Anna Bernice Nutt, born on May 25, 1940, passed away peacefully on May 17, 2015 surrounded by family at Legacy Hopewell House Hospice.
She had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Even though I will miss my mother indescribably, I am not saddened at her passing. This is a horrible disease that robbed my mother of her breath and ultimately her life. In the last few years of her life I saw her struggle more and more as it gained a stronger foothold on her health until finally it overwhelmed her.
Seeing a person you love robbed of the very thing that gives life and not be able to do anything but watch helplessly and utter words that offer no comfort is heartbreaking. When she finally had passed I could only feel that her suffering had ended and she was finally at peace. For that I have no regrets.
The service that was held for my mother was beautiful and spoke about that kind of woman my mother was despite her childhood and upbringing which was fraught with many troubled times. I want to share with you the kind words that the Chaplain who had befriended my mother in the last few months of her life spoke at moms service, followed by a poem I read at the service which you will have the option to listen to.
Military Honors Ceremony –
This is a flag folding ceremony and the playing of Taps, provided by the US Military for the almost 4 years my mother served in the Army. (The two young men that performed this were the most respectful and polite servicemen that you could hope for to deliver this honored service. My thanks go out to them.)
I would like to welcome all of you today as we remember and honor the life of Anna Nutt. My name is Sue Garritano, Chaplain with Legacy Hospice Services.
Let us quiet ourselves with a brief moment of silence and prayer as we begin this service of remembrance.
Gracious God, Source of Strength and Infinite Compassion, we turn to you now in a spirit of hope and healing. We ask that you would fill our hearts with peace that we might receive comfort and grace to help us through this time of loss. Let us know that you are with
us. Let us trust that You are for us. Let us experience the mysterious and sacred power of your love and light among us.
In Your Holy Name I pray, Amen.
Reading of the Eulogy
Anna Nutt was born May 25, 1940, and passed from this life on May 17, 2015, just 8 days before her 75th birthday. Her early years were very difficult; she grew up in
various foster homes, without the care, nurture, and guidance of a loving mother. As a young adult, she spent three years and eight months in the US Army as a
clerical and administrative aide. She became an army wife, and later the hard-working single mother of four children, Michelle, Corinne, James, and Lenny. She often
held two jobs to make ends meet, including 17 years for the county as a clerical worker, as well as several years in the D.A’s office. Despite her heavy workload, both in the
community, and at home, she managed to take her family on camping trips to Bend and Mt. Hood. Anna loved the outdoors and the beauty of nature, especially flowers.
James described his mother as “just a nice person…she always had a kind word… She was excited about everything” in her kids’ lives, and lived vicariously
through their travels and experiences. She was a very thoughtful person, and loved life. She enjoyed cooking, sewing, and crafty things, such as knitting and crochet;
crossword and jigsaw puzzles. She loved to read; particularly romance novels and murder mysteries. She was not a wealthy or materialistic person. Instead, she
invested her life in her family, and enjoyed the “fruits” of her labors through her children. She would say, “You’ve got a choice in what you do with your life, and how you
treat people.” Anna was very private in her spiritual beliefs, but
shared with me her personal Christian faith. She described herself as “a quiet person,” and presented as very thoughtful and reflective. Her spiritual philosophy was well-summarized by the plaque that hung above her chair: “Family is where life begins and love never ends.”
Anna had two special Bibles, and appreciated prayer. She never pushed her beliefs upon her children; rather, she encouraged them to pursue their own spiritual paths. In her season of decline, she expressed some anxiety about what was to come, but stated that
“74 years was a good, long life.” She had very few regrets; but, one was that she wished that she could have been a home economics teacher. The second one was that
she had always wanted to return one day to Hawaii. But, Anna accepted her place in the universe. Her greatest spiritual legacy is perhaps her unswerving support and
encouragement to her children. She became the kind of mother she wished she would have had, and was always there for her family. “Family is where life begins and
love never ends.”
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 12-13
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What does the worker gain from his toil?10 I have
seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made
everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity
in the hearts of men [and women]; yet they cannot
fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I
know that there is nothing better for men [and women]
than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That
everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all
his toil—this is the gift of God.
