Gloria Giraldi

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We should not be here today. We are here at least 30 years too early. I do not understand how a fate so terrible befell a person so wonderful and I am questioning my belief in a G-d that could allow so much pain to be inflicted. Since I was a child I have prayed to G-d each night before going to sleep. I would start by praying for my familys health and happiness and I would end by saying the Shema.

When my mother was diagnosed, I would pray that the treatments would work, that her pain would be alleviated, and that her health would be restored. But my prayers went unanswered. Now, I stand here angry and sad that my mother died so young and under such circumstances; that she will not be here to see my sister graduate from college, to walk down the aisle at her childrens weddings or to see her grandchildren.

And just when the thought of her not being here for the next 30 years is more than I can bear, I stop and realize that it is not G-d who has cheated me of my mother, but in fact the complete opposite. It is G-d that has given me 28 years of the best mother, teacher, and friend that anyone could ask for. What I now realize is that the focus of my attention should not be on the next 30 years without my mother, but on the past 28 years that I had with my mother.

As opposed to being born into one of the many families from which my mother spent her lifes work saving, I was born into the most incredibly nurturing and loving environment a child could ask for. I was born to a mother who told me how wonderful I was at every moment she could and how proud she was for what I had accomplished. She believed in me without question and that is a feeling I will never let go. And I hope she knows she and my father raised a family that will always look out for each other and support each other no matter the obstacles we face.

From the moment she was diagnosed up until the last days of her life, a time when most people would choose to enjoy themselves any way they could, the only thing she wanted to do was go back to work. She loved what she did for a living. She was passionate about it. She was fulfilled by it and that is something very rare and special. To those of you here who worked with my mother, let me say to you on her behalf; she loved every minute and I thank you for all of the happiness you brought her.

I believe that the strength of the friendships one has is a direct reflection of ones character. And in regards to my mother I have never seen such support and love as she has had throughout her life and more importantly over the last 7 months since she was diagnosed.The doctors gave her 2-6 months to live; she lasted over 7 and I truly believe that it was the incredible energy and love that flowed from all of her friends and family that gave her the strength to live as long as she did. I know that my family could not have handled the last 7 months alone and I want to thank all of you for your help, your support and especially your love.

Mom, I remain humbled by your selflessness and aspire to be half the person you were with your ability to give yourself to others. The passion with which you lived your life, at work, at home, in how your raised your children, in how you treated your patients, is inspiring. I strive to live the way you did. Since I can remember you have showered me and my sisters with endless love. And although we might have always shrugged off your telling us how much you love us, or how proud of us you are, or how beautiful you think we are, it meant more to us than you know. All of your love and support has enabled my sisters and me to become the people we are today. Our success is a direct reflection of all the nurturing and love that you gave us. I love you so much mom, for your strength, your patience, your opinions, your intelligence, your dedication, your humor, your empathy, your support, your love and a million other qualities you possessed. Thank you for being who you were. Thank you for being the most amazing mother anyone could ever ask for.

There are those who spend their lives giving; giving more than they need to, giving more than is ever asked or expected, leaving the world a much better place then when they entered it. In my opinion there are far too few of these people in the world. My mother was one of them and in my opinion not just one, but one of the best. She didnt just try to do her best to help others; she dedicated her life to it.

My mothers spirit will continue to live on in each of us. I know that I will embrace those moments when her memory is awakened within me. I will laugh when I remember something funny she did and I will cry as I experience a milestone in life that she is not a part of. I will cherish these moments as they will remind me how much she meant to me, how much she meant to us and I know you will cherish them as well.