We said goodbye to my mother-in-law this week. What follows is my eulogy, a tribute to someone who – despite wearing “rose-colored glasses” – was not naïve. She was optimistically realistic, always seeing the good in people and situations, making her so easy to love. Rest in peace, Mom.

Glasses, Tinted Rose

From the hills near Punxsutawney, a baby born anew / The second child of Ellen and Joe, to fanfare and ado / Grabbed hold of life and pledged to squeeze its essence, we suppose / And that she did, while always sporting glasses, tinted rose

A natural-born optimist, she learned to spin and twirl / The pride of Indiana came this graceful, lovely girl / A devilish charm just barely hidden kept her folks alert / One never knew what mischief hid behind that dancer’s skirt

On Maple Street the family kept a tight and loving bond / Aunts and uncles, cousins all, together they grew fond / Of joys and pain, of loss and gain, shared daily as they grew / They really had three mothers there, a treasure known by few

At Slippery Rock she met her Tom, and quickly got immersed / In love, respect, hard work, and fun, he always put her first / As he served in Korea, she kept the home fires bright / Then back in Indiana, their lives did soon take flight

Teaching gym became her pride, while Tom taught history / But before much time had passed, they went from two to three / Soon came little Ellen Marie, a major change, and then / They moved on down to Pittsburgh to set up house again

Those rose-colored glasses had never been more key / A toddler child, so much so fast, but help came for Gee-Gee / Support from Carol, Jan, Beth, Jane, Rita, Ruth and Joe / Meant her pledge to squeeze the juice from life was set to go

She built great friendships, made a home where faith and family soared / With Tommy then with Julie, her children were assured / That every moment, without fail, she held them in her gaze / “I love you extra special” came her nightly blessing phrase

She lost her Dad and later Mom, but kept the clan intact / Her grandkids called her “Nunzey,” and all knew for a fact / That her love for them would bloom and flow, with never an end in sight / She watched them grow and took such pride, such wonder, such delight

In time her Tom grew very sick, she kept a vigil strong / Right by his side, she always knew, was where she belonged / Despite concerns, she pressed her case, and made his last Noel / A merry, holy Christmas Eve that caused our hearts to swell

She leaves us with a legacy of faith and hope and love / To not give up, to not give in, not say you’ve done enough / So look beyond the obvious, to see where goodness grows / And view the world as she did, with glasses, tinted rose