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Eulogy for Beverly done by Rudi Gewing Mullins on December 12, 2000
I have been up all night thinking about what I can possibly say about Beverly that will do her justice, and frankly, I???ve been pretty stumped.?? Beverly was an exceptional person in so many ways it is hard to be able pick just one, or a few things to talk about.

I think that a phrase you???ll be hearing a lot today is ???Bev was my best friend???.?? Generally people have one or two best friends, the kind of friends that you know you can count on for anything, any time.?? I consider Bev one of my best friends, and through the past seven months, I know many of you do as well.

I find it almost amazing that a single mother with a full time job could have filled the ???best friend??? slot for so many people.?? Being a best friend requires time and commitment. She somehow found the time and energy to make so many people feel her love.

My perception is that Beverly was a ???family girl???. She spent all her time with Jacob when he was around, and after that I thought we, her immediate family, got the extra time she had.?? Beverly was around for all our family functions, not only making an appearance, but staying well into the night.?? Beverly was at our house all the time, drinking tea, talking, watching videos. Beverly was always there for me when I called, ready to talk about whatever.?? How is it possible that all her friends will be able to say the same . . . Beverly was always with me. How can they say that Bev spent so much time with them? But somehow they can say it, because Bev somehow did it.

Beverly was a great listener, which is probably why she was everyone???s best friend. We all want to be listened to, and Bev was terrific at it. Beverly always had solutions to problems and a different perspective to share.?? Time spent with Bev was always quality time.

Beverly also was just a nice person, and I mean that in a deeper way than it sounds.?? Beverly sometimes could do or say something mean, or something that could possibly be taken the wrong way.?? Most people are capable of that.?? But Beverly always corrected those situations. Bev has come to me on many occasions apologizing for something she said that she thought might have hurt me. Usually I didn???t know what she was talking about, but was always struck by her genuine desire to make things right.?? Bev and I attended a course together once and one woman was being picked on by the group. Beverly sort of went along with the group a little, and then realized really what this woman was feeling.?? Beverly had the courage and righteousness to stand up in that group, apologize for her behavior, beg forgiveness of the woman and somehow make it feel ok for us all to go on with the class.?? I remember her saying to this woman in front of a group of 20 or so, ???my behavior has not been Christian. I know I have hurt you as have the other people in the room. Please forgive me.????? That kind of act takes great courage and conviction. It takes selflessness.

Beverly would also fight for her friends and was very protective about them.?? Beverly is not someone you would have wanted to be on opposite sides of.?? She was also very tenacious, stubborn, opinionated and committed.?? It was those qualities that made me choose Bev to be in the room with me when I gave birth to Jordan.?? I knew she would be an advocate for me. I knew she would address my fears.?? She did both, in fact took care of things so well, I had to yell at her to shut up because she was irritating the doctor with all her questions, comments and encouraging words.?? My yelling at her did not stop her from being there for me, she had made a commitment, and she stood by it.?? Hours later when Jordan finally appeared, Beverly, Dianna and I looked at her in love and an everlasting bond was forged between us. Jordan belonged to Beverly too.

Beverly was always around to listen to my problems. She was always full of advice if I asked for it.?? She knew that she had cancer for a while before she told us, and I remember the month when she was losing a lot of speech function that I would still be bothering her to focus on my problems.?? Although she knew what she was facing, she still made time for me and my problems, which in retrospect were completely trivial.?? It is selflessness to know you are facing cancer and still be able listen to someone talk about?? their kids homework.

I know that Jacob is not speaking today, and there is no way I could ever find words to speak for him.?? But I did want to offer my perspective on what I saw when I looked at the two of them.?? I saw more than a mother and son. I saw best friends.?? I saw a boy, at 17, still looking at his mother with love, never raising his voice to her, still respecting her opinion.?? I saw a mother who allowed her son to become a man, allowed him to have freedom, treated him as a son and as a friend.?? Jacob is a walking testament to the greatness of Bev. Not anyone could have raised a Jacob.?? If I am half as good a parent as Bev was I will be truly happy.?? Beverly gave herself up completely to Jacob. He was always the forefront of her thoughts. He was everything to her, and it shows.?? I think Bev is the one parent I???ve ever met who I have never once heard complain about her child.?? I???m sorry that Bev had to leave Jacob as I know she is, but I do know that the time they had was the best it possibly could have been. I know Jacob must know that too.

Rose Marie also considered Bev more than a daughter. Bev was also her best friend.?? They had their own little traditions too. Every Friday night was movie night for Bev and grandma.?? Every May 1st grandma could expect a huge May day flower arrangement on her porch from Bev. Bev could always count on grandma to pitch in when Jacob was smaller, and to help her with cleaning her house. Bev and grandma were two peas in a pod, they had many similar likes and dislikes. Beverly was a walking testament to the greatness of RoseMarie and Pat. I can???t wait to see what Jacob???s kids will be like. Well, actually, let???s wait a few years Jake.

In addition, Beverly was one of Dianna???s best friends.?? Beverly was Dianna???s sounding board. Bev was her anchor.?? Beverly could make Dianna laugh like no one else, and share tears with her in the next minute. Beverly and Dianna loved each other with a tenderness that I have rarely seen, and one that I feel privileged to have been able to witness.

These past 7 months have been the hardest of my life.?? I have been very lost, wondering how this can be part of a greater scheme. Trying to understand when people say that God has a reason for everything and that must be trusted. I continue to struggle to find the good in Beverly???s passing and I guess it will be a long time before we all understand why she had to go now.

Beverly was beautiful, inside and out, I will miss everything about her.?? Though this eulogy is supposed to be about Bev, I know that Bev would like me to take a moment to acknowledge her family, specifically Dianna and RoseMarie.?? The way Beverly was loved and taken care of during the past seven months went beyond ???we are caring for a sick family member.??? The only focus in their lives was Beverly. I know Beverly knew and appreciated that, and I know that if she could have she would have thanked you with all her heart.

I am thankful that her passing was peaceful.?? I am thankful that I was privileged to be one of the people holding her, loving her and encouraging her as she made that transition.?? In its own way, that moment was incredibly beautiful.

A few months ago I bought a new cell phone.?? One of the features of the phone is that you can have a welcome message flash at you when you turn it on.?? I put in the message ???Bev is healed??? so that I could start each day focusing on Beverly???s wellness.?? On Sunday I saw the message on the phone when I turned in on, I immediately rolled my eyes and set about erasing the message since I no longer needed it, and since it had turned out to be wrong.?? I erased the message, turned off the phone and went to bed. The next day when I got into my car I turned on the phone, I was shocked to see the message, ???Beverly is healed??? splashed across the screen again. I decided to not try to erase the message again, but to embrace it, Beverly truly is healed now. She is beautiful and she is free.