Taylor's Celebration of Life on February 20, 2017, David and Julie did an excellent job writing and delivering a powerful eulogy in remembrance of their mom. They used quotes from family and friends on Social Media and cards to create a beautiful tribute for their mother. Both spoke, and they delivered it with grace and love.
I posted the text of the eulogy below. The sub-headings below are the sections written and spoken by David and Julie. On the podcast, I used MercyMe's song "I can only imagine" as the final song because it was part of the eulogy. For information about Barb Taylor, please see Part 1 of this series.
Bobbie, Barb, mom, grandma, wife. These are just a few of the names people called you during your time on earth, but the truth is you were so much more, to more people than we can even list. You touched so many groups of people in your 66 years on earth, and though you may not know it you were a caretaker and mother to far more than the three of us. You were a loving woman full of deep compassion towards everyone who crossed your path.
When someone passes, the typical response is that there are no words to describe how much you will be missed, but through social media those words are there, and we want to share them with you, Mom, and everyone who is here to celebrate your life. After pouring through memories, cards, emails, letters, and Facebook posts, we can sum up how everyone feels about you with their beautiful words of remembrance.
"I love you Barb" - Nad
That name is a little inside joke between mom and dad, but It is obvious that the first person we should talk about is dad. 48 years is a very long time to spend every waking moment with someone, and you and dad were the epitome of true love. Karen, David, and I have always looked up to both of you, and your solid foundation of marriage has given us a guide to how our marriages should look. I think we can truly say that you and dad were not only spouses but best friends. We know that dad is going to miss you more than anyone in this room, but don't worry mom, we will take care of him.
“True beauty bubbles up from the kindness of your heart, and reflects smiles onto those you love… you, my dearest Ya-Ya sister, were the definition of true beauty… and will be missed. But Grandma Jean needed our Ya-Ya love, and you brought that to her today. I am so lucky to have the family I do, and my Ya-ya sisters. We are all bound together and will always be here for you and your family. #chachayaya #yayasinheaven #missingyoudearly. – Love, Adriana
So mom, we can’t talk about your life without talking about the importance of family. You always put family first and have taught us to do the same. In the last few weeks we have all spent a lot of time talking about the past, and we have learned so much about your life. We knew that you were born in Phoenix and that you moved around a lot as a child, but we had no idea that you attended 42 different schools before you were in 9th grade.
Grandma and Grandpa truly lived a vagabond lifestyle, and you guys were along for the ride. You didn’t have a lot of money or material things as a little girl, but you always had your siblings. Uncle Donny, Aunt Patty, Aunt Mary, Aunt Jean, Aunt Judy, Aunt Karen, Jimmy, and your favorite cousin Jan… you were always there for each other. Jim was so lucky to have you as his guardian, and you handled that responsibility with grace. You loved him and raised him like one of your own.
As Aunt Karen and I were sitting up with you in the middle of the night last week, Aunt Karen shared a lot of stories about your childhood. She said to me, “I never had many friends when I was little. But that’s OK, I never needed a friend, because I always had your Mom.” You were her best friend right up until the end. We never realized how tough it really was for you when you were young, because you always put on that beautiful smile and looked at the bright side of life.
“God puts people in your life for a reason. She took a chance on me and hired me to work in her shop. I am beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to be part of her life. She taught me so much and I will be forever grateful. And because of her, I have so many people that I can call my friends, my “flower shop family.” Barb, you fought a hard battle and now you have found peace. I am certain that you are having an amazing reunion. God has welcomed you in Heaven’s most beautiful garden. Love you always Barb.” – Love, Erica
Because family always came first, instead of putting family in front of your friends you turned friends into family. To name a few of the many groups of people you have touched: Your St. Kevin’s friends and your Card Club, your “Flower Shop Family,” The Dakota Court Gang, all of our friends, your Army friends, and your high school friends. I don’t think you realize how many lives you have truly impacted. I know all of my friends consider you a second mom, and Karen and Dave’s friends can say the same. When you made a friend, they were a friend for life.
“My beautiful mom lost her battle with cancer today and went to be with the Lord. We are heartbroken and cannot imagine life without her, but will be strong the way she raised us, and make her proud. I love you mom.” – Love, Karen
Mom, how do we put into words what you meant to us? How do we go on without you to guide us? Who are we going to call every day on our way home from work, and who is going to remind us how to make your delicious beef burgundy recipe? These are just some of the thoughts that are swirling around in our brains. I don’t think you ever realized how much we loved you mom.
Do you know that when my boys and Abbey were little, they would rather be with you and Dad than anywhere? You were such a great Grandma, and Danny, Ryan and Abbey love you so much. We will be sure that Dave and Jenny’s future kids know what an amazing woman you were, and that Grandma Barb loves them and will always be watching over them. You taught us to be strong, you taught us to be compassionate, and above all, you taught us to love God. We will continue to do everything we can to make you proud.
Since we have been full of quotes today, we thought we would end with some song lyrics by MercyMe. I am not the musical talent in the family so I will read the lyrics.
“Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel? Will I dance for you Jesus, or in awe of you be still? Will I stand in your presence, or to my knees will I fall; will I sing Hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine. I can only imagine."
Mom, we can only imagine what you are doing in Heaven. We are going to imagine you dancing for Jesus with your mom, your dad, Aunt Jean and all of our other family and friends, with Elvis Presley and Patsy Cline singing in the background. We can’t imagine what life on earth will be like without you, but we will envision the day we meet again in Heaven and all dance for Jesus together. We will forever hold you in our hearts.
We will forever love you, Mom.
I am posting these words to stand as a tribute to Barb Taylor. The idea is that those who could not attend the funeral could hear me reading the eulogy. I hope that these words will comfort you in the future.
It was difficult for me to record this. I recorded the eulogy a couple of times, but I went with the original recording because it was the best. I felt compelled to record this podcast in the hope that if one person benefits from this podcast, it was worth it.
We love and miss you, Barb.