The Memorial Ceremony

 

Celebrating the Life

of

 

~ Rose Olimpia Masciovecchio Weissinger ~

 

Born ~ November, 28th 1943

Died ~ October, 27th 1997

 

 

Celebrant: Charlotte Eulette

Celebrant USA Foundation

 

 

 

The Memorial Ceremony

 

Celebrating the life

of

 

~ Rose Olimpia Masciovecchio Weissinger ~

 

Born ~ November, 28th 1943

Died ~ October, 27th 1997

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Celebrant:

My name is Charlotte Eulette and I am a civil Celebrant. On behalf of the family of Rose Olimpia, I thank everyone one for being here today to honor and pay tribute to Rose on this day October 27, 2002, the fifth anniversary of Rose in heaven.  At this time I ask you to please turn off your mobile phones or any other ringing or buzzing electrical device – thank you.

 

Today we remember in full and celebrate the beauty and vibrance of all that is Rose and will continue to bloom in all of us.

 

The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson writes these enlightening words, with a little adaptation from us, that I think you’ll agree elegantly describes Rose through out her life…Her loving niece Michelina Pagano Parente will share this reading with us now…Micki

 

READING 1. ~ Michelina

 

A Woman is a success…

Who has lived well,

Laughed often and loved much

Who has gained the respect of intelligent men and women

And the love of children;

Who has filled her niche and accomplished her tasks;

Who leaves the world better than she found it,

Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty

Or failed to express it;

Who looked for the best in others

And gave the very best she had.

 

 

One evening, several months ago, at wedding party for cousin Michelina, Rose said to me … “my brothers, my sister and I want to celebrate the memory of our Mom. We don’t want this to be a sad occasion but rather one that will touch all that loved her in a positive and inspirational manner. One that leaves us with the thought that she is always around us, helping and guiding us through good and bad times.” And with Rosie’s wish…that is what we are going to do today.

 

As you look around the room you see purple flowers and some of you have even worn purple today! Throughout history, and in many cultures purple has been the color reserved only for royalty, how fitting it is that this was Roses favorite color for in many ways Rose was to all who knew her  ~ the Queen of hearts! 

 

It is plain to see that the quintessential loving connection of family resonates from each of you. A circle of family, love, tradition, history, and togetherness united to celebrate Rose and her legacy, which sparkles in all of your brilliant eyes.

 

I had the great opportunity of talking with Rose’s brothers and sister and children and with their thoughts and feelings we have created this family history and these everlasting memories of her life.

 

Rose was born to Italian immigrant parents, Emilio and Olimpia but we now know this loving Italian mama’s real name was Olivia – immigration at that time was notorious for changing peoples names on the spot. So, once again our Rose was born on November 28th. 1943. She was bambina number six of six children, first there was Jimmy, then, Ralph, Danny, Mary, Lou and Rose.

 

Her oldest brother Jimmy remembers the day she was born “I was in the army during D-Day in WWII. I was stationed in Alabama and the next day I was leaving for Utah beach” when I got the news of my little baby sisters arrival.  I first saw her when she was 18 months old and then when I came back home after the war. By this time she was a lovely little girl only 3 years old in a pretty white dress and she was a little fire ball right from the start – let me tell ya.”

 

Ralph and Jim and Danny relay the history…“Our parents and all us kids grew up in Brooklyn in 1930’s during the depression - and it wasn’t easy, times were real tough. Our parents didn’t speak English and our father Emilio could not find a job - he was truly a tortured man in many ways. Our mother Olimpia was a wonderful woman in everyway. She cared and loved her family so very much and would cook everything from scratch that she bought from the market that day - no short cuts. She would also make extra money selling hand made artificial flowers, and we would all pitch in and help her make them too.   All us kids would do whatever we could to help the family. We loved our mother so very much until the day she died. I remember that us boys would shine shoes for a dollar a day and bag groceries just to help make ends meet and put food on the table.”

 

Lou recalls…“When we were kids Rose used to be absolutely crazy and always wanted to play “one little, two little, three little Indians” with us – non stop!

 

Rose’s personality when she was young shown through – She was vivacious, smart, beautiful, fun-loving, hard-working, loyal, quick to anger and quicker to throw her arms around you and love you like love was only invented by her – and no one else in history.  

