Eulogy given by her brother Michael Pond 2/24/07, Holy Family Church Enfield, CT
I’m Lisa’s brother Michael and we’re here today to celebrate Lisa’s life. Lisa had a strong faith; she didn’t just go through the motions of Sunday mass. She actually lived her values. She was a walking example of many of the stories we hear in the Gospels that are so hard to live up to – like loving your neighbor – Lisa actually loved all of her neighbors even the ones that weren’t kind to her. She not only turned the other cheek, she would turn the other cheek and smile that big Lisa smile that comes through so brightly in all her pictures with her eyes all squinted up. Lisa and Janice were true life partners, sharing every moment of the past 18yrs together – from Lisa patiently teaching Janice to ski at Mt.Tom in 1988, to starting a family by sharing their home with four very special children. Their partnership was one of love, patience, understanding and total commitment. Janice and their children will miss Lisa beyond words and find comfort in knowing that she walked the life of Christ. There’s a saying that goes “if everyone lit just one candle, what a bright world it would be.” Lisa lit not one candle in this world – but thousands of candles With her bright smile and her loving heart, Lisa spread brightness and love wherever she went. There are the many candles she lit, not just as a wonderful mother to her own four children, but also as a foster mother to many other children who needed help, often waking up to a phone call in the middle of the night that some child was in need, but still managing that permanent Lisa smile – although she did sometimes needed a good cup of coffee first because she really enjoyed drinking coffee. Janice says that it seems as though every night Lisa had a new foster child in the house that she was giving her love to. There are also the hundreds of candles that Lisa lit in the hearts of Girl Scouts – first as a counselor at Timber Trails Girl Scout Camp for many years, where she was known as Lisa Pizza, then as a Girl Scout leader with her own kid’s troops in Washington State. Then there are the many candles that she lit by teaching – with special education students and her students in the first communion class at St. Michael’s church in Olympia. Lisa found a way to reach out to everyone. She even learned sign language so that she could brighten the lives of the hearing impaired. There are the seven candles that she lit as an organ donor – an act that was done not just by casually checking a box on her license but was done with very careful planning through a living will. There are now seven people who will still have life because Lisa wanted to just keep giving of herself even if she died. The candles that we will remember most are the ones that she lit in our own lives. We have so many memories of Lisa brightening our lives in a loving way…one of the things that brightened the days for me and my wife Cathy is when our son Jack used to wake up at 6 in the morning at Cape Cod and Lisa would take him for a power walk in his stroller (and God help anyone who tried to keep up with her) …but I know there are so many more… Lisa’s daughters Danielle and Katie said that their Mom brightened their lives in the way she took the Girl Scouts camping: in a hotel rather than a tent despite the fact that Lisa clearly preferred a tent Her son David said that it really brightened his life when his Mom took him onSpace Mountain over and over and over One of the brightest memories that my Mother has of Lisa is when they took their early morning walks and did Yoga on the beach on Cape Cod – and Janice remembers watching the Cape Cod sunrise with Lisa My Dad’s day is brightened when he remembers the canoe rides he took with Lisa, except of course the time when Lisa swamped the canoe and he ended up in the water – Lisa was a great swimmer so she didn’t mind at all. And my sister Sue remembers when her life was lit when she was feeling very alone in the Air Force in Biloxi, and Lisa came to visit her even though she had an ear infection and was feeling very sick And my aunt Audrey recalls her life being brightened when Lisa, even as a 2yr old, would wake up with a greeting of “morning, morning folks” even as she rubbed her sleepy eyes. Lisa’s brother-in-law Tim’s life and my aunt Mary’s life were brightened and inspired, as we all were, simply by Lisa’s patience, persistence and energy in everything she did. Just this week, our family received many messages from people telling us how Lisa brightened their lives – on the Courant’s website, through email or letters. Just one example is from Lisa’s dear friend Kathy Bowen in Olympia WA Kathy said that on the first day of preschool for Lisa’s son David and her daughter Stefani, all the kids were told to sit down. The kids all huddled together around Lisa except for Kathy’s daughter, who sat off by herself because she was shy – Kathy was feeling bad for Stefani, but before she had a chance to get up, Lisa took Stefani’s hand and brought her to the rest of the group. Kathy said that since then – she’d seen Lisa show that type of concern for many many others. And I’m sure you all have your our own memories of how Lisa touched and brightened your lives – I encourage all of you to join us all at La Notte after this ceremony and share your own stories of Lisa with us In closing I want to say on behalf of so many here today…
- We love you Lisa and we will miss you more than words can say
- Thank you Lisa for brightening the world by lighting so many candles
- And good-bye for now Lisa. We pray that one day we will all see you again in paradise.
Thank you all very much for coming here today to celebrate Lisa’s life with us http://www.legacy.com/HartfordCourant/GB/GuestbookView.aspx?PersonId=86565586