from Rosemary Specht:
My mother was a very special person in my life. I could always count on her when I needed help and advice. She was always there for me. I admired her calm temperament and optimism – her belief that “the glass is half full”. My mother appreciated the good in others rather than dwelling on their faults. She was devoted to my father until the very end of his life, to my brothers, myself, and our spouses, and to her nine grandchildren, always taking pride in our accomplishments.
I will greatly miss her wisdom and her unwavering love, but I take comfort in the knowledge that she lived out her life with my father in her own home almost until the very end.
She endured the hardships in her life with courage and an admirable strength, seldom complaining. The following is a poem that my mother referred to when I would be troubled by something or discouraged. The words of this poem comforted her when she was going through difficult times.
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to him and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before Him, He looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. Lord you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.
The Lord replied, my precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.
from Jerry Specht:
I wanted to say a few words about my mother….
People play different roles in their lives: socialite, traveler, professor, business person. I asked that the line be added to my mother’s obituary saying, “she was a devoted wife and mother”. For some women, this would just be a trite phrase. For my mom, it was the essence of who she was.
Especially when we were living at home, you sometimes wanted to say, “Mom, don’t you have anything better to do than spend all your time thinking about me?” It was quite apparent that the answer to that was “no”. She was completely devoted to her family.
The situation of needing to nurse and care for my dad – especially over the past year – was a job that she was born to do and she did it perfectly, nursing him back to health on various occasions.
She didn’t get out much in recent years. One place she did go was Giant Eagle. She was very popular with the staff there. People recognized in her the basic kindness, fairness, and respect with which she treated everyone that she met.
Religion was very important to her. Her belief was not the result of any elaborate thought processes. It was something visceral, deeply ingrained in her.
She and Dad were founding members of the Notre Dame parish and helped build this church we’re sitting in.
One particular misunderstanding which I would like to correct is the idea that my mom “lost the will to live” after my dad died. I know that my dad’s death was a big shock to her. But she went to the hospital with a relatively minor condition (dizziness, light-headedness) and while in the hospital acquired a bacterial infection of the lungs. After she had been on the respirator and was continuing to struggle for each breath she took, she said that she didn’t want to live any more. What she meant was that she didn’t want to live like this any more. I think she was at peace with the idea of dying, but did not want to die. After all, with nine grandchildren in their teens and twenties she had every reason to expect at least a few great-grandchildren in the near future. I could easily see her as a doting and loving great-grandmother -- just as she had been a doting and loving mother and grandmother.
May she rest in peace.