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Life Goes On...part 1

Over the next couple of weeks after mom died I was at my dad's house a good share of it but there was a lot to do. I was still working, albeit more or less remotely and taking leave quite a bit. I was cooking three meals a day to get dad to gain some weight. Since mom hadn't been eating well she wasn't cooking as much and he had lost quite a bit of weight. We made sure to get an updated Power of Attorney done so I could take care of everything that needed to be done and got that taken everywhere it needed to go. There were funeral arrangements that needed to be made and when we did that, it was my husband, my daughter Kelsie, my dad and I that went to the funeral home and made the initial arrangements. As we got closer to the date of the service I alone sat down with John Aleman, one of the chaplains at the funeral home and also one of the gentlemen who came and picked mom up that morning. He had told the funeral director that if we did not have someone to handle the service, that he really would like to take care of our family and I was grateful for that. One afternoon we sat and talked about mom so he had an idea as to who she was. He gave me some suggested scriptures and then we prayed together and then said our goodbyes. Over the next few days I mulled over the scriptures and thought about songs for the service and then set about the difficult task of writing her eulogy that I was going to do my best to deliver. Here is what it turned out to be...

The Order of Service:

Greeting – Pastor

Prayer Pastor

Song – Ships of Heaven (Blackhawk)

Obituary Pastor

Eulogy Reading Family

Song – Bridge over Troubled Water (Johnny Cash)

Scripture Reading (Isaiah 41:10) Pastor

Message – (very short message delivered by Pastor)

Prayer (followed by:) The Lord’s Prayer Pastor

Song – My Way (Frank Sinatra)

Benediction Pastor

I don't really have a reason why I chose the first two songs but the last one was perfect for my mom because she did everything her way!

Mom's Obituary...

Loris Sue Swanson, 76, died Tuesday, October 1, 2019 peacefully at home. She leaves behind her husband of 51 years, Dennis Swanson; her two brothers- Bruce Swanson of Portland, Oregon and Brien Swanson of Bozeman, Montana; her daughter,

Loris Jones and husband Kevin of Taylor; two granddaughters Megan Ashley Lay of

Taylor and Kelsie Lynn Condo and husband Clinton of Waxahachie and one grandson

Tyler Alan Jones of Taylor; two great granddaughters Lynzy Grace Lay of Taylor and

Madison Grace Condo of Waxahachie; and her many dear friends. Her parents Ella

“Sally” Calderwood (Swanson) and Lawrence Swanson; preceded her in death.

Born in Billings, Montana and raised in Livingston, Montana, the daughter of Ella and

Lawrence Swanson. She was a graduate of Park County High School in 1961. She then

graduated from the University of Montana in 1966 with a bachelor degree in Sociology.

She moved to Texas in 1966.

After graduating she worked as a social worker for the State of Texas for 2 years. After

becoming a mother, she stayed at home and was a homemaker.

Mrs. Swanson enjoyed needlepoint and was very active with her hobby. She enjoyed

traveling across the country and back to her home state with her family and showing her

grandchildren where she was from. Mrs. Swanson regularly played bridge with her

husband and friends.

A memorial service will be held at Beck Funeral Home, Cedar Park, TX; Saturday,

October 19, 2019 2 pm.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Mrs. Swanson’s name to the

Alzheimer’s Association.

I was wrong on the year mom & dad got married so their years of marriage was incorrect in her obituary. oops 😊

My Eulogy...

We are gathered here today in the memory of my mother, Loris Sue Swanson. Sue was 76 when she passed away suddenly the morning of Tuesday, October 1st at her home in Lago Vista.

My mother was a complicated person and as the days have gone by since she has passed that has become more and more apparent. She could be very opinionated and there were times she would seem to argue with you just to argue. I’ve heard her described recently by someone who has called her a friend for over 20 years as not the easiest person to get along with. If she didn’t agree with you, she was not shy in letting you know it by any means, but if you were in trouble she was also willing to help.

One instance of a time when she was there to help that always comes to mind was a Christmas Eve many years ago at my paternal grandparent’s house. My cousins and I were all running through the living room headed outside and my cousin Kim didn’t see that she was headed straight for the plate glass window and ran right through it. My mother was at one end of the kitchen counter and Kim’s father was at the other end and both ran to get her and took her to the bathroom to clean her up as best they could before taking her to the emergency room where they spent a good part of Christmas Eve evening. My mother said that just about every time Kim would squeeze her hand in pain my mother would feel more slivers of glass and tell the doctors to switch hands for a little bit. At the time both parents ran to help, they didn’t know if it was Kim that was hurt or if it was her sister Laurie or me, we all were about the same age and had long blonde hair. This was one instance but there are many others where my mother has helped friends and family members who have needed help in one way or another.

Those who knew Sue knew she loved to play bridge and did so several times a week for many years during the time that she lived in Lago Vista. I recently learned that one of the bridge groups that she played in pretty much fell by the wayside once she stopped participating. Another thing that my mother loved to do was cross stitch. She has left several framed cross stitch pieces throughout her home and has gifted friends and family members with her creations. Before illnesses restricted what, my parents were able to do, they both enjoyed travelling around the country and would set out in the summer to escape the Texas heat. They enjoyed exploring the Amish country in Pennsylvania and Ohio as well as travelling back to my mother’s home state of Montana to visit one of her brothers.

In closing, to honor the Scottish side of my mother’s family I leave you with the poem,

Miss Me But Let Me Go, Author Unknown.

When I come to the end of the road

and the sun has set on me.

I want no rites in a gloom filled room

why cry for a soul set free.

Miss me a little – but not too long,

and not with your head bowed low.

Remember the love that we once shared,

miss me—but let me go.

For this is a journey that we all must take,

and each must go alone.

It’s all a part of the Master’s plan,

a step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart,

go to the friends we know.

And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,

miss me—but let me go.