Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My Speech for Mammy

Here is the short speech I gave at Mammy's funeral on 9/28/08. After 4 painful days, I wrote it in 15 minutes at 1am.

The first time I met Anne Nassi was on my second date with Harley. Paula and Mammy came to see Harley in a play. I sat right next to them. They were sweet and laughed at my jokes.

I married into the family, but Mammy felt like family from the moment I met her. Warm, kind, open and generous with love, she had a twinkle in her eye and a spring in her step. She lived with a vibrancy I would wish for anyone her age.

Last Sunday, we came to visit Mammy in the hospital and had some true quality time. She and I were alone for a few minutes. It was Sunday, and she didn’t mind if I put the football game on.

The Giants were playing, which reminded her of Poppy. “Every Sunday, he could not be disturbed,” she said. We agreed Poppy and I would have gotten along, despite the fact that I’m an Eagles fan.

She then told me that she thought I was a great guy. She told everyone what a great guy her grand-daughter had married.

This wasn’t just mammy being polite. It was an open, sincere approval and appreciation. Being told you’re a good husband and father from the matriarch of this family is a moment that will stick with me forever.

I told her I loved her, and I meant it. Her eyes softened with a smile and she mouthed I love you too. I know it she meant it because I didn’t just hear it, I felt it.

Mammy loved her family and enjoyed having everyone around. She would be proud of her legacy and joyous that we are all here together today.

Let us not be here to mourn Anne Nassi’s passing but celebrate her life. Mammy had an amazing life and was lucky in so many ways.
- She had her husband come home to her after being in harm’s way in the thick of World War II. That marriage lasted for 55 years.
- She raised 3 children and was able to spoil her 6 grand-children.
- She beat cancer twice.
- She was active in her community, always with friends, and went out dancing well into her 80’s. - Her daughter even had to give her a curfew so she wouldn't come home so late at night.

She lived a long, happy life. But honestly, we’re the lucky ones for having had her for so much time.

So, good-bye Mammy. I’ll take good care of Harley and keep my eye on Neil (my father-in-law).
Please watch over our children and let them feel your presence. I love you. I miss you, and I’ll take you wherever I go.

P.S. Once you get settled, look up Frances Heller. You and my Mom-mom would get along great. I think she even plays mah-jong.


Jen Simon said...

perfect. just perfect.

mkpt said...

I'm so sorry about Harley's grandmother. I know what an incredibly important part of all of your lives she was. Beautiful speech.