 

Lou told me the other night over the phone“ as a little girl I remember a funny thing…Rosie loved salt. One time she poured the whole salt shaker into her hand and swallowed it in one gulp, needless to say we couldn’t believe it.”

 

When they were growing up the brothers, Danny, Lou, Jimmy and Ralph wanted the girls to have it a little easier on them then the boys had at that time, but it was hard for all the children, including Mary, who began work as a seamstress at a young age. And throughout this time they all remember Rose as a smiling, kidding, happy-go-lucky kid in spite of it all.

 

Ralph tells us of a sweet story of how as a youngster he was taking singing lessons and practicing the Patti Page song “How much is that Doggie in the Window” out of the blue, little Rose stood by his side and began to harmonize with him as they sang this song together.” He enjoyed telling me this story and I thought everyone would like to hear it.

 

Her brother also remember with a smile a time when they would play with Rose and egged her on to give them a swift punch in the stomach and they would howl with pain.  She thought she really leveled them and they would pretend to be really hurt and lay themselves over her slim shoulders as she carted them away. Funny thing was, that years later, like just a few years ago,  she really thought that she made them see stars and had to drag her big brother’s limp bodies on her shoulder across the room. Maybe that is why the weight of world for her didn’t seem to be so heavy because she had the love of all of you and never knew any different.

 

Her sister and brothers are all very proud that Rose had the opportunity and the drive to graduate Thomas Jefferson High School and that Lou went on to graduate with a college degree.  A dream come true for an immigrant family.

 

“Let’s go to the movies!” didn’t even have to be said out loud…big sister Mary would take Rose and Lou to the movies several times a week – enjoying the big screen and the boom of 50’s culture and rock n’ roll.”

 

If Elvis was the King, then Rose was the Queen!!! Love me Tender baby!!!

 

Mary seamstress artistry made it’s mark with Rose who would frequently attend the church dances and became quite a dancer, mover and shaker all her life. Mary made sure Rosie had beautiful dresses to wear.  Lou tells us of his sister’s “Anita Ekberg” striking good looks, of her lovely blue eyes framed in black lashes, her long and tapered fingers and hands, her long hair and her elegant and enviable height of 5’10.  She was a long stem rose in deed!

 

Some years back after Ralph retired he began to paint again. He painted a picture of Rose that adorns her daughter and namesakes home… We have the painting with us today.  Ralph tells of its meaning… “In the corner are the clouds and her little angels (her wonderful kids) and of course there is an image of a rose flower a delicate, beautiful, strong rose – that’s my sister.”

 

I know that if we had brought paints and brushes in today all of you would simply turn around, grab a brush, and effortlessly paint this room to look like the Sistine Chapel. I know this after I spoke with Rose’s family this week in preparing for her life celebration. So I would like us all to stand and toast to “the art of life and love” that runs through your vains from one generation to the next.

 

TOAST

 

Celebrant:

Please  - everyone stand and raise your glass…May you always turn your artistic spirit on especially to express the love and admiration and deep bond that your family possesses! Here’s to Rose who triumphantly painted your world with love - may you continue the tradition!

 

Please be seated…

 

EMAIL REMEMBRANCE

 

Celebrant:

Marie would like to read an email from her sister Louise who was so very close growing up with Rose. Both Marie and Louise completely adored her.  Marie tells us that Rose simple is – “in all of us.” Marie…

 

 

Marie:

From Louise, Hi everyone, I couldn’t make it but This is what I've been writing about my Aunt Rose:


She was like a big sister, better to me than I was to my own. She was patient, kind, fun and took time out for me. She never made me feel that she was rushing her pain in the ass niece six years younger than her to get on with her teenage life. When we’d go by grandma for dinner on Sundays she was home for me. Sometimes her friend Mary would be there too and they both made me feel special. As though I was a big kid like them.


She was a teenager and as such wanted to have dinner with everyone, see her brother and my sister & brother and mom, and I’d start bugging her as soon as we were done eating to go downstairs in the basement to play. I really thought she was a genius, of course I was right. She had games downstairs that she made. We’d play for hours. She was so organized, better than any board game by Mattel.


