December 30, 2015

"Late to your own funeral" comes true

My mother struggled her whole life to be on time. She laughed about being late to her own funeral. Last week she was. 

Family and friends were gathered at a Catholic church in Visalia, Ca., waiting for a funeral Mass to begin. A photo collage showing highlights of her life was next to some flowers that surrounded the spot where her ashes would be. It was empty 10 minutes after the scheduled start. 

Her ashes were still back at the funeral home. My sister says the funeral home was to deliver. No problem as my brother-in-law dashed out to pick them. At least that is what family thought until later that night when the truth came out. 

Here, let my brother tell the rest:

"Let the truth be told! Ah my Mother, first she was late for her own funeral. Church full of people, four priests, three deacons, three ushers.

Beautiful service and what a surprise when they announced everyone was welcome for dinner afterwards, as the restaurant had setting for thirty. No problem, invite the Lord too, He can turn water into wine and bread into loafs. Fantastic dinner for all. 

Back at sister's  was the biggest surprise of all: Mom never was at the church, box was empty, mom still at funeral home. End of story, mom missed her own funeral. Hope she was watching!"

Burial will be in Michigan. I personally will check that her ashes are in the box. 

Family pose at the dinner:

Mother left her way -- in her sleep

Patricia A. Davis, 81, died Dec. 17, 2015, the way she always wanted -- in her sleep. Nearby, the daughter who had spent the most time with her recently, had just finished the rosary while sacred music played.

My mother was a religious woman, a Catholic by birth and always a good Samaritan. She once stopped to help a bleeding man on the sidewalk while her five children watched from the car.

The pet lover was a gardener, happy with flowers, especially

She grew up wanting to be a mother and married Donald G. Chick right out of high school. 

Five children survived; their marriage did not. She became a single working mom in a time when that was rare. She did it well.

It was dislike at first for her new boss and plant manager at National Can. That changed and she married Glenn C. Davis in July 1976. She was now the mother of 7.

The Detroit, Michigan, native who lived in Livonia for years began moving -- New Jersey, Ohio (twice, same house even), Maryland, Pennsylvania, and finally Calif. -- as Glenn accepted new assignments. 

In California, she opened Postal Plus, which quickly became a gift shop instead of just a mail service.

Her last move was to a place she never wanted to be - a nursing home. But a fall Dec. 26, 2014, and then strokes meant she needed the care. 

Sadly, that move meant no more Red Hat Society or mahjong with the local ladies.

It meant change for the stylish woman, who loved shoes and scarves as well as bargains. A request for her lipstick always meant she felt better now. 

She shocked many when she went on a pilgrimage to rural, rocky Medjugorje in Bosnia. She believed six Catholics had seen the Virgin Mary.

She often was a positive woman, which meant one was never lost but on an adventure. She would up the appeal of hot dogs once with a picnic in the snow.

Now she's on the grandest adventure of all. You can probably hear her whistling if that's allowed in the penny-ante poker games in heaven. 

She was proceeded in death by her parents Jack and Irene Lawson, her brother, a sister and both husbands.

Survivors include sister: Marian Soditch; children: Sherry L. Davis, Lisa M. Davis, Mary Ann Chick Whiteside, Donald Chick, Patricia Call, David Chick and John Chick; 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.