The Woman Who Gave Me Everything

Posted January 9, 2018

One of the hardest days of my life was saying the physical goodbye to my incredible mom! It’s amazing how strong we must get when we have to and I knew I would have to be strong to write and read this at my mom’s funeral as I knew no one else could do her life justice in what she did as they didn’t know here like I did.

There was no other like my mom, Faye!

This was a little unorthodox that I, her daughter, said the eulogy but so was my mom, so I believe this was a great fit as she gave me everything in life. For myself, the loss of her seemed and continues to seem greater every day because I simply just miss her. I miss her voice; I miss calling her for every little simple question and just being able to talk with her. Within the first month of her passing, both my youngest daughter and I tried calling her home number and cell number because it seemed quiet, too quiet, without her presence.

Mom and I had an incredible relationship not just as, mother and daughter, but we were soul mates, best friends, we had several businesses together and did hobbies together. We always had each other's backs, and we really lived together up until about ten years before she passed away. Although we were not physically living together, we still lived in the same town, only minutes from each other. If she moved I moved, and if I moved she moved, we were never far apart.

We were an inseparable team, and I remember when we became the mother and daughter team for realtors. Oh boy did we have fun! She was always coming up with ways to market, which inevitably meant spending money. Mom’s famous line was you have to spend money to make money, even when you didn’t have it, which was something we never really had much of. We would always laugh so much at our scenarios that we put ourselves in and being a team was always fun. The woman always found amazing ways to make things happen, including making a loaf of bread for her bankers.

First, I would like to thank grandma and grandpa for having this most beautiful person. If it were not for you two, having so much fun in the bedroom, we wouldn’t have had this most amazing gift of Faye, my mom. So with all my heart, I thank you.

Mom was born in Springside on the farm where she loved and cherished her parents. Her parents taught her many great values and ethics, of which she always had a great appreciation for all that she learned from them. Mom had two sisters, Yvonne and Nola, and a brother, David, she had lots of family, many friends and a few husbands too. She had two children, Jimmy and myself, Kari, and six wonderful grandkids that she loved unconditionally. She too was great at being a grandparent; she just loved it, and all her grandkids got a charge out of their grandma as she would say things that would come out of her mouth that would make them take a second look, turn red and laugh. Some things mom would say, would unconsciously make use shake our heads and question whether we had just heard what she said correctly, but of course, we did hear it right, that was just Faye, an absolute original.

My mom touched so many lives and did it so naturally. She had a sense of humour second to none and made everyone feel special who she encountered. You don’t meet too many people like her. Special was an understatement. She was one in a million.

A memory I vividly remember is when we got cable in Saskatchewan and Jimmy and I, would watch mom laugh as she would watch these sitcoms on tv. Her laugh was so darn contagious. As kids, we never truly understood what she was laughing at, but now that we are adults we understand why she laughed so much because you simply need to laugh in life and not take everything so seriously. You need to laugh to survive as life is tough, and there is no easy ride. Thanks so much mom for that sense of humour you have left with all of us.

One word to sum up my mom was fun! Everything she did, had to be fun. I remember her and my ex-husband Tony always talking about how to put the ‘fun' back into funeral, so we did that at her funeral, as that is what she would have wanted. Her fun consisted of many of her favourite things such as, smoking, (which let me tell you, she would not go anywhere where there was no smoking), her vodka and so loved her music. Through her love of music, she was able to write three songs and record them. She loved to play the organ, accordion, tambourines and the famous spoons. It brings a smile to my face thinking about her playing them and envisioning her. My mom really enjoyed yodelling, which we all could never forget about. She would come driving up to our average, and you could hear her yodelling music from a mile away. It truly remarkable how fun she was and how her love of music was infectious.

Mom was always getting her grandkids to sing, dance and play instruments and sometimes even myself. She loved even when I sang, which I never understood why because I am not a great singer. One of her most favourite things was doing Karaoke. She had a set up like a DJ, song books, mic’s, 100’s of songs to chose from and everything for what a true musician would need. Even if you didn’t want to sing, you would end up singing. She had the power, and she made it look like so much fun that you would want to join in. When we used to camp, the old singing machine would come out, and remarkable things would occur. Everyone would be involved, and there was never a complaint because everyone always had so much fun. Of course, only my mom could have done that. There was something so extraordinary about mom and how she was able to get people involved in singing; it truly was a gift. Although she loved to sing, she got so much more joy seeing everyone else singing and having fun.

Mom was always the life of the party, and I don’t mean literally, even though she was great at partying but I mean she was the “life” of the party, the party of “life”. Her biggest joys were helping others, and I mean always. She would give the shirt off her back to anyone in trouble, give someone a lift, give someone money (even though she didn’t have much), bake bread, knit dishcloths and grandma told me once, she gave a friend our mattress because they did have one. She had the biggest heart I had ever seen, and if you ever questioned my mom about her spending money when she didn’t have, it truly hurt her spirit. She was the kindest soul and putting others above herself was so important to her, and no one could change that. We all learned as a family, just to let Faye be Faye, enjoy her and don’t criticize for how she spends her money. 

What always amazed us was the fact that she would always give so much but the second someone tried to give to her, she had a horrible time accepting it. It was not in her makeup to ever receive but rather would give her life savings to someone who truly needed it. My mom truly treated everyone with love, respect and gave with all her heart. Thanks so much mom for the gift of giving and helping me understand how and why to give whenever possible. I believe that my mom's slogan in life should have been “give, give and give to one” as it was clear that was how she lived her everyday life. There were many times we would see her give things to people, and we would wonder why she would do such a thing when we were so poor. But we want you to know mom; we got it! It’s a wonderful feeling. Thank you. You were an inspiration that changed our lives forever.