One in particular that I loved best was simply Hotel, I forget the name of the hotel though. She had everything. Books for when you register, phone calls made from your room, room service charges, wake up calls, check in time and check out, mishaps, maid service, the restaurant, baggage, bellhops, managers, you name it and she thought of it. We’d have guests come and stay and do all sorts of things and charge it to the room, complain,
get something for free, etc. She was the manager and kept all the charges separate and had bills for when they checked out. It was a great game we made up anything we wanted and it took off from there. People moved to other rooms because of noise, plumbing whatever. We made chaos and she always made order out of it. I thought she’d be doing it for a living when she grew up. Make games. Maybe that’s what’s in your blood from your mom the accounting part! To say nothing of all the good stuff.


We went on a bus trip once with Mary and me and your mom and she never left my side the whole time. I knew her friend, but I never noticed she was born without one hand, till we went on that trip and I was sitting there and Mary (I think that was her name, I’m not too sure) zipped up her overnight bag. I sort of reacted to it, by making a little gasp and of course trying not to stare. Your mom gently held my hand and smiled at me as though to say shut-up. Thank God. I would never have wanted to hurt anyone like that. But, she kept it so hidden I just never noticed before.


Then, Aunt Rosie noticed I was treating her friend different, as though I felt sorry for her, so we went for a walk. Just me and Aunt Rosie, after we got off the bus of course. I don’t even remember where we were, but there was woods and a picnic. She spoke to me about how people aren’t looking for pity for any handicaps, they want to be treated just like everyone else. And I shouldn’t feel sorry, her friend was fine. But, if I couldn’t help myself I should just keep it to myself and treat her the way I always did. Well, your mother got more than she bargained for that afternoon. Since we were having a heart-to-heart I hit her with what I thought made babies. When she stopped laughing, talk about not making people feel bad, she said she couldn’t tell me, it wasn’t her place, but that I should ask my mom. Which, of course, I didn’t. All she said was that it would be beautiful, when you met the right man and were truly in love.


When I was a teenager your mom picked me and George to baptize you, Rose. I couldn’t have been happier. She made me feel so special, so grown up! I couldn’t believe it! I was on cloud
nine. You never made me feel anything but special, just like your mom, and I didn’t deserve it.


Sometimes when there was no school I’d talk your mom into sleeping over my house. And, she did do it! She was always wonderful to me, I’ve always loved her and still do. After, when we were both adults,
whenever we got together it was though we saw each other the day before, we always had a lot to say, we always laughed, we always had secrets, I always thought there would be more time.

 
I loved your mom and I still do.

 

And now I’ll read an email from her niece Lisa…

 

Hi there, Here's something from the heart!
Love, Lisa

Growing up so far away from the family, I never got to
know Aunt Rose that well. I remember seeing her high
school portrait at Grandma’s house. I remember hearing
how she liked to eat sugar straight from the carton
when she was kid, and how she made a mistake once and
poured salt into her mouth instead. And, of course, I
remember how happy she was when I came up for Melinda’s
wedding.

 

Still, I feel like I’ve gotten to know her better
in an indirect way -- by seeing how much her kids love
her. It takes a special person to inspire so much love
and devotion.

 

One of the reasons we mourn so deeply when someone
dies is because we miss them so much. And because
they’re missing so much.


But if we believe that they’re still with us,
watching over us, it makes their loss a little easier
to take. And it should remind us that we have to live
life to the fullest, for their sake. We have to do the
things they can’t anymore -- laugh, sing, love, play,
eat... and cry.

 

Here’s cousin Richard’s email:

 

 

I would love to go to your mom's memorial. But I don't have anymore time-off this year.


You know, your mom was one of my favorite people of all time. She had the best sense of humor! I remember one time, I was playing "Funky Town" downstairs on my stereo and she came running down the stairs and started dancing to it. She said, "I love this song!"

 

And one time, I did one of my "Fall down the stairs routines" and your mother came running to the top of the stairs to see me lying at the bottom, all mangled-up. I could tell she knew I had done
it on purpose! She slapped both of her hands together and said, "and if you don't keep your mouth shut, I'll do it again!" and walked away.

All my love,

your cousin ~ Richard

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHANT

 

Celebrant:
Rosie free spirit came through in music, George has put together a wonderful CD with all of her favorite songs. I hope you enjoy it and think of her and dance and get down to Elvis the Beetles and Fleetwood Mac. Okay everyone at the count of three I want everyone to say…”Let me take you to Funky town”!!! One, two, three…

 

Everyone: Let me take you to Funky town!

 

That’s great I think she heard all of you!

