Virginia Grotjan Senefeld
Mom/Ginnie Senefeld Eulogy
At first I thought I would give a chronology of my Mom's life for her eulogy, but I soon realized that would take until Mass tomorrow morning [pause, look up, smile, take a deep breath]. Instead, I decided to get right to the essence of our Mom, Ginnie.
In my youth, I always thought our family was normal, but I realized in adulthood that our family is actually extraordinary. The love, acceptance, and closeness we've shared is amazing, admired by many. And that is a tribute to both of our parents, Ginnie and Bud, but especially our Mom because we got twice as much of her.
Our Mom was one of the sweetest, kindest, most tolerant, and genuine people I've ever known. She absolutely LOVED being a mom and truly excelled at it. She was a great combination -- soft but strong (like Charmin) [pause, look up and smile], encouraging but with clear boundaries, supportive, accepting, wise, and fun. Our Mom was not just OUR Mom. She has been like a mom to so many people, including our friends, cousins, and neighbors, especially those who have lost their mom. Her next door neighbor Barb Litvak calls Mom her “other mother.” Some of my friends call her their “Cincy mom.” And my Mom loved more than just her own 5 grandchildren. She was a grandma to their friends as well. The grandchildren's friends call our Mom Mimi just like they do, and they love her and she loves them.
Our Mom was a great mom, grandma, godmother to many, and also a great friend. She made friends quickly, as evidenced by the deep friendships she has at Cottingham after living there just over a year. And she keeps friends. She met her friend Ginny Willing in grade school at St. Leo's in Fairmount. As Ginny told me yesterday, “not many people are lucky enough to have a friend for more than 80 years.” She was best friends with our neighbor Geri Ashbrock for 60 years, and chose Cottingham because the Ashbrocks lived there. Mom was a great listener, intuitive, compassionate, genuinely interested in people, caring and patient. The truth is, even if she weren't my Mom, I would go out of my way to be friends with her.
Our Mom was also a survivor. She survived the loss of her mother Gertie to breast cancer when she was 6. She survived the loss of her father Charlie to depression when she was 30. She survived the loss of her beloved husband Bud when they were both 49. She was a 17 year breast cancer survivor. She survived heart bypass surgery in 1985 and made a big change to her health through cardiac rehab. She survived uterine cancer diagnosed just last fall; her most recent checkups showed no sign of cancer. Our Mom was so strong, so determined to be at Pam's daughter Jessie's wedding to Kyle on May 17. As her friend Anne Todd said this week “she made it -- that was her most fervent desire to be at her granddaughter's wedding, and she made it.”
Mom was lucid until the last minute before her final heart attack. On Monday, Shelly was with her all day and going to spend the night. In the afternoon, Mom saw her cardiologist, Dr. Donald Wayne, who she calls her boyfriend. [smile] For lunch, she had a grilled cheese sandwich which she ate with gusto. I came in the afternoon and we watched two of her favorite shows, Steve Harvey and Ellen. Ellen had our favorites, Sophia Grace and Rosie, two little English girls, who sang a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis song. After dinner, Pam's eldest Ally came by to show Mom her engagement ring and tell her the full story of how Bill proposed in Central Park in NY over the weekend. My niece Rachel, Ally, Shelly and Mom watched The Bachelorette together, a family tradition, and had a good time full of laughter, togetherness and pop culture which she loved. After the show, Rachel left, and shortly after that Mom seized. She died in Shelly and Ally's arms while Ally sang her Amazing Grace. How appropriate... because Ginnie Senefeld was both amazing and full of grace.
I am sorry I was unable to attend your mom's funeral-she was such a good friend of my mom's and it was always so nice to see her at OLSH. I have very fond memories of her which I will keep for always! Wishing all of you peace!
Jenny Jacobs(McConnell) and family
Cindy and family,
I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with your mom. We had a lot of fun and laughs. Loved our lunches together. She was a wonderful person who meant a lot to me. I will miss seeing her, but really glad I had that time with her. It was very special.
Love to all,
I really enjoyed playing cards with your mom. I can see where you got your charm and personality. I know how much she'll be missed.