Tuesday, June 24, 2014

20 Years Gone, Still Unforgettable!

Life is made up of a series of moments, of benchmarks, of highlights (in a broad sense) that tell the story of where we've been. Graduation, wedding day, a milestone birthday or anniversary are all good examples. Sadly not all of these moments are happy. Not all anniversaries bring joy. June 27, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the loss of our beloved sister Mimi. It's still hard to say those words and it's still hard to believe it's been 20 years and she's still unforgettable

Mimi doing selfies 20 years before they were trendy
I'm sorry some of you never got to meet her. Born Patricia Ellen she was Mimi from day one it seems and was so until the day she died. She was a trip. Those of you lucky enough to have met her know what I mean. At her best she was smart, pretty, hard working, caring, stubborn, rebellious, loud and one of the funniest people I ever met. She was wacky in a good way. She was loyal and played favorites. Her favorites also tended to be the targets of her incessant, all-in-good-fun "busting of chops". She was uniquely Mimi from the top of her bleached platinum blonde hair to the soles of her white Doc Marten work shoes. She was unapologetic about who she was and we loved her for it  She was, simply put, unforgettable

I'm not going to discuss the circumstances of her death as it's neither the time nor place. If you were there you remember. If you want to ask me person to person I'll discuss. Suffice it to say Mimi died shortly after turning 27 years old. I was also 27 at the time as we were born a mere 11 months and 11 days apart (Irish twins dontcha know). I always think of June of 1994 as the end of the innocence. Gosh, we were such babies then. I didn't have a care in the world in those days. Work eat, sleep, party. Repeat. It was like being an eternal teenager. We were thrust headlong into adulthood that summer. You can't understand catastrophic  loss unless you've experience it. You just can't. There is simply nothing to compare it to. And sadly no one walks away from such loss unscathed. We had become such a big, close group of family and friends by this time that no one who knew her or my family walked away unaffected. But you get by. How? Why? Because that's what human beings do. You hurt, you grieve, you cope and you go on with life. I think all things considered we've done pretty well even with a giant hole in our lives. It was like a bright, shining life blinked out that day and, sadly, never came back on. The fact we got to bask in the light that was her too short life is something to cherish

Mimi chillin down the Cape
I still think about her a lot. We rarely talk about Mimi in any sad overtones but more about what a character she was. How funny. How awesome. How much her nieces and nephews would have loved her. How crazy she drove my dad. I honestly don't waste too much time thinking how different things would have been if she was still with us. It's truly impossible to say. Things would have been different for sure but in what way? Who knows. I won't even start to drive myself crazy thinking of it (butterfly effect and all that jazz). I will say this though, things would have been a lot happier and a lot funnier. Unforgettable in every way!

Below eulogy I wrote and read at Mimi's funeral. I've written a lot since that day but still nothing was ever more from the heart, more difficult to write, nearly impossible to read or more important to me. Rest In Peace sister, rest in peace!

A Tribute To Mimi

I've asked for a few minutes to speak to you about Mimi. Mimi touched many different lives all in the same way. She was simply unforgettable. Family, friends, co-workers, patients, and more people then I could mention here were touched indelibly by this unique soul

Her smile was like no other. She lit up a room when she entered. She knew how to make an entrance. Some people walk into a room, Mimi exploded into one. Whether it was the shock blonde hair, the outrageous outfits or simply her overwhelming personality, she always turned heads

Mimi was unique. To say she marched to the beat of a different drum would be a gross understatement. Mimi danced to the rhythm of a completely different symphony. It was her uniqueness which  will always hold a permanent spot in our hearts

Mimi loved being a nurse above almost all else. She was a nurse's nurse. She brought out the best in both her patients and coworkers . I don't think you could find a patient or their family or anyone who ever worked with her whose lives were not deeply touched by time spent with her

I ask today on behalf of Mimi's family and friends to remember Mimi for exactly what she was- an irrepressible bundle of energy who's far too short time with us will affect our lives from now until forever

God bless you Mimi, we will all miss you

Your brother Richard O'Rourke


Allyne Perry said...

if you were in a bad mood or having a bad day after spending just 5 min with Mimi your mood or day was instantly better. She had an infectious laugh and a ready smile for all. You left this world to soon but you will never be forgotten Rest in Peace beautiful soul

Rich O said...

Thank you Allyne!

Anonymous said...

rich this is an awesome testimony to Mimi's life! My brother rich will be gone 30 years and the biggest consolation that I have are the memories I can share with family and friends. ....memories are forever!! Rest in peace Mimi :). Joanne wahlefield Torres

Rich O said...

Thanks Joanne. I remember your brother well. This process has helped me cope but also a sad reminder of how many people have suffered similar losses. And yes, we need to keep the happy memories alive. Thanks again friend!!