A Tribute to Lori Weiss:
This is the eulogy I read at Lori’s funeral yesterday:
Lori, it’s your 60th birthday and it gives me an opportunity to reflect back on all of the things we shared and experienced through the last 56 years.
For starters, I’m sorry I arrived on your birthday. I hope I didn’t make too much of a mess at your 4 year old party. Hopefully, mom went ahead with it and you got to enjoy everything that you wanted.
Mom used to tell me I was your birthday gift. I’m not sure if I ever believed her but I think she tried to make you feel better that I was born on your birthday!
Growing up at 712 West Chester Street in Long Beach was an interesting experience. We had our Weissblatt Cousins stay with us during many summers. Remember when Grandma Rose made us a meal and Mindy got so sick?
Or do you remember the big pool we had in the backyard? I loved going in it with my big sister. It made me feel so mature.
I always looked up to you. You were my role model. You introduced me to the good things in life, cigarettes, pot, alcohol, boys. Do you remember when the boys used to climb up the back of the house and knock on my door. “Is your sister home?” they would ask.
I never said anything to mom, but I begged for a curtain after that!
I apologize for your broken bed. Okay, Brian and I, well, I won’t say. But I feel bad about it now. You thought you broke it and I didn’t say anything.
Fast forward… Brian and I introduce you to Gary and you had two beautiful daughters together. I was so in love with both of my nieces, your daughters. I felt like the luckiest person in the world!
After a pretty bad divorce which left me stuck in the middle – between you and my brother in law… I often wondered if Brian and I made a mistake? It caused so much conflict between our families and at the same time our best friends were getting divorced. I felt like my world was shattered! I know you felt like yours was shattered.
You got through it. We all got through it. I was so proud of you. You decided to go back to school and get your degree. I always knew you had it in you to be a nurse. You loved that. Dad always talked about when you dissected a pig or was it a cat? I don’t remember. Whatever it was it stank!
After that, you married Eric and helped him raise his two children. I thought it was the perfect family. You had two, he had two and you even talked about having another… Although things didn’t end well, it always does work out for the best.
I think in life that you have to go through a series of tests before you find your true love, and I know you found that in John. He treated you with respect, dignity and was always there for you. He was completely different than the others. He was special and he was your best friend. You were the best thing that ever happened to each other.
I remember your 50th birthday going to the vineyards and getting totally drunk, singing songs and having a total blast. And I remember when you surprised me for my 50th. I went to visit Mom because Mom was so sick and I wanted to spend my 50th with her. You came in at night and I was shocked to see you. It was the best birthday ever, having my big sister, my mom and the rest of my family at my side!
Then our world stopped when Mom died just a month or so later. It was horrible. It hit you so hard. It hit me so hard too, but we handled it differently.
But it wasn’t all sad stuff, we spent amazing birthdays together. Every year, no matter what, we would find the time to celebrate, even if it wasn’t on our day.
Fast forward to three weeks ago, we had a conversation about mom dying and how she died so young. “you know, it’s not that far away. You ever think about that?” I said. “Yeah, that’s why I want to live my life and travel and just enjoy everything with John,” you told me.
“What do you want to do for your birthday?” I asked you. You said an experience. I said, “let’s go back to the vineyards.” It was so stupid that we couldn’t find a weekend until July or August! It was actually ridiculous!
You told me you wanted to go to Blackstones. I wanted to buy you a little something because our vineyard trip was far off. I wanted to get you something that was meaningful, so I bought you a locket. I cut out our pictures from my wedding and put it in there.
Then this happened. I am glad that you called me in the morning. And, I’m glad that we said “I love you” as we always did every time we spoke. I wished I had spent more time on the phone with you that day. I felt rushed and it wasn’t private speaking at work. But we said, “I love you.”
Lori, I may have been mad at you for stupid things and I’m sure you were mad at me too. That’s what happens with sister. But I want you to know that I always loved you and always looked up to you. You were my sounding board, as I was yours.
You raised two amazing girls, had a wonderful job that I know you loved, you had a guy who was there for you 100% of the time and a dog, Gino who you were crazy about (although no one else was). You saw something in him that no one saw.
You did good. You had a good life.
I promise you that I will keep in touch with your girls and I will make sure that Finley knows about his grandma. I also want you to know that I tried my hardest to get you to be with mom and please thank Aunt Ann for moving over and letting you do this. I am grateful to her.
You were an amazing sister who has helped me more than you can know. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for helping me find an incredible home in Merrick and thank you for all your help with Derek’s graduation party! Both my kids adore you! You’re Derek’s God Mother!
I really believed in my heart that we would grow old together and we would talk about the grandkids and great grandkids. I never would have thought this would have happened. Not to you!
I’ve learned my lesson here – never take advantage of anything in your life – not your parents, not your siblings, not your spouse, not your friends, not even your children because you never know what will happen.
Wake up every day and be grateful for what you have and who you have in your life;
- Never have regrets and if you do, say you’re sorry;
- Enjoy every minute because it may be your last…
- Finally, don’t stress over the little things like not being able to complete a workout, coming in last place in a race, losing a new business job, or having an argument with someone at work.
It’s just not worth it at the end…
Lori, I will love you through eternity.