John Warrin's Eulogy
'Family, Friends, Kindess, and Laughter'

It was my task to come up with what to imprint on my mother's urn. And I did not take this task lightly as these words will lie next to my mother's remains for the rest of eternity. So rather than pick a poem that only sort of represented my mother, I decided to write 4 words that epitomized her. Family, friends, kindness, and laughter. 

Family: Coming from an Irish (and Slovenian) background, my mother always put family first. Her most devout dedication was to her 4 boys. On the first day of my month long stay here in Northern California, I read a poem to my mother, written by Jason Blume......., "Today is a perfect day to thank you for a lifetime of loving me - for believing in me, and for putting my hopes, my dreams, and my needs ahead of your own." Actually I was crying so much that I don't think she heard what I said, so now I get to to say it again..... It's true though, that she really did put her son's dreams ahead of her own. As my brother's and I looked through my mother's drawers looking for photos, we were stunned just how much memorabilia she kept, chronicling every single event in our lives.....

Her dedication to her sisters, her mother, her nieces and nephews, and all her extended family was equally as special. The Doherty reunion that she took so much pride in, brought over 200 family members to California, some all the way from Ireland. And our holiday family gatherings were a lifeblood for her.

Friends: Her love of friendship was amazing too. From her birthday group, to her 60-plus club, to all of her close friends, my mother was always interested in connecting with people. If her and I were riding on Muni together right now, I can guarantee you that she'd be striking up a conversation with someone sitting nearby. As a child that was embarrassing, but as I grew older I realized that her desire to connect with other people was something to cherish.

The third word, Kindness, was also a significant part of what my mother was about. In all 38 years of my life, I rarely heard my mother criticize anyone. And when she heard others criticize, she was always quick to offer an alternative.... She spent the majority of her career helping others as a teacher of special education and seemed to always treat everyone equally.

The last word, Laughter, was a no-brainer. My mother was always smiling and laughing. It was great going through all her photos. She always had a smile on her face. Over the last month, every time I came into her room, she quickly reminded me to smile. At as dire a time as these last couple of months have been, my mother continued to smile, joke and laugh. It truly was inspirational. She asked me to hang a sign up that said, "Only Laughs and Smiles Allowed." I mean, if a woman with incurable cancer finds the humor in life.....and continues to make hilarious jokes, it's a reminder for us all that there's no reason to dwell on anything other than the joy in life....and mom, I will surely carry that thought with me every day.

Thank you mom......for being so dedicated to your family; for being my friend and a friend to so many; for your radiant kindness; and for reminding me (and inspiring me) to laugh and smile. 

Mom, I will miss you for ever and ever.

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