Things I have no choice but to write

Category: mom

Eulogy For Mom

 Dear Mom,

    Since they called me on March 1st to tell me about your passing, it’s been a whirlwind of activity. Dealing with your affairs and estate, as well as executing on your memorial.

    I felt that the words that I said at your memorial service weren’t particularly well thought out, or very eloquent. So, in that spirit I wanted to write you a proper eulogy. As always, like at Aquinas,  my homework is late. But I wanted to give you a cogent, heartfelt eulogy.

  First, and most importantly, you are great mother. From you I was borne, and you took care of me. I remember when I was young and frequently in the hospital for asthma, you were there while I was in the oxygen tent. My tenderest memory, was sitting in the house at 927 Cliffwood Lane, watching TV one night, and you were running your hand along my shin. Somehow, that’s the most comforting memory I have of any sense of physical touch.

And later years I confided in you. You listened and kept my confidences, but you also held your counsel. Sometimes on important items, that in retrospect, I wish I had known. While initially when I found this out I was irritated, I understood why you did it. You realize that by telling me what you really thought would only elicit negative reaction from me. And you knew that I had to make my own mistakes because that’s how I learn.  It took me a while to see the wisdom of this position, but as you told me in grade school, I am a late bloomer. So it is with this.

You were so funny. I remember standing in the kitchen at 927 and laughing so hard some days after school that I would have an asthma attack. I love this. I remember the time you came home and said “somebody in the neighborhood has Alzheimer’s but I can’t remember who”. To this day I don’t know if you were kidding or not, such was the enormity of your comedic genius. I will always love the humor that I found in realizing the best picture we had of you in your later years was the picture on your medical marijuana card. I will always remember our trips to the dispensary and laugh.  If I, or Emma or Anna, can be said to have a sense of humor, and the love of fun, it comes from you. Our joy is a direct descendent of your spirit.

You were so independent. You had your own way of doing things, and no one was going to change your mind, not even Dad. You did things the way you wanted and didn’t care what other people thought. You started your own shoe store and did it your way. You refreshed your nurse’s license and worked at the migrant health Center in Immokalee. If I or Emma or Anna can be said to have any Independence, it comes from you. Our independence is a direct descendent of your spirit.

You were so strong. No one was going to mess with your family. And when you had your own difficult times you bore them with a steely resolve. I remember the stories you told about you and your father picking through the rubble and being among the dead after an oil well explosion. I remember the story of how you and your family withstood a hurricane, and came home to find fish on the second floor of your house in Galveston Texas. You faced breast cancer in the early 80s, before there was a lot of support, and you did it with strength and Grace. And, it must be said,  not a small amount of humor. I remember you being playfully annoyed with someone, and whipping out your prosthesis and throwing it at him much to his shock, but to great comedic effect. I hope that we, me, Emma, Anna, can be imbued with some small part of your strength as we face the difficult task of living without You. Any strength we display is a direct descendant of your spirit.

You showed us what a loving relationship was with Dad. You made it clear that your relationship was the core of our lives and that we were secondary to that. It was hard for me to see the logic in that at first, but as always the wisdom showed itself to me later. Your relationship with Dad will always be a model of a strong marriage. I know it wasn’t easy and yet you bore it with strength and Grace, as you did in most things.

I know it was difficult for you, after Dad died. Your relationship with him had been the center of your lives for almost 60 years. Your sadness was palpable. But in your remaining 18 months you gave me a great gift, one for which I will always be grateful. You let me help you, and you let me take care of you. I took car e of your affairs, and I talked to you several times a week in those last 18 months. They were all a joy. You worried about money, but Dad had taken good care of you, and all I could do was reassure you. Nevertheless, thank you for allowing me to help. We grew closer in the last 18 months, and it was such a blessing, though I couldn’t do anything to ease your sadness.

You died as you lived, independent and on your own terms. While I wish we could have known the full extent of your health issues, I know you wouldn’t have wanted us to worry. And you wanted to meet your eternal reward on your own terms. What else could we expect?

As you travel through the undiscovered country and join the great majority, know that we remember you, and will love you always. I remember how you ended the last phone call we had. I remember you and I laughing at the trouble you gave the doctors. And when I said I loved you the end of the call you responded as you did many times in the last 2 years of your life. You said, “I love you more”. I never doubted that. I miss you and I always will.



(Pat) Elizabeth Roth, 83, of Naples, FL passed away at her home in the Moorings
Park Community on March 1st, 2021.

was preceded in death by her parents, Loren and Ruth (nee Peters) Gibson, and
her brother, Lt. Col. Donald Gibson.

is survived by her sons William and David Roth, her grandchildren, Emma and
Anna Roth, and her sister Mary McLean. She was preceded in death by the love of
her life, William (Bill) Roth.

was born in Independence, Missouri from where her family moved frequently during
her younger years as her father worked at various construction projects
throughout the US and South America. She settled in Williston, SC where she
graduated from high school in 1956. She then attended South Carolina Baptist
Nursing School in Columbia, SC earning her RN in 1959. That summer she met her
husband to be of 59 years while he was a summer employee at the Savannah River
Nuclear plant outside Aiken, SC. Pat and Bill were married the following summer
in Aiken on August 27, 1960.  From there
the newlyweds set out for West Lafayette, IN. There she worked as a RN putting
Bill through graduate school at Purdue University.

moving to LaCrosse, WI she worked as a RN for several years before devoting
full time to raising her sons. When they were well settled in school she
decided to pursue a life-long dream.

a passion and a keen eye for fashion, she established “The Gibson Girl”; a
ladies shoe and accessories store. Pat relished the business and particularly
enjoyed going to market in cities like New York, Dallas and Chicago.

nearly 25 years in LaCrosse, the Roths moved out East to Darien, CT; a move
which ultimately brought about the decision to sell the shoe store. This
prompted her to undertake the task of initiating and supervising the design and
construction of a beach house on Hideaway Beach on Marco Island, FL. Following
David’s high school graduation in 1987, she decided to put down roots in
Florida returning to the South which she had enjoyed so much during her youth.

was very active in tennis and bridge at Hideaway Beach and the Island Country
Club. She also was involved with Guadeloupe Center in Immokalee, FL; The Naples
Philharmonic League and San Marco Catholic Church and St. William Catholic
Church where she served as a Eucharistic Minister.

almost thirty years on Marco, Pat and Bill moved to Moorings Park in Naples
thoroughly enjoying the amenities and lifestyle of the continuing care

memorial will be held at the Moorings Park, 120 Moorings Park Drive, at Bower
Memorial Chapel at 11am on Saturday, March 13th. There will be a reception at
Moorings Park following the Service. Inurnment will be private.

family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be directed to Guadalupe
Center, (Please set the “A Tribute
Gift” field to “In Memory of Patricia Elizabeth Roth”)

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