The Eulogy

>> Monday, June 9, 2008

My dad emailed me a copy of my Grandmere's Eulogy and I thought I would share. It is very cute and fits her to a tea. Randy and Sharon mentioned are my parents. I am copying this just as it was sent to me so there are a few errors.

It is very cute and I giggled in many parts. Sharon and Randy that are mentioned, those are my parents

I would like to thank everyone on behalf of my family for coming & sharing this celebration with us.

Mom was born on Oct 15th 1911 in Cache Bay ONT. The 14th of 15 children.
She grew into adulthood in the Kapus Kasing area. She entered nurses training in 1929 & graduated as an R.N. from St. Josephs Hospital in Sudbury in 1932. Four years later she married Ray Sturney & lived in Sudbury where Barbara, Robert (Bob), Richard (Dick) Sharon & I were born. In 1948 Dad moved to New Hazelton to work in the local mines. –Mom with five children in tow followed in 1949, arriving by CNR on Oct 30th
a bitterly cold winter day. My mother says that after looking at the house my father had prepared or not prepared – no electricity – no running water – no sewer & you could see thru the cracks in the walls. If she had, had the money we would all have been on the next train back to Ontario. But she has no money so the family started chinking the walls
(it was a log building) & stoking the big pot bellied stove in the middle of the house.
The winter of 1949/1950 was one for the record books. For seven weeks that winter, school was closed & we all huddled around the stove. My mother survived. It made her strong! So strong my younger brother Lyle was born in November 1950.
My earliest memory of mom goes back to 1950 when she was pregnant with my brother Lyle. I remember being fascinated with her big belly & she took my hands & pressed them on her & told me that there was a baby inside. I remember it very clearly.
I was 3.
I want to share two early lessons of life, taught to me by mom. One day when I was six or seven, I was with a group of my peers & we were teasing a “country boy” about his shoeless feet. Us town kids we all had shoes.
Unfortunately, for me, as the young fellow made his way out of town he walked past our house & mom came out to see what the fuss was about. She quickly saw the situation and sent everybody packing for home, brought me inside, sat me down & gave me a real serious talking to. She told me she wasn’t mad at me, but she did not like what I was doing & was very disappointed that I could be so mean. I protested we were only having fun. She said “do you think that boy was having fun.” Would you like to be him? How would you feel?. I have never teased anybody in a mean spirited fashion since.
I learned another hard lesson the day I had a fight with my sister over a 5 star chocolate bar. I HAD possession but Sharon took it to a higher authority. Mom.
“Ray won’t give me any of the chocolate bar”, Mom said “Ray, you give Sharon half of the bar”. I took a table knife & cut the bar in 2 pieces & gave her one. But that wasn’t good enough for my sister. Again she protested to mom. My mom came into the room, looked at me & said who cut the bar in half. I said that I had. Well then your sister gets to choose which half she wants. I’ll never forget the look of triumph in my sister’s eyes.
I wanted to smack her so hard. She, of course, took the piece I had reserved for myself. The next time I was forced to cut a bar in half I was a little more precise. The wisdom of Solomon in a little house in 1950’s New Hazelton & I was on the learning end. But this story should put an end for once & for all to the unfounded family rumors that I was my mother’s favorite son!
Roasted chicken on Sunday, fish on Friday, fresh bread, homemade soup, donuts & fresh pies, rhubarb, raspberry whatever was in season. My mother had long mastered the kitchen arts. Knitting, crocheting a master of both. A sample of her fine handiwork is on display at the back.
Mother was wise with a fine sense of humor. One of the bits of wisdom she handed down to us was from her father, who was commenting on a birth that came not long after a wedding.
“The first one can come ANYTIME” he said “But after that it takes at least 9 months.”
Officially discipline was enforced in the Sturney household by crucifixion or bye being crowned, all though none of us can remember either actually happing. We quickly learned that is was a empty threat.
My mother was a victim of the times when it came to smoking. In those days -50’s-60’s- smoking was an adult rite of passage. Most adults did it, children aspired to do it. She did it. But when it came obvious that it was a very real health hazard she quit.
She had the strength & will to quit & became an example to us all.
