Always in our Hearts
The tributes were opened by Maria's oldest son , Graham, who delivered the Eulogy for Mum. This is reproduced below::
Eulogy for Maria Giuseppa Labadessa Carse
Our Mum left us on the 14th October 2006. It would be very easy at a time like this to focus on her death and our loss, but what we really want to do is share with you the strength of this amazing woman which should be an inspiration to us all.
Anyone who knows our Mum will be aware that she has been poorly for a number of years. At times it felt like she would bring home a new ailment every time she visited the doctor, and her catalogue of conditions increased frequently right the way up to her death.
Individually, her conditions would test the metal of the strongest person Ė collectively, it is amazing how she managed to cope with these serious conditions for as long as she did. Conditions such as fibrosis of the lungs, a heart murmur, osteoporosis requiring her to have a hip replacement operation, arthritis, IBS, and most recently diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer.
Did this get her down ? Of course it did, but very, very rarely, and it is this which is the most amazing thing about our Mum. Despite these obstacles, she was a real fighter refusing point blank to be beaten by any of these things. It was rare to find her anything but positive about her life Ė yes, there were days when the pain was very bad, and that would have an effect, but a smile, a laugh, a kiss, a look, always said that she was bigger and stronger than the pain, and she would fight it off.
We all have our individual memories that we will cherish forever Ė memories of childhood holidays, of being caught in the coal bunker, of climbing in the fruit trees in the garden, of marching through the kitchen at bath time getting ďsbagliaĒ for the dayís misdemeanours.
Memories of the torture of Mum brushing our hair because we never did it properly ourselves, of giggling fits with her at the dinner table much to Dadís disgust, and more recent holidays to France, and Christmas dinner, and so many wonderful instances that will live with us Ė and of course, whenever we talk of them, Mum will be alive in our thoughts and conversations.
It has been the last 4 weeks though that has really shown what is so remarkable about Mum, her fighting spirit and her bravery. She was admitted to hospital on 14th September with a collapsed lung and pneumonia, and very early on, as a family we were advised to prepare ourselves for the worst. Doctors felt that she would only have a very few days.
During these early days, Mum slipped into the depths of death and she had died, she told us. She had never felt as warm and as comforted, and it was as if she were flying and free and happy. Her Mother was calling her. She told us she would never feel sorry for anyone who had died again because she knew it was peaceful. She reassured us that all was OK, people were waiting, and that was where she belonged, but not yet.
The remaining time in hospital was a rollercoaster ride of improvements followed by setbacks followed by improvements, and all through this period Mum was very patient and calm, taking one day at a time, enjoying the company of her family visiting daily, sharing smiles and touches, kisses and laughs, always positive, never making a fuss. There was good improvement, and we all dared to hope that the immediate danger would pass, but our hopes were dashed when the pneumonia re-appeared.
Physically she had fought hard to get that collapsed lung re-inflated, and she won that particular battle, but it left her very weak - she had nothing left to fight with, and on Saturday 14th October 2006 at about 10.45pm, she closed her eyes having fought as hard and as long as she could.
She may not be here any more, but she will always be with us Ė in the songs she loved to sing, we will remember her; in the stories she used to tell, we will remember her; in the faces of her children and her grandchildren, we will remember her; in the poems of a little girl, we will remember her; in the love we felt and always will feel, we will remember her; in everything we do, in everything we are and everything we will be, we will remember her.
Rest in peace and without pain, dear Mum, and know that you have touched our lives in more ways than we will ever know, and we are all the better for having you as part of our lives.
The tributes continued with the reading of poems in memory of Maria, and were started by Maria's son in law, Chris, who read two poems written by Maria's granddaughters, Megan Clingham and Christina Garcia, in memory of Nana:
In loving memory of our Nana
Itís only been a
Why did you have to
We did everything
we could do
You were so strong
17 October 2006
Special is a word that describes you, Nana,
I treasure every moment of our time together
Our girlie chats about this and that,
Anything at all; even my cat.
I miss you Nana, I miss your smile
But the love you gave will stay a long while.
I cherish our precious memories together,
And hold them in my heart for ever and ever.
21 October 2006
Chris then read a poem in memory of our Mother in Law on behalf of the sons in law:
The Day God Called You Home
In loving memory of our Mother in Law
God looked around his garden,
He put his arms around you,
He knew you were suffering.
He saw the road was getting
It broke our hearts to lose you,
The readings continued with a poem in Memory of our Mother read by Maria's oldest daughter, Evelyn:
I am Free
In loving memory of our Mother
Donít grieve for me, for now I am free
could not stay another day
If my parting has left a void
Be not burdened with times of
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
The final reading was on behalf of Maria's loving husband, Geoffrey Carse, and was read by Maria's youngest son, Patrick:
All Is Well
In loving memory of my Wife
Death is nothing at all.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
It is the same as it ever was, there is unbroken serenity.
All is well.