 

Rose was a hard worker as Mary, Lou, Ralph, Danny and Jimmy will attest to - she worked diligently at TDK and worked her way up in the company. She enjoyed traveling across the country and played a vital part in the company’s success. Her TDK friends miss and love her still. Here’s an email from her friend Tracy…

 

Anyone who knew or met your mother knew that she was a special person. She was like everyone’s mom and was always there for you when you needed her. Have a great day celebrating your mom’s life, you kids are wonderful. She is missed by many.  Love ~ Tracy.

 

Lou says, until the very end, and Rose was only 53 years old, she always looked at the good side of life. She had values, principles and dreams for her family.

 

Her daughter Rose says she was her children’s biggest cheerleader. She would push us to strive to be the best we could possibly be, and taught us there was nothing out of reach.  And now we say thanks to her – everyday.

 

Let us not deny one of the most important thing that Rose was, she was a fighter right up to October 27th, 1997. But remember this – she was a lover of life for as long or short a time as the fates allowed.

 

And to quote fifties icon, Wolfman Jack “Love is not a matter of counting the years- it’s making the years count.”

 

 

CHILDREN’S REMEMBRANCE:

 

Celebrant:
Our Rose shined as a mom. Her beloved Brother Danny tells us, that Rose was strict with her kids but in a good way that the kids understood. She wanted them to grow up with principals, morals, values and ethics. She carried the family and they so loved, cherished and respected her. Danny states “her legacy is in her children”.

 

Here are some of her children’s fondest heart-warming memories…

 

Melinda:

My mother use to yell at us little kids when we were bad, curl and bite her index finger to express her old Italian style anger. I was terrified as a child.  and I knew, oh boy she’s mad now!!! Sometimes I would run up to my room and close the door and tip toe down to say I’m sorry. Mom would be there with open arm, hugs and kisses. Well, years later and now I’m a Mom and guess what – I’m doing the same thing with my kids!

 

George:
My mom would play the board game "Sorry" with us all the time. To the point that we would ask her play every day. We would ask her- "Mom, can we play "Sorry"? - She would reply "Sorry".


My mom would read us books before bed such as- "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendack and I also remember a book about giants.
My mom wouldn't send us to camp during the summer because she enjoyed us being home- She would take us to the Long Island Game Farm, and the  Bronx Zoo.


My mom was an avid reader- She liked Steven King- She also enjoyed Romance novels. She also enjoyed books that took place in the Old West.
I remember in Kindergarten she sent me to school with long pants on- but the weather became hotter so she walked to school and found me on the play ground so I could change into shorts.


She was very competitive- she played sports in high school- basketball and other sports. As an adult she was an excellent bowler- she had a couple dozen trophies.

My mom passed away around 1:00 pm on Oct. 27, 1997. The night before all her brothers and sister had visited her. She was very tired- she didn't want to eat- she just wanted to rest a little. So she fell asleep. A couple hours later- she started talking in her sleep. She said "Mom"..."Mom"... "Okay". At that point I tried to wake her up but she wouldn't wake up. I'd like to think that she was reunited with her mother in heaven.

 

Melinda:

When Olimpia was a baby Mom would come over to our house at 6 am before she would go to work so that I could get a few hours sleep. She was an amazing mom and grandmother.

 

John:

One of the fondest memories I have of my mother was when I was boy, I’d be racing around doing my thing and my mom would suddenly stop me in my tracks and ask me to give her a kiss on the check, yes a kiss on her cheek.  I also have to say, mom was the most influential person in my life, she helped me become a man and she set me on my path to go forward with confidence in my life. She was a pillar of strength and love  - and my brothers and sisters and I feel this invisible thread that runs through us - it’s my mother’s love and her influence that will live on in us always.

 

Rose:

My mother lived for her children and loved her family more than anything. We are her breath that is how she described us when she spoke to George before she died. It is true, we and our children and our children’s children will be her blessed legacy and we will share these stories with them so they will know her in love and light as we have.

 

Rose remembers her mother sitting on her brothers and sisters and tickling them to death. They survived – just barely. She remembers her mom the disco queen dancing and loving it. She always kept up with the latest dances including the Macarena.

 

And…Rose sums it up by saying, “my mother is my hero, we miss her and love her and we know all of you do too.

 

Now Lia will read the poem "I Did Not Die" in her loving aunts memory, from her very heart of hearts…Lia

 

READING 2. ~ LIA

 

Lia:
 

Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am the sunlit-ripened grain,

I am the gentle Autumn's rain.

