Gary Wojciechowski MDI Contributor
My mother Laura Wojciechowski passed away last fall. Here is an excerpt from the eulogy I wrote for her:
My mother I recall once told me that she was a waitress when she met my father. And mom was an excellent cook as well. I remember her baking fresh bread all the time and muffins, cinnamon buns, cream puffs, all sorts of pies, canning foods, making jams, canned apples, canned fish which we brought from the river, and she learned to make some Ukrainian foods that we loved as well, perogies, cabbage rolls, lots of great foods, fresh milk from the cows she milked each morning and evening.
We were very lucky to have been fed so well.
She was into organic foods before they became fashionable. She’d plant and tend the garden all summer, and it was a huge garden. And she kept the house clean while doing all the chores of the farm which was really was amazing. She would set the table and always ask us if we wanted more food. I’m sure the restaurant that lost her as a waitress regretted losing her because she was a natural at making sure no one leaves hungry or without dessert.
What I found amazing is that she did all this with no complaint, she loved cooking and serving. She loved gardening. She helped out wherever she could on the farm. Even plucking chickens, scaling fish, milking the cows and everything else. Later learning to drive, she drove the grain truck at harvest time as well as doing many of the chores that a farm has. And I still remember the best coffee in the world, move over Starbucks and Tim Hortons, it was mom’s fresh percolated coffee in a thermos, personally delivered to us out in the field as we were working long days.
Back in those days on the farm, times were tough and those times molded tough people. It wasn’t until 1972 when we got a modern house on the farm that had indoor plumbing and central heat. Before that it was outhouses, and melting water on the stove in winter so you could take a sponge bath. The heat was from a wood stove and from the propane gas oven. Even earlier she would remember the time before electricity in homes, and cold cellars with ice drawn from the river, and icebox fridges.
Some memories of mom:
I remember a few years ago I told mom about a mission in space to explore life on Mars or someplace like that. And she was quite annoyed and said something like, “Why do they bother going out there to look for life when life is right in front of us, right here on earth?”
I thought that was quite wise, actually. Life’s about being in the present right here and now, not the past or the future. She was right. She was more focused on the present, doing what was needed to be done right now in front of her without complaint. She was more focused on serving others and doing what was necessary to keep the home clean, ready and welcoming for whoever should stop by for a visit. She was like a sage living the concept “BE HERE NOW.”
I also remember her and dad were really good polka dancers. I didn’t realize that until a few occasions where they danced at weddings and parties. They could move around the room in sync and very naturally. I remember many pictures of mom and dad camping in the early years and they looked happy.
Mom lived a simple but full life. She gave her all to make this life better for all around her. In a world with fictional heroes like Superman and Superwoman, mom was the real deal a real hero, a real Super Mom.
She is missed.