My mom was born Shirley Tompkins in Berkeley, California. As I understand, her young life was spent looking after her brothers and sisters, and schooling. I know my mom has worked in canneries, and other jobs but one thing always stood out, as I listen to her time after time as a caregiver. It didn't matter if it was a person or and animal, so it make sense that her career as LVN Nurse was one that she wore with honor. Look what happened; two other nurses have emerged - Sheila Martin, and me Elizabeth Mendes. My mothers bedside manner was not forgotten in the off hours either; in fact, when someone was in need of her care plan, it excited her and gave her purpose, and is a reason we are all gathered here today.
I can remember growing up on 7412 Hillside in Oakland, it must have been like a Saturday morning she wake us up singing tunes of Johnny Mathis "Love is like a song" as she would be ushering us kids around the house to help her clean. Then we would proceed to Lake Merritt where she would make us run one lap. C'mon kids run with mommy, you can do it. After our lap she would drop us off with Stephony at the animal park, as she proceeded to run three more laps. Lets place that in some perspective, its 3 miles to get around Lake Merritt. Until my mother was in her late 40's exercise and health was more than something you simply do, it was culture, and it was something she wanted her kids to have because she understood that it was a valuable tool for life.
My mother also had and entrepreneur spirit. Remember, those Saturdays that contained song, cleaning, and running? Well, they contained some wheeling and dealing too. After our run at lake merritt, we would go to the Berkley flee market on telegraph. Almost instantly we would beeline for a sandwich shop called Sylvokies. They were the best no meat sandwiches, yeah, all of you who thought vegan started in recent day, sorry to break it that to you. What is even more impressive is my mother understood nutritional value that the masses would not understand for decades later.
My mom also had that I don't play premise too. Especially when it came to her children. I bet if we could analyze the sum total of all of her conversations, almost all of them would have my children it them.
As a kid, I would have terrible nightmares about loosing my mother, and I told her I would always take care of her. Now that she is off hanging out with my Dad, Chris, Chuck, and Chaos I know that she is happy; I can feel it. I can hear her now y'all… "Chuck, you spilled water on Gods floor ya fool. Clean it up before he gets back!" as Chis is laughing while Chaos is beckoning to be pet. Meanwhile, my Dad is off in the back whistling, and chewing Gods version of Doublemint Gum, as he is building an expansion to the Martin wonderland home it the sky that will eventually house us all.
My mom had her comical moments too. Sometimes, she wouldn't even know it. I would like to share with you exhibit A. - The Chicken Sandwich. (Photo)
Look around this room. My mother has touched each and every one of us in some way. If its true, and our legacy is built on the number of lives we touch, in heaven my mother is a very rich woman. I would like to take a moment to thank everyone for coming.
A shared word from Mario B. Martin: During this difficult time we express ourselves in a multitude of ways, the process is the same though; pain in, expression out. That is the blessing! A lot of the time the blessing may not be for us directly, As found in nature, the giving process is the wealth. The expression of the blessing being the adjusted pain entitlement. The blessing is for others, with your name on it, because then the blessing carries with it an untapped strength, gaining momentum with each person it touches.
Please join us later for refreshments.
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