Some have asked for a copy of the eulogy given at my mother's funeral service so here it is:
Eulogy for Pamela Nina Conroy
It is hard to sit here today and not feel that something irreplaceable has been taken from us. My mother was many things to many people and each one of you will miss her in your own way so I decided to take inventory of exactly what has gone missing here today.
We, her children, have lost the baker of countless birthday cakes, some pretty good spaghetti and meatballs, and a ready source of unwelcome advice.
Her grandchildren will miss the keeper of a well-stocked grandma drawer.
The oldest ones, Emily, Kate, Thomas, and Monica, have lost a major source of material for their theatrical productions.
Three-year-old Charlotte has lost an endless supply of brown popsicles.
One-year-old Martin and little baby Patrick have lost even the memory of her.
My father, Patrick, has lost the one person who could share his pride in his children and grandchildren.
Those who have had the good fortune to marry into the family have lost a warm and welcoming mother-in-law.
Her brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins will miss someone they could count on to make them laugh at a party by saying something, well, a little goofy.
Her friend, Jut, and her cousin, Jan, have lost their best chance at beating the record for world's longest phone call.
Her friends, Charlene and Judy, will miss someone they shared the joys and pains of motherhood with over the kitchen table.
The Stritch girls have lost their mudslide mixer and a formidable dominos player.
Her friends from club are left to wonder, who now will make long stories short?
George St. neighbors have lost someone who treasured the same set of memories.
Her neighbors on Mulligan have lost an ear to bend at the back fence.
Her caregiver, Elsie, will miss their bedside talks and her lively house full of people.
Many of her children's friends have lost a second mom.
Her customers will be hard-pressed to find another Avon lady who wants to know, what's new with you?
Strangers at the K-mart on Harlem Ave. will search in vain for a friendly face to engage in conversation.
All will miss her funny Pam stories and her deep, unmistakable laugh.
And finally, if after speaking to my mother you turned to the dictionary to look up that new word she used, you know that the English language has lost one of its greatest innovators.
It is a long list and, if, sitting here today, we feel gypped by her absence, we should remember, too, that there are those who now revel in her presence. She dearly missed her parents, Robert and Daria Melone, and her only brother, Clive, and I am comforted by the notion that, somewhere, she and my grandmother are giving my grandfather and my uncle a very hard time about something. As a girl some 25 years ago, I remember my mother mourning a friend who was taken much too soon so I am certain that she has already been offered a nice cup of coffee and that countless others, friends and family alike, have welcomed her with a warm embrace into the kingdom of heaven.