As some of you may know, a year ago last October my wonderful mother passed away. Over the July 4th weekend, almost a year later, all of us got together and gave her a proper send-off in San Antonio (organized by my sister, Liz). In other words, we partied in her honor. She would have loved it!
After a military funeral at Fort Sam Houston, (covered by the local TV station news) and burial of her ashes next to our father’s grave, we toasted her at the Cadillac Bar Restaurant with the margaritas she called her “Mexican Martinis.”
Writing the eulogy was surprisingly easy – keeping it short was hard. Delivering it was a challenge when one of our youngest guests fainted from the heat and an ambulance had to be called. After the paramedics arrived and made sure he was okay, we went on (we were on a strict time limit for the pavilion with the next veteran’s family waiting in the wings for the space), with music organized and played by my brother-in-law Jeff Thoman on guitar, accompanied by my oldest son, Dan Birk, also on guitar, Jeff’s daughters, Emily and Erin, singing beautifully, and Morgan Birk, my mother’s first great-grandchild, on tambourine. (Also captured by the TV news show, though, much to her dismay, they didn’t get Morgan on camera!)
The celebration of her life went on for the long 4th of July weekend, with tours of the Alamo, yoga lessons (courtesy of Amanda Guerrero, my son Mike’s beautiful and talented girlfriend), ghost sightings at the historic Emily Morgan hotel where we were all staying (by, coincidentally, my granddaughter, Morgan), swimming, and topped off with, of course, brilliant fireworks (viewed from the top of Bennie and Sue Blansett’s condo building)!
Happy Birthday, Mom!
P.S. If you would like to see a copy of the eulogy, send me an email and I’ll get it to you.