The writer of Ecclesiastes was a sophisticated, wise person, one who had lived through much, one who had come to learn many things by experience and by
listening to the wisdom of others. This writer had a huge appreciation of the divine view of human happiness. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every
activity under heaven.” The writer did not pretend to know the larger purposes of God or the ultimate meaning of human existence, but posed many questions
about what it means to live “under the sun.” Yet verses twelve and thirteen give us the bottom line: “I know that there is nothing better for men [and women] than to
be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.”
For Anna’s family and friends, we offer our deepest
sympathy. We know that when such a lovely person
dies, she leaves behind a cavern of loneliness. None of
us can fill the void left by the loss of a loving mother. But
it is comforting to remember that Anna left behind her
love and what I call her “spiritual footprint,” her legacy,
impression, or impact on those she has left behind.
“Family is where life begins and love never ends.”
Poem: read by James Nutt
With my mom, who was my only guiding light, I can share no more fears
From a disease that was her companion she did succumb after many years
Like the rocks against the crashing waves
She remained stalwart each and every day
Finally she has left this earthly place
To dawn a suit of heavenly grace
No longer tethered to her old and frail form
She watches over us as we all begin to morn
I am convinced that her energy is still around
Though her feet no longer touch the ground
The tears they come of fond memories long past
And thinking that no new ones with her makes me gasp
How we say our goodbyes are up to each one of us
If you were to ask her she would say not to make such a fuss
It’s hard not to cry when I want to talk to her and can’t
She didn’t even get to see me and my wife ballroom dance
The memory of her face I know will fade in time
But the goodness inside her will always shine
When I look upon the faces of my sisters and brother
I know that they carry with them the best of my mother
I didn’t appreciate the life lessons bestowed until she was gone
But I recognize them now and know I should thank her a ton
The strength of her character even in the toughest of times
I see more clearly now though can’t do it justice in my rhymes
Her honesty and quick smile and always having a kind word
May seem disingenuous coming from others but not ever her
Her excitement when from the coast I would bring salt water taffy
Or the long ago stories she told where we both ended up laughing
Her belief in me was unwavering even at my craziest dreams
To open up a game store was within reach to her it all seemed
Her empathy for my injuries always caused her concern
As any good parent would feel when body parts I would burn
As a new chapter in my life unfolds without her country wisdom
I try to fashion myself a little time to reflect on how to overcome
The obstacles I face each and every day as she once did
And hope that some of her strength inside me is hid
She supported my writing and loved reading my blog
Even though at times it must have been a terrible slog
She commented on my poems whenever she would take a look
And loved the idea of me compiling them into a book
For once and all my mother has shed her mortal coil
To no longer walk upon this earthly soil
Doesn’t mean that she will be missed any less
As the years go by I am sure I will have regrets
Of the things I wanted but couldn’t share
Not that it matters because she always cared
She was proud of my achievements regardless how small
And made me feel like I was 1000 feet tall
The reading of this poem gave me cause to rehearse
For the last words I heard my mom say are its very last verse
They are simple and from a mother to her son
Those words she spoke to me were “Go have fun”
It can also be listened to by clicking this link –
Committal (blessing of urn)
Into the hands of merciful God, we commit Anna Nutt, into her blessed rest of everlasting peace, joining her loved ones who have gone before. We also commend her
spirit to the loving care of the everlasting God, into life eternal. And now may the Lord bless her and keep her, may the Lord make his face to shine upon her, and be
gracious to her, and may the Lord lift up his countenance upon her and grant her peace.
Closing Prayer and Blessing Let us pray. We thank You, God, for the gift of
Anna’s life and for the legacy of her love. We feel a profound loss, yet a deep peace in knowing that she has been released from her suffering and can now rest from
her struggle. We ask that you encourage each of Anna’s loved ones here today by reminding them that, even as they now mourn, they can be comforted by Anna’s
loving impact on their lives.
And now praying the Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory
forever and ever. Amen.
“She is Gone”
You can shed tears that she is gone,
Or you can smile because she lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on,
You can cry and close your mind; be empty and turn
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your
eyes, love and go on. -David Harkins
May Anna’s life and legacy of love continue to bless you
and bring you comfort, joy, hope, and peace. Amen.
I would like to close with a few pictures that were shared at her service for those not able to attend.
Please take a moment out of each day to think about the people that you love and let them know it. It doesn’t always have to be those words, although that never hurts, but instead call them up or visit with them. We are given such a short time to spend with the people we care about, best not to squander it.
Peace be with you!
More to come…