M.M. Day +1

Bud & Berrie Butrick ... 2010

M.M. = Memorial Mass

fishing in Florida - Feb 2011

Bernice (“Berrie”) Marie Butrick
18 June 1929 – 9 April 2011

I remember my ‘Merican Mom fondly.  Apart from supporting Dale, that’s why I’m here, and not back in Brisbane Australia, residing at temporary accommodation at Greenslopes, Brisbane while the Manse gets repaired downstairs post-flood.   I had to be here, and I’m so glad I did.

Mom (Berrie) had her fingers in so many pies, so it was fitting that at yesterday’s post-service reception and then family gathering back at 12308 Fenstermaker Road, pies were in abundance – cherry, apple, and yes, pumpkin.

I’ll remember Mom for a range of reasons:

  • she was a great lover of music. I recall a trip with Dale to the States about 27years ago (it seems).  Mom was heavily into singing a senior citizens’ type meetings, doing karaoke.   audio: Mom singing For the Good Times. She was so in her element – a bit of a ‘showman’ was Mom, never lost for a word.  I even wrote a song for her – I’d forgotten I’d even written it.  Found it while cleaning out her music room a few days back. It was a thrill to know she used it over here.  Mom was a great encourager of my own music, especially my songwriting.  Last year, when I unexpectedly found a small number of folk struggling with my music, especially my songwriting, I took great solace and strength from Mom’s musical encouragement.  Thanks Mom.   Mom chose all the music at yesterday’s Memorial Mass at St Ambrose Catholic Church at Garrettsville.  From On Eagles Wings at the Start, Amazing Grace in the middle and How Great Thou Art at the end, it was exactly Mom.  A person of faith and life in her own so-distinctive Berrie Butrick way.
  • as already noted, she was a person of so many interests, and she kept her self active for so long, not that many months

    Mom & Dad ... beading extraordinaires!

    prior to her sad passing.  I look around this house – no wonder she was known as the “beading lady”.  Beads and beading paranerphalia are everywhere.  (By beads, don’t think the circular thing – eg pearls – a lady would wear around their neck.  Think these oh-so-tiny beads from which all sorts of beautiful jewellery is made.  Dale lovingly wears much of her mom’s artwork – that’s what it us; often assisted by Dad Butrick.

  • But not just beads; tapes and CDs of music, rocks and geodes from her lapidary work, some beautiful pot-planted flowers.
  • Mom was also a member of the local ladies Red Hat Society, as well as being in the past a keen square-dancing instructor.

    flowers from Red Hat Society

  • She also had this wonderful zest for life, for doing the Star Trek thing and going boldly – despite the health setbacks which were with her for at least the past 35 years – trying new things and soaking up new life experiences, travel being one in a so-embracing way.
  • I fondly recall the number of trips to Australia Dad and Mom made over the years.  They truly loved Australia (a clear highlight being their 10 weeks in about 1990 travelling with our red Tarago … red bulldust and all through their much-loved outback).
  • 1991 ... Mom, Dad, our lads

    Mom … Dad too … truly loved being with our three lads: Joel, Jeremy and Nathan.   Joel remembers clearly a trip here in 1989 when mid-Winter he went tobogganing down some of the snow-covered 25 acre backyard of the property here.

Memorial Mass - urn & Easter lilies

It was wonderful at yesterday’s Mass to have people present from virtually all of these before-mentioned aspects of Mom’s life.Remember her husband Herbert (“Bud”) has been involved in a great many of these too.The service?  I found it a truly memorable time of worship – in which we celebrated the resurrection of Christ, and God’s resurrection hope and promise for Mom.  Yes – I’m still coming to grips with their being no eulogy nor other opportunities in the service to give thanks for aspects of Mom’s life; but “when in Rome … “.  Father Leo did a great job, clearly has a strong pastoral gifting and offered an excellent homily, which gave mention – thank God – to aspects of Mom’s journey.  As Dale and I greeted attendees at the church door, it was clear how much Mom was loved.
After the service – a reception/light lunch downstairs in the church “hall” – sloppy joes (mince on bread rolls), green beans (American style), pasta and a salad. Then back ‘home’ … where all the family gathered.

family photo

Must have been about 24 or so all up, much of the time on the wide front and back decks of the house here. The photo here shoes most of us present.  We were graced with good weather through the day, thankfully – for there’s no way we could have fit indoors, such is the extent of the beading and beading displays!

Exhausted, we staggered into bed just before 11 pm.  A great day of remembering, giving thanks, being extended family, good humour, even with brother-in-law Danny heading down to the local Home Depot (pronounce “dee-po”) – think Bunnings – to quite impromptu buy bags of gravel for Dad’s sodden water-logged driveway.
Today – it’s a quiet day.  Hopefully I’ll get to read a bit … and catch up on some sleep.
As I type Dale is cooking …  “food” (meaning pancakes, ham, and an onion-cheese scrambled eggs)!
Thanks for your love and prayers
David (& Dale)

2 Responses to “M.M. Day +1”

  1. 1 Lisa May 9, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Of course you had to be there. Who could question that?

    I think the no eulogy is a Catholic thing rather than an American thing, at least I got the idea from somewhere that Catholic funerals don’t have eulogies. The explanation I heard was a combination of the focus should be on praising God rather than praising the person, and also that the service is an opportunity to try and convert non-believers who they might not get into Church very often. Not sure how official that explanation was though, it might have been a personal opinion from wherever I heard it. Not necessarily our way of doing things, but each to their own.

    I love pumpkin pie, or at least did when I could still eat it, though the version in our family was packed with mixed fruit and lemon juice.

    Enjoy your time there, David. It seems to be where you need to be right now and sometimes it is appropriate for your own needs to come first.

  2. 2 Craig Mitchell May 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    David and Dale

    Thanks for sharing this part of your journey with us. You continue to be in our prayers.


    Craig, Yvonne and the girls

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