Friday, April 23, 2021

Mom's Celebration of Life Ceremony - Monday, April 12, 2021

[NOTE: This was written on April 23, 2021, two weeks after Margaret Van Schoten's ceremony.]

Claim Jumper Restaurant with family (2011)

Monday, April 12, 2021: Today, we had Mom's Celebration of Life service at Willamette National Cemetery. Jan, Frank, and I were able to read our poems, letters we wrote to Mom, and quotes. In addition to the poem and letter I wrote to Mom, I also wanted to read sayings and quotes Mom had collected over the years; however, I couldn't find them. I thought I had packed them when I went to Oregon, but they were not in my luggage.

Bob had returned home, so I called him and asked him to look for the quotes in my desk drawer and in a file box. He could not find them. What did I do with them?

In the end, the Celebration of Life ceremony gave Jan, Frank, and me just enough time to say what we had, and then it was over. Willamette National Cemetery has a strict half-hour limit on the service and we filled up the time.

Today (April 23), I was filing papers in Mom's files and I found the quotes. I would like to share them here so they are recorded in perpetuity. There were no names on any of these. I did some research and came up with a few attributions. If anyone knows who wrote the last saying, please let me know and I will attribute that quote to the right person or book.


"May we always have laughter to cheer us
and those that we love near us, 
health and happiness throughout the year before us."
~From an Irish blessing?


"Now I'm Free
Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free.
I'm following in the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard him call.
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day to laugh, to love, to work, or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
I found that peace at the close of the day.
If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
ah yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full. I've savored much:
good friends, good times and a loved one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
don't lengthen it with undue grief.
Lift up your ears and share with me.
God wanted me now and He set me free."
~Poem by Shannon Lee Moseley


"Six Best Doctors In the World
1. Sunlight
2. Rest
3. Exercise
4. Diet
5. Self-confidence
6. Friends"

[A 1996 book by English professor Wayne Fields,
titled "What the River Knows: an Angler in Midstream,"
includes a nursery rhyme closely matching the "six doctor's" saying (page 66)...The same nursery-song version, under titles such as "Doctors Six" or "the Six Good Doctors," was published in journals as far back as 1909."]


"Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace
Lord, Make me an instrument of your peace.
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

~St. Francis of Assisi
[Used in compliance with Copyright Notice, 2012]


"And, finally, the nicest place to be is in someone's thoughts,
the safest place to be is in someone's prayers,
and the very best place to be is in the hands of God.
God bless you."


After Mom's service, our family, "adopted" sister Kimmie, and two friends were going to eat lunch at Gustav's. However, when we arrived at 11 a.m., we found out they didn't open until noon! A quick change in plans; we ate lunch at Claim Jumper Restaurant. Because of COVID, Oregon does not allow more than six people to sit at one table. There were eight of us, so we divided into two tables of four right across from each other. It was a wonderful lunch. My brother Frank told lots of stories from our childhood and then he went to the other table and told them the stories. We were all laughing!

After lunch, my sister (Janyce), brother (Frank), sister-in-law (Gina), son (Michael), and I went to Jan's place to play pinochle and work on a jigsaw puzzle. It was a pleasant afternoon and we ordered pizza for dinner. Frank and Gina had to head back up to the Olympic Peninsula and by 7 p.m. they thought traffic would have died down. So off they went. 

It was a really good day. Mom would have loved it.


  1. Sorry to hear about your mother. Looks like you had a wonderful celebration of life to honor her.

  2. I am so sorry about the loss of your Mom. Mom's are one of a kind. May your memories and photos of all the great times you spent together bring you strength. She will never be far from your heart.

    1. Hi Diane, Thank you. Mom may be out of our sight, but she is not out of our hearts, thoughts, or memories.


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