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My Mother was a kind and loving person. She showed her love in a variety of way.

One of those ways was through greeting cards. She had one for every occasion and never forgot the birthday of her friends and special events in the life of her family. The messages on the cards were carefully chosen to convey just what she wanted to say. I guess I inherited some of her knack for greeting cards.

When I came home on Friday To Wooster, the m~memories of Mother's Day were still present in her living room, including the card I had sent. As I read it over again the message on that card had new meaning:

"As I remember special times
I think of home and you--
All the happy things we shared
and all the love we knew.
Now that I'm away from home
and what she shared back then,
I delight in all the memories
that bring you close again."

There are many memories that will always bring my Mother close again.

Hazel GrosenbaughI'll remember a cool, soothing hand on a fevered brow and the tender care for broken bones and other childhood afflictions. I owe my good health to her.

I'll remember the assistance and support for growing up properly through participation in Boy and Girl Scouts, PTA, and Band Boosters Club. She was always there. I am a good citizen because of her.

I'll remember the support, encouragement, and sacrifice in getting Carol and me through school, followed by her pride in having two college-educated children. It's because of her and Dad I have the many skills I have today.

I'll remember the support and encouragement as two children flew the coop and went out on their own to establish their own families many miles from Wooster. I owe my independence to her willingness to let go.

I'll remember feeling, even at a distance, the love and support she and Dad provided through good times and bad. I'm emotionally well today because of that support.

All of this was not easy financially, physically, or emotionally for her and Dad. Much of the time...for some 30 years...she had to also cope with a severe chronic headache which might have made an invalid out of someone else.

Hazel GrosenbaughThose of you who knew Mom knew her as a vibrant, active, involved person even when illness and old age slowed her down a little.

She was the leader, the doer, the person who had to be in charge. Those of us who loved her adapted to that and often kidded her about being 'The Boss." We did things her way.

She was a planner, buying Christmas presents early, addressing a year's supply of cards at one time, and keeping track of coming activities on those tiny notepads. I now envy that trait.

Mom cherished her independence, forced upon her by the death of her beloved Louie less than a year ago. She proved to be stronger and more capable than any of us expected.

She couldn't have continued to be independent, however, without the help of her friends, many of whom are here today. I say a special "thanks" to all of you.

Richard and Hazel GrosenbaughThat Mother's Day card I sent also contained a verse of scripture that I almost overlooked. It was from Ruth 2:12:

"May the Lord repay you for what you have done.
May you be richly rewarded by the Lord..."

Mother was richly rewarded just as we were richly rewarded by her presence. Her last reward was to be called home.

After a full day at the Wooster Community Center, being with friends and doing her job as cashier for the flea market, Hazel came home Thursday night and went to sleep.

Sometime during that deep sleep, I believe the Lord opened a door and said: "Hazel, you've led a good life full of love and service but I know you're getting tired. Are you ready to come home? Are you ready to come home and be with Louie?" I believe that, without hesitating, Mom said 'Yes." Her spirit rose from the tired body and went through that door.

What a joyous day it must be in Heaven. Louie and Hazel are together again. The loving relationship that lasted for almost 60 years on Earth will now last for all eternity.

What a team they were. Whether working together in Scouting or playing together in the senior citizens band, they were always a loving, helpful pair. I know there won't be a day go by that I won't think about them and what they did for me.

Quite often when a loved one dies, we have regrets that we didn't tell them how we felt before they left this world. Carol and I didn't want that to happen and so we made a special effort to express ourselves during Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary. I believe it was one of the most important days in their lives. In a book prepared for them, I wrote the following closing which I'd like to share with you.

Louis and Hazel Grosenbaugh"Isn't it strange and wonderful the things time does to your perspective. When we're growing up, we're much too busy to stop and ponder everything parents must do to keep us alive and well and on the right track. As we grow and move away from home there come fleeting glimpses of just how important parents are. And then, as we get married and go into the community ourselves, it really hits home.

'We see those children who have not had a roof over their heads, parental guidance, support and involvement in their activities, good discipline, and continuing encouragement to go onward and upward. Then we truly realize just how much we owe our parents.

"Many youngsters find it hard to say 'thanks' for all those things and even harder to say 'I love you.' We may be among them. Yet I suspect that Mom and Dad...Louie and Hazel...know in their hearts the many unspoken words of gratitude and love. But that's not enough.

'What better time to express those feelings in a way that all can understand than by celebrating those glorious 50 years of married life, over half of which we've been fortunate to have shared and benefited from. This book is presented in loving appreciation of the good parents you've been to us and the help you've been to countless of others around you.

'We love and appreciate you and want you and all your friends to know it."

Take those thoughts with you Mom as you go to that place where there is only love and peace, no pain or sorrow.

I know your spirit is with us today to comfort us as we express our sorrow and shed our tears. Soon you'll be on your final way home.

Bon voyage, Mom. Take our love with you, share it with Dad, and keep it safe and warm until that day when we are all together again as a family.

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