ESTHER HEWITT CULLEN
BORN DECEMBER 12, 1904
DIED APRIL 9, 1997
We are all saddened by the loss of a loved one and God knows we are all saddened by the loss of one who was loved by all of us. Although we know that each and every one of us must pass from this earth it is something that none of us wants to face. It is a time of sadness. However it is also a time of happiness - happiness in remembering the good times - of giving thanks to our God for the blessings He has given us for all the years that our loved one has been with us. God gave us Mom nearly 93 years ago. That is a lot of blessing, and we are all thankful to God that he allowed Mom to be with us for so long.
Mom is loved by all who meet her. They love her for her "polyanna" spirit, a spirit in which Mom is able to see good in everything and in everyone. Mom never had a bad word for anyone. She chose to look for the good side of everyone. Mom truly loves all of us, and we all love her.
A long time ago I watched my father pass from this earth and at the time I felt a great loss, as did all who knew him. At the time I questioned whether or not it was better for me to be a good, loving person or to be hated by all so that there would be no sense of loss - no grieving. I thought that it might make it easier on everyone when I passed from this earth. But I soon came to realize that the good we do for others and the subsequent loss that is felt when we leave is far better than living a legacy of hatred and bitterness.
Mom taught me that - mom taught me a lot of things. She taught me that life has a purpose - to love all things that God put on this earth. Mom respected all of God's gifts. She loved the flowers, the sea, the birds and the "little creatures", mom's reference to birds and squirrels and chipmunks. She even loved the mice that were an annoyance to her in the kitchen of the Old Mill Road house - the "Sunshine House" as my daughter calls it. She would rather just scoot a mouse out of the house than to trap it and kill it, knowing full well that it would probably be inside eating the cat's food the next day.
These are the things that we must remember about Mom, her love of life and all that goes with it. These are the concepts that we should all try to incorporate into our own lives. They are all happy thoughts and happy thoughts about our loved ones who have passed away are what enable us to go on - remember the happy thoughts about mom. She will be missed by all of us and she will be forever loved.
When someone passes away, people often ask how successful they have been during their life. Mom was not a professional business woman in her mature years although she did hold many responsible positions in business before she met my father. She did make a choice when she married - a choice to raise a family. She decided to give up a "career" and to be home to answer that familiar call when her children returned from school, "Mom - I'm home." She dedicated her life to her family and both of her sons recognize the dedication and love of her family. The measure of how successful someone had been is not measured in tangible riches. The measure of success is truly how someone positively affects those around them. Mom touched many lives in her kind and loving way and the world is a better place for having her presence for those wonderful 92 years.
The Monsignor who performed the funeral mass and who also has given Mom communion for the past 13 years said that each time he asked Mom if she had anything to confess she looked at him with her big brown loving eyes and said "I don't know of anything." When he pressed for possible suggestions she kept shaking her head no, - - - no, - - - - no. The monsignor said that she was truly a living saint and surely is sitting at the right hand of God as he spoke - no detours for her.
Mom left a diary - this is the entry on the first page. I think it says it all:
"January 1990 - The first thing I must put down on these pages is how grateful I am to have been blessed with such a loving, caring family. God has been generous to bestow so many years of living on this beautiful Earth to me in all the stages of Life - from infancy to childhood, to youth, to womanhood, to the 'Golden Years'."
"With each stage I have gleaned more wisdom about the world around me and the people in it. PEOPLE - - - that is what life is all about - THEY are the satellites whirling around this beautiful planet - Earth."
"During my whirling days I have wandered off orbit during the 'Growing Years' but have always returned with more compassion and understanding of the human condition which is made up of weaknesses and strengths."
"My philosophy has always been to turn my mistakes around by utilizing them to make me a better person - I'm still working on it. You see, I believe we should 'grow' old and not 'get' old."
Mom was a prolific writer. I have found many of her writings as I have looked through notebook after notebook of her beautiful thoughts. I have seen them before but they now hold a special meaning to me. I think it would be nice for you to experience her thoughts so that you can enjoy the beauty of her soul as so many of us did who knew her.
On selling our house in Westwood NJ.
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