Remembering Our Mother

So many friends.  Our mother had so many friends..  Take a second- turn around- and look at all of you…..  Thank You

Everyone our mother met, became a friend- her nurses, people she worked or  volunteered with, at times, even complete strangers she would meet while shopping, and of course, all of her long time friends and family. ***


For the first time this year, my sisters and I will celebrate Mother’s Day without our mother. Because Mother’s Day and her birthday are so close together, this will be hard.

The woman who had a wonderful influence on many of us, passed away on March 6th , 2006.  Veronica Janda Kenny was to be 86 on May 2nd


Her core accomplishment was family and friends. And my sisters and I and all of you, were the lucky beneficiaries.


I do want to mention that our mother passed very peacefully.  We think her heart just stopped.  There was no sign of struggle, no attempt to reach for her life-line inside her blouse.  She was found in her easy chair, with her feet up watching TV, even had the remote control in her hand.

  Her biggest fear was that she would have to move from her independent living.  Though she did great, living on her own.  She would prepare and cook her own meals, never bought store bread, in fact she had just made a fresh batch of bread a few weeks ago.   ***


Mourning the loss of a loved one is something we all have to bear at some time in our lives. And many of us here can relate to the empty feelings that come, when we can no longer be with, or talk to someone who had been a part of our lives.  To grieve, is a natural reaction when we suffer this kind of separation, but how much more tragic is that suffering, for anyone who has no faith or hope that they will one day be re-united?


--I find great comfort in knowing that death is not the end, but a new beginning. We can think of it as waving farewell to a loved one who is taking an ocean voyage. Standing on the edge of the shore we watch as the ship begins to sail. Gradually, at least to our eyes, it gets smaller and smaller and then, when it reaches the horizon, it vanishes from our sight and we say 'She's gone'. But the ship has not vanished, it's just that we can't see it.  ***


 And there are others, on another shore, waiting for that ship to arrive. They watch as it appears over their horizon and they say, 'Here she comes' and watch it get bigger and bigger until it docks, then the ones, to whom we have said a tearful goodbye, are greeted with outstretched arms by others who love them. ---***

   In time we will all make such a journey and meet those that have parted from us. May we all find comfort in picturing the loving greeting, that our mother is now experiencing, rather than dwelling on the sad farewell." ***


MEMORIES. They are what keeps a person living after their physical presence has departed.

I will always remember our mother as a perfect correspondent.  I would be surprised if someone here, had not received at least one letter, birthday card, or note from her.  She wrote EVERYONE, and she didn’t use the easy email system.  If someone would respond back, she would write them again. 


Some of my earlier memories are as vivid as my recent ones.  Our mother always seemed to have time for us.  My sisters may have different memories of her than I, but I remember that she was always there or always home, even though she worked a fulltime job, first with my dad’s law partner, Mino St. Lucas, then for years at Creighton University, where she retired from.  On top of that, she even worked a few nights a week at Leo Kraft’s Damage Store.  Still, my memories always have her at home, cooking, keeping the house clean and taking me places when I wanted to go.  Through the late 50’s and 60’s,  I remember one of her favorite spots to take us kids was Carter Lake, to watch the speed boats and the skiers.  We loved doing this.  She would even take me fishing since I had no-one else to take me.

More recently, in her last years I was the  “store guy”, where we would go to Hy Vee, (had to always be Hy Vee)  We would create this little train, consisting of me in front of the shopping cart, dragging the cart, which my mother would be the caboose, hanging on to the cart’s handle.  Yes, I am sure it was a sight to see, but it did seem to work.  She always watched her pennies.  She was the only person I knew that could get nearly a whole shopping cart full, for $34.

She has taught us many lessons:

* Many of us in our family are careful with our spending, even frugal, which we’ve learned from her.

 * ALL of us in our family was taught to be kind towards others, do charitable actions for others, to send “thank you” notes to others, which we’ve learned from her.

* All of us in our family was taught that you would never get lost, as long as you had a mouth, which we’ve learned from her.

* All of us in our family was taught to speak our minds, which we’ve learned from her.

  * All of us in our family was taught to adjust to problems that arise, which we learned from her.

 * All of us in our family was taught the importance of the family unit, which  we’ve learned from her.

 * All of us in our family are extremely organized and systematic, which we’ve learned from her, leading to success in our business affairs, again, from what we’ve learned from her.

* All of us in our family was taught to have a strong faith in God and our Lord, Jesus Christ, which we’ve learned from her


Mother was a very spiritual person. On many holidays, we would deliver gift packets to her elderly friends.  It’s only a wonder she has so many friends.  She faithfully went to church, most every Sunday.  She lived her faith knowing she would someday live with her Heavenly Father.

Also, even though she only enjoyed a bit more than eight years, married to her sweet-heart, she now can spend the eternity with our father, her husband, Dan L. Kenny.


Dying isn’t very fair.  Most of us never get to say “good-bye” –I was the fortunate one-  I did, because I was just leaving on an over-seas trip, which I was called back from early. 

Although I was scheduled to be gone a mere 7 days, it is like she knew she wasn’t going to see me again the way she said, “do you have to be gone so long?  I will miss you, Joe”

My last words to her was, “I will miss you too - I Love you, Mom.”  Now how great was that !!!!!

Most everyone just took for granted that they would see her again.  Well, we will.



Mar 10, 2006