My mother had a love & passion for sports. She was a partisan & rabid fan.
Some of my early memories are of the ball park in Old Hazelton where mom & dad & their close friend and bridge partners Carl & Elsie Drake cheered on the Hazelton baseball teams. Pete Heit who was a catcher for the good guys was a favorite of hers & if things weren’t going so good he was in a perfect position to hear mom’s comments.
“like you bunch of bums or goons”, “you bunch of goons smarten up”! “Do you have a HOLE in your glove Billy”. She loved her sports. There was no middle ground & once her opinion was formed it was VERY hard to change. She loved the Toronto Maple Leafs, which meant she hated the Montreal Canadians. When the hockey playoffs were on a great deal of glee would be enjoyed by Montreal fans (they won all the time) if they could engineer a conversation about the great exploits of the Habs within earshot of mom. She always reacted the way they wanted, but on those rare occasions when Toronto did win, it was returned with kind!
Delcourt Parent loved to phone over during a game when the Habs were doing well –
the conversation was in French so I knew who mom was talking to- I’m not sure what was said, but it was spirited- sometimes even heated, and would prompt a phone call back if the situation changed.
The summit series in 1972 changed all that, Montreal became a team she could cheer for (if they played the Red Army) the Soviet Union became her most hated team EVER!! Randy was witness to this a few years later. Sharon was up visiting & Randy had to work. So after work he drove to Hazelton arriving about 6:30am. Mom answered the door & there was Randy wearing a Soviet Union hockey sweater!! Mom never said a word. She closed the door with Randy still outside & went & woke Sharon to go let him in. The hockey jersey disappeared.
The only time I was able to steer my mother in a sport related area was Wayne Gretzski. He was trumpeted so much in the press that mom was turned off of him. I told her to take Peter Gzowski’s advise, just relax & enjoy his skills. She did & like all of us became an Oiler/ Gretzski fan. We enjoyed him together. But when he went to the States that was it for him. Canada first- Canada second & Canada always!
Rob & mom watched soccer together over the past ten years or so. Sat morning at Grandma’s. Mom was a died in the wool Man-U fan. Rob- whoever played Man-U fan.
The day mom left us May 20th was the 5th anniversary of her granddaughter, Cathys’ death. We think Cathy came & talked her Grandma into leaving with her.
Bless them both. Tina came to the hospital & told us that a bright rainbow formed as she drove down. Maybe it was Mom & Cathy on their way.
I wondered what Cathy could have said to entice mom to go with her & it was a few days later that it all came clear.
Did anybody here watch the soccer game between Manu & Chelsea- the final game of the European Cup. It went to a shootout and was still tied after 9 shooters. Chelsea had one shot left. They had the game in the bag! But - when the last man shot-
he slipped & although the goaltender jumped the wrong way He MISSED the net!
But Man-U went on to win the game.
I think Cathy told her- “you know- if you came with me just as we slip into heaven- you can maybe cause someone else to slip”. I’m not saying this is true but it seems odd that Manu needed a miracle & GOT one, just after mom left.
My mother was such a positive person. Thru all the tough times, my dad’s long illness & slow death. My younger brother Lyle born with Down Syndrome. A long & deep continuing hurt in her heart. My step father Gill’s illness & death. My sister Sharon’s bad accident. Breast Cancer- she was a survivor! The loss of Cathy & Barbra Lynn her granddaughters & problems that we all came to her with, she was never bitter always fair. No matter what, mom was in your corner & you knew it! When they were grown, she helped the grandkids when they were grown she helped the great grandkids. Always giving her love & understanding. If you needed her she was there.
Where did my mother’s strength, passion & love come from. – HER CHURCH. Right here where we are gathered today. My mother was deeply in love with & dedicated to her church. In her times of greatest need she trusted in her GOD & accepted his will. She had faith. She drew her strength from her faith , & gave her strength, dedication & love back to her church. Always there to help. Always there to help.
She was FIRST & ALWAYS a mother. When only 11 she was nicknamed
“little mother & momma cat” because she loved looking after her nieces & nephews.
In the following 85 she never changed.

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