for the sacrifices you made to make mom’s time easier. And thank you to my father for keeping her in the home. You gave Mom such good care during her most critical time including being with her at the end. I am also so thankful for my father’s brother and my uncle and aunt. They were such a support to my father, helping to ease his burden and reminded him to live. A special thank you goes to my husband. His willingness to sacrifice a normal life so that I could care for my mother overwhelms me even now. Night after night I would go to my mother’s while he put the children to bed, cleaned my house and made my life less challenging. Clearly I am a woman that is truly blessed

Please excuse my rambles as I attempt to describe a woman that was so full of life and lived each moment with such climatic energy. Those of you who knew my mother would have described her as one who gave so freely and carelessly, one who thrived in the lime light, and demonstrated a passion in every motion every action of her life. She also was such a beautiful person and we all know that she was exceptionally vain. I can still hear her singing "Oh Lord it’s hard to humble when you’re perfect in every way. I can’t stand to look in the mirror I get better looking each day. But that vanity is what made everything she did so remarkable. She took such pride in herself, in her actions, in her projects... Many of those projects were children that found their way into our home…From students that she worked with to friends of my brothers and I, to neighborhood children, there was room in her heart for all of us. She became a second mother to so many including my best friend Tori. Tori was fortunate to say her goodbyes just two weeks ago and could not be here to attend. So she asked me to read this to you:

“Although it is far too soon for us to lose someone so special, we must be thankful for the time that we shared. Audrey Marie Ducharme was such an incredible woman. Very few people will ever give to or care for those around them as much as Audrey. She was a good Christian woman, whose heart was full of love and enthusiasm for life. Her spirit was contagious. To hear her laugh could melt one's heart. The joy Audrey brought to others made you want to do the same.

Memories of Audrey could keep one talking for days – from her singing to her joking; she brought so much to so many. Audrey touched many a life by simply giving of herself. She opened her heart and home to everyone she knew. She stood ready, willing and able to help whomever crossed her path in need of assistance. .

She had am immense love for her husband, Frank, and her children, Kim & Kevin, of whom she was extremely proud. Her love, however, extended to her children’s' friends as well. Audrey took them in and loved them as her own. Her home was always a place of love and life. Her dedication to her family was unmatched. She always had time for her family and made the best of every moment. The time we were all fortunate enough to have shared with Audrey and the memories we have will remain in our hearts and minds forever.

Tori is right in saying that my mom touched so many by simply giving. She never thought twice at paying for someone’s entire grocery bill as she was checking out or slipping the waitress an extra twenty just because. She paid it forward throughout her entire life including up to the days of her death. My mother is also remembered for her practical jokes. She loved starting food fights at the dinner table, playing practical jokes on us, holding a glass full of water and unexpectingly throwing it at you. You never knew what to expect from her-she was full of contradictions, intrigue, and extremes. She definitely kept us on our toes.

She also was courageous and fearless. I am forever in awe at the dignity she displayed as she battled this horrific disease. She never forgot what was happening to her-she knew she would not be there for her grandchildren. She knew when she got worse and stayed in control of her alz... She even praised God for giving her alz. She once remarked that God gave her this disease so that she could walk up to a perfect stranger and talk about God. They would let her because they felt bad for her. TO watch yourself degenerate knowing that there is nothing you can do to stop it and that it is only going to get worse has to be so horrific and difficult to handle. Yet she did it with such grace. I will never forget the week she found out. Days before she found out the diagnosis, she was told she had breast cancer and a brain aneurysm. She fought the battle with breast cancer only to find out that the treatments jump started the alz. She fought alz and I consider the battle won. It may have taken away her abilities, her personality, her life, but it did not take her memory…

As a Christian, my mother had a peace about her life and would want us to celebrate her life. She was ready to be with her Maker and no longer has a body that can be destroyed. As it says in 1 Corinthians 15 42-44…

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body."

She will have a new body one that cannot be destroyed bit by bit as her old body was. As a believer in Crhsit, my mother will spend her eternity with her Lord and Savior. IT was this faith that carrie d her through times that would have destroyed a lesser person. I cannot help but respect that power.

It will take some time for us to gain some perspective on the meaning of not having her in our life. Right now, my mind is clouded with distressing images of her during her last few motnsh. I believe that as time passes these images will fade and I will remember the essence of my mother. The images that will persist will be of her singing to us each night as children or chasing us around saying Niagra Fall. Mom will always be in our hearts. So much of who I can is directly traced to my mother. So in a way, I am an embodiment of mom, we all are. Because whiel we live, she still lives on. She is all around me and is a part of me. I am relieved that her suffering has eneded and I will let the memories give me peace.


Lisa Martineau said...

Crying......your mom was so filled with joy and grace and kindness and undending love. She had such a great gift of laughter. I will never forget it, or to you. Wish I could hold your hand and comfort you.

Melissa Roman Diebold said...

Audrey's laughter punctuated the years we spent on Summertrace circle. She was always trying to convince me to let her iron my hair straight (with an actual iron). The video and eulogy are a wonderful tribute to a beautiful woman. Thinking of your family and remembering all of the good times. Take care.

Kimberly said...

Thank you guys...

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