Paul Warrin's Eulogy

I am only now beginning to understand the true scope of how amazing my mother was. Kara and I are raising one high-energy 5 year-old boy and he gives us more than we can handle. That’s just one boy. My mom raised four. The amount of energy and love that she devoted to us, with far fewer resources, I now consider to be superhuman. I don’t know how she did it. As a parent I am more in awe of her every day that goes by.

Not only did she raise the four of us, she managed to make our house on Fern Way feel like the center of the universe for all the neighborhood. Football games, water balloon fights, monopoly marathons, entire seasons of whiffle ball -- they all took place at our house. The door was always open to any and all of our friends, even though we didn’t always make it easy on her. There was the time my mom found Randy Lake passed out on our front porch after we dared him to eat my all of my brother’s goldfish, the goldfish food, and wash it down with my mom’s bottle of gin. There was the time that Randy, Wayne Feagly and I tried to see if we could get the Buick Skylark airborne on the hill on the next street over. Surprisingly, we could -- and we cracked the engine block. There were the many times that Scott Craig and I almost burnt down the house with various experiments. There was the fort that Scott and I built in our back yard that just kept getting bigger and bigger, until the fort had four levels, about 20 different rooms, and encompassed about a third of our backyard. And these were just my escapades. Indeed, there were three more boys just like me. None of that phased my mom. She was tough when she needed to be. But she always loved us and kept the door open for our friends because she understood what is important in life.

On father’s day this year, my mom got Zachary and I an ice-cream maker, and it took me back to one of my most favorite memories growing up; making ice cream on long summer days in Castro Valley with fresh berries from the strawberry patch that my mom and I had planted in the back yard. I will remember those times with every batch of ice cream that Zac and I make.

Throughout all of our youth, our mom was a rock for us. With non-faltering support for all of our interests, she never missed going to a baseball game, basketball game, or track meet. I went through a phase where knowing she was there made me too nervous to play, and so she would sneak into the games and watch from behind the bleachers. I love her for that.

Her tremendous support carried on through our musical endeavors as well. It all started way back when I was 8 and Jeff was 5 and she signed us up for lessons from a travelling accordion teacher. Her support continued through elementary school, when I played the clarinet (which sounded like a cat in heat), and Jeff played the trombone (which rattled the light fixtures throughout our house and the neighbors). As the years went by, our playing did not necessarily get better, but it did get louder as I moved on to the piano and Jeff moved on to the drums. Not to mention the times that we borrowed all of her trenchcoats, scarves, and wigs so that our air guitar band could put on shows in the living room. In the end, her continued support paid off. Not for Jeff or myself, unfortunately, but for the two musicians in the family with real talent, John and Dave.

My mom always had a wonderful sense of humor. Raising four boys, it was probably necessary. Every April Fool’s day she would come up with a joke to play on each of us, and every year she would get us. The one where she would rush into our room and shout “wake up quick, it’s snowing outside!” got me about 6 years in a row. That wonderful sense of humor never left her, even in her final days.

Family and friends meant everything to my mom. Holidays were always a festive time and she would make sure that everyone was there.

My mom spent five wonderful months living with us at our house in Tiburon this year. It is a time that Kara and I will always treasure. The memories of watching my mom spending time with Zachary and Alexa are something we will always cherish. Sharing frozen yogurt from Woody’s and launching stomp rockets with Zac, being there when Alexa walked for the first time, when Alexa said mommy and daddy for the first time, and when Alexa added flowers, then purses, then sunglasses, then gold sandals to her everyday accessory list. My mom spent more quality time with Zachary and Alexa in those months than many grandparents get to experience in a lifetime and for that we are immeasurably happy. Zachary loved his gramma, and I think that the love and energy my mom absorbed everyday from her grandchildren kept her body and spirit going for longer than anyone could have guessed. Her doctor was amazed when she went back for a visit in late April. No matter how tired my mom felt, she always had a positive attitude. She handled her situation with extreme grace. Kara and I never ceased to be amazed how strong her will was. When I injured my shoulder in a bike accident at the beginning of May, it was like we were transported back in time. She was injected with new energy, taking care of her injured son and doing everything she could to help. Most of all, there is a special joy for us in knowing that Zachary now has vivid memories of his grandmother and they will last a lifetime. It is a special joy to know that her memory will live on as he shares those moments with his sisters and cousins in the years far ahead.

Sometimes things do not go as planned and it has been a bittersweet week for us. My mom was supposed to be here for the birth of baby Kate, who came home from the hospital just yesterday. My mom was supposed to stay at our house in Belvedere and enjoy the gorgeous view from her room of Angel Island. But the universe works in its own way. My mom did not meet Kate in this world, but I know that they passed one another on their way to and from. She spent 8 long days cuddling Kate in that in between before letting her go to join us here. She may have missed the view of Angel Island from the house in Belvedere, but she now has a view that is even better, from the heavens, among the angels, watching over her family from above.

My mom asked for a sign to let her know that baby Kate made it here healthy and happy. Please join me in 30 seconds of silence while we send her spirit a message, letting her know that Kate Elizabeth Warrin is here, healthy, happy, and beautiful.

The average metastatic melanoma patient lives only 6 more months after discovery of the disease. My mom lived for an amazing two and a half years. Her indomitable spirit never faltered. And the remarkable strength we witnessed from her is an inspiration that we will never forget.

Anne Warrin brought tremendous joy to all who knew her. My brothers and I were truly blessed to have had such a wonderful mother. She will forever be an inspiration to us, in our lives and as parents of our own children. Mom, I love you and miss you dearly.

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