Faye was a single mom that worked very hard all her life. She had many jobs just to pay the bills and keep some food on the table. We didn’t have quantity with mom; we always had quality. We never got to go into sports as there was never extra money. But we did not care as kids because our mom taught us about the most important thing in this life which is quality over quantity because at the end of the day it is who is by your side that matters the most.

Our mom always wanted to take us on a trip to Disneyland, but since there was never that extra money, we never got the chance. But understanding the money situation and that no matter where we were, we got to spend quality time with our mom, did not bother us that we did not get to go on a trip.

You see, throughout our lives, we moved 25 times as kids from Calgary to anywhere in Saskatchewan, which was like a Disney trip on its own. Even though we had to make a move, which was essentially our mom's decision, she found ways to include us in everything we did through our famous “Williams” meetings. We were a TEAM.

Jimmy & I have talked about are lives with mom many times, and we both have always said, we would not change one thing about our childhood as it has shaped us to be the people we are today. We know some people felt sorry for us and the way we lived, but we feel there was no need because WOW did we have a great, great life with our mom. No matter what, we always knew she loved us, and she gave gifts that no price tag could be put on. She always wanted to give Jimmy & I so much, but she just was never able to in her eyes.                                

Although we were never given an actual trip like to Disneyland, our mom gave us a trip of a lifetime. She taught us how to give without ever expecting any return because that is the true meaning of giving. Also, she taught us how important it is to not take advantage of people, whether they had lots of money or no money, and finally to strive always to be better. These are the many things our mom taught us, and we are beyond thankful for the trip. However, if we did something wrong, Mom had the most incredible look she gave and oh my gosh, did we shape up quickly.

Our mom never gave us a lump sum of money, even though that was something she always wished to do. Instead, we were given the inspiration to become more, to do more and to make a great life. We learned how to make our own money and not depend on others while doing so, and finally to make money ourselves and become self-reliant. Mom always made it clear that her family was always #1.

We were not given too many monetary things, the big ticket item she wanted to give us.
  • We were given appreciation of life;
  • We were given manners, please and thank you’s were huge in our home;
  • To always work hard for everything we have;
  • To love music because it fills the soul and to dance because it feels so great;
  • To take risks;
  • To keep your word and not break promises;
  • To love with all our hearts;
  • To love God and Jesus as they are number one in one's life;
  • To not feel sorry for ourselves;
  • To have fun;
  • To not be so serious;
  • To encourage;
  • To be honest;
  • Tell the truth; a lie is always hard to keep up;
  • Not to judge, it is never for us to do so.

My mom was an amazing person and the worth of who she was and what she gave to everyone around her, were amazing life skills that are reflected in different places in our lives and will continue to be. I truly believe as a parent that the most rewarding thing on this earth is to raise your kids to be good people, appreciative, caring, empathetic and to ultimately be kind human beings. She gave us everything. Thank you.


Mom also loved the scenery and simple things. It calmed her soul and refreshed her spirit. Many times she would show up on our back deck with her vodka and smokes, and scare the living heck out of us. The things she did to get a little view which became evident about three years ago when she got on a kick on wanting to do some camping. She bought a tent trailer and all the accessories that go along with it, including a portable potty, that she had in her vehicle.  Oh, the places she was going to go but just ended up camping in our yard every weekend.

In life, it is really something to be able to affect all of those around you. Affect in a way with substance and meaning which is what my mom did. I think in life, all human begins try to find purpose for what it is we are supposed to do and as God as my witness, my mom did and went beyond the class of being exemplary, extraordinary, caring, loving, so full of life and was the epitome of a Christian.

I often look back and see how hard her life was and when I read about Jesus, he too had an extraordinary journey through life on earth. It was no easy task. My mom would never take credit for the beautiful human being she was, but we all continually told her anyways. Looking at her life, I can see how privileged she was to walk a life of hardship, like Jesus, as that brought her closer to our Father and his Son. I pray we all learn from my mom and understand what hardships do for our souls.

The last five years of my mom's life were tough and sad, but she tried to make it seem that she was handling everything. Then December 2010, she took a turn for the worse, which resulted in six months of much pain and weakness. She was this little tiny, sick lady and it was so hard for all of her close friends and family to see her go through everything daily. It was tough to see her go through this agonizing pain because it was one thing she hoped that she would never have to go through.

My grandma and I kept wondering, why did this have to happen to the most beautiful person? Every single day she would smile which would naturally make us all smile and laugh as well. Every day the nurses, doctors and janitors would come in, just to be near my mom, to hug her, to make her laugh, to tell her a story, to touch her and simply just love her. When my mom came into the hospital, none of them knew her, but everyone just fell in love with her infectious spirit. So I guess we did get our answers as to why this happened to her because she was so special and had so much grace, which God still needed her to touch more lives before she left earth.

If my mom were able to tell us a few last things it would be; love with all your hearts, help those who are less fortunate, fill people with laughter and song, do not judge another person because you have never walked in their shoes and finally, give forgiveness to all who have hurt you. My mom always told me; it is not that we give forgiveness for the other person, but it is for one's self that allows you to be free. We have to put God our Father and Jesus at the head of your lives.

When special people like Faye touch our lives, they show us how to live. Life is way too short, and sadly, we did not get enough time with her. The loss of this amazing woman cannot be measured, but when I think of mom, I smile to see her in Heaven.

Thank you for your guidance, your example, the person you were. Every one of us was truly blessed that God gave you to us and all your love.

I love you, mom. We will party like you and make you proud. You will never be forgotten.

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