Good morning, everyone. Thank you for attending this memorial service for our Mom, Shirley Jackson. As everyone here knows, her family consists of Albert, her husband, Dana, myself and Amelia, and also Tate who could not be here today as well as their combined 8 children. I want to thank also her sister Bert and my Aunt Verna and Uncle Randy, brother Tyler and sister Magen for being here to support also.
My mom is leaving behind an innumerable number of family and friends who loved and will continue to love her very much. She was a very likable person and had a way of providing a smile to those who required one when they needed it most.
Shirley Jackson was, as I like to put it, an unofficial gypsy. And I’m sure if they’d have given her an invitation she would have jumped at the chance. Even in my and Dana’s younger years, she was a bit of a free spirit and we regularly moved from one state to another for this reason or that. It is probably why military life came so easy to me. I learned early on to cherish those around me and let go if there was a need to in order to move on and pursue other things. It was in this way that my mom showed my sister and I both flexibility and adaptability. She was able to transition from one place to the next with minimal effort, making new friends and acquaintances at the drop of a hat and yet somehow retaining a few old ones also. I’m not sure that she would consider herself as outgoing, but we all know better. She could enter a room full of strangers and within moments have a conversation going and have to nearly be drug away every time.
She was also an opportunist. Many know her as a jeweler and wire smith, but she had a number of vocations over the years; ranging from a hair and nail stylist perfecting the arts of hair color and French tips to Amway and amateur web page designer. She even owned a nail salon at one point that was once a house where the shop was out front and our family lived in the back. Always feeling a sense of need to provide for her family, I think was as equally important as was being social and interacting with people.
It is at this point that I’d like to take a moment and discuss Shirley’s relationship with her husband Albert. Mom and Al met and married roughly my senior year of high school. Though I was a bit aloof in finding my own way, it was more than evident as the years moved on that these two were perfect for each other. Al, being the quiet methodical one and mom, the outgoing one moved by emotion. They loved each other immensely and it showed.
As for the previously professions mentioned, I feel that they point out just how Shirley Jackson was immensely social. She had a need to not only feel loved and accepted but to extend that same love and acceptance to those around her. I strongly feel that this is the way that she would want to be remembered, as someone who wished the best for those around her and someone who cared for people. Yes, in all of the moving around and uprooting, there were hard and difficult times. Things with my mom weren’t always bright and shiny, but at the end of the day, her biggest desire was to convey love and to be loved equally in turn. In thinking over her legacy and remembering, let us not forget stop once in a while and show love to those around us. She would want this for each and every one of us.