 

When you awake in the morning hush

I am the swift, uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight,

I am the stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there. I did not die

 

 

CANDLE LIGHTING CEREMONY

 

Celebrant:

At this time I would like to call the members of the family to come up and light these purple candles in the shape of a heart as a symbol of united love and remembrance of Rose.

 

Will her Sister Mary, and Brothers Jimmy, Ralph, Danny, and Lou please come up and light a candle?

 

Will her children: Rose, Melinda, George and John please come up and light a candle along with there spouses and partners, Scott, Bill, Rob and Leah?

 

With a little help from the parents I ask the Grandchildren, Olimpia, Dakota, Gabrielle, Olivia, Nicolas and Jenna to come on up and  light a candle. Melinda tells me that the grandchildren visit their Grandma in the Cemetery and that they know that grandma is now an angel in heaven always there to protect them. Just like Great Grand mother Olimpia was Rose’s angel. So now the grandchildren know Grandma Rose as alias…Grandma Angel ~ still working hard loving and protecting her family forever.

 

Will the Grand kids please repeat after me? “I love you Grandma Angel”…

 

Grand Children: “I love you Grandma Angel”

 

Thanks everyone you can now be seated.

 

And now her beloved brother-in-law Bill would like to share this significant poem “Her Role Down Here Is Done” with all of you…Bill…

 

READING 3. ~ BILL

 

Her Role Down Here Is Done

 

Her little soul has touched us all,

She didn’t need to stay:

Her spirit touched each one of us

Before it sailed away.

 

We all know souls arrive on earth

With special roles to fill,

And hers has fully played its part,

Her memory guides us still.

 

She had a very special soul

She stayed but just a while;

So if, or when you’re feeling sad

Recall her with a smile.

 

For then you’ll know inside your heart

The reason why she’s gone;

And never feel too empty that

Her role down here is done.

Her spirit touched each one of us,

No other ever could.

Forever will we cherish her

The way we know we should!

 

Celebrant:

As this ceremony comes to an end, please concentrate on the positive aspects of Rose, her everlasting love and wonderful sense of humor. Also remember that she has left a positive mark on everyone in this room. Keep that in your hearts as you leave today. That is truly how she would want to be remembered, not with sorrow but with happiness.

 

Would anyone like to share a story with us?

 

Olympia: I remember my Grandma would come and take me for walks and come and visit me and I miss her.

 

Michelina:

I remember one time when we were all traveling together for a summer vacation to Disney Land. I fell down a whole flight of stairs at JFK airport and got up. There was silence. Aunt Rose said, "You're too old to fall down." I was only sixteen." I thought heck, I must be an adult now, Aunt Rose thinks so. After that, she called me a banana, because you may be too old to fall down stairs but you're never too old to be called a banana.

 

I remember you couldn't bend over in front of Aunt Rose because if you did, she would pinch your ass.

 

Unless of course, you cut her off on the parkway, in that case, she would ride your ass. And if she caught you, she'd kick your ass. And call you something worse than a banana.

 

There were so many things to remember. The turquoise Chevy, Coffee the D cup, the perpetual leg swing, coffee Uno and Rummy for pennies, the pretend punch and did I say Coffee? Aunt Rose loved coffee and she loved to laugh. She laughed at everything. Especially at your expense. Just ask my mother about the time she tripped on the sidewalk.

 

I remember when Aunt Rose asked me to be Johnny's Godmother, when I was only fourteen. And I thought, wow, I must be somebody important to her. I remember Aunt Rose, my funny Aunt, my fun-loving Aunt, my favorite Aunt. Aunt Rose, if you're here, I just wanted to tell you I love you.

 

 

 

Marie:

I don’t know if you need me to write what I said, but basically, All my life as far as I can remember, I heard from everyone "you're just like Rosie" which was quite the compliment. I had her motions, her looks, even her sense of humor. I wished for her height but never quite reached it. I  hear that I am looking more and more like her. Now as I get older, all I can do is aspire to be like her.

 

CONCLUSION

Celebrant:
Thank you everyone, this concludes the ceremony honoring Rose Olimpia’s life. The family invites to a fabulous feast… and if you listen very closely you just might here Rose say…

 

“Where’s my coffee banana head?”

 

 

~ Here Ends the Ceremony but Rose’s Loving Memory Lasts Forever ~