Saturday, May 20, 2017

The iPhone Eulogy of Nancy Milani
By Andy Milani

I want to begin by thanking you for being here today, you honor my mother and our family with your presence. She meant so much to so many…

(Phone Rings)

Hello – Mom?

How can you be calling me?  What? You are in Heaven?

Wow – Yes, technology is great these days.  But we have your phone down here on earth, in fact, we gave it to dad because his old iPhone 4 wasn’t holding a charge any more – he’s still trying to learn how to use the on/off button…
Oh, you got a new iPhone? Uh huh, I see,  Steve Jobs is still in purgatory and God has him working hard to get to Heaven - what model are they up to – iPhone 8? Oh, iPhone Infinity – and never runs out of charge! Neat.

So You are still On-boarding and inprocessing? I see.

How are your Angel wings?
No wings? Its just a myth?
Ah, Rotor Blades – you know, I always thought so. How else could the Angel Gabriel have hovered over the Virgin Mary to foretell the birth of Jesus.  He would have needed more runway if he had wings…
So was the line very long? Oh, St Peter told you to get out of the Angel line? You went to the “Saint“ line?  Very short – Like TSA Precheck. We always knew you were going to be a Saint, putting up with you know who all those years…

Well mom, I’d like to talk more but I am here at your funeral mass – its really beautiful. Dad and all your kids are here, Aunt Joan, Aunt Claire and Uncle Dan, Aunt Marie, Uncle Bob, lots of friends, and I was just about to give a eulogy about you…

Uh huh, OK, you want me to tell them some things?
OK, sure.

Pause – I see.
Heaven is beautiful – it was well worth living a spiritual life and praising God in everything you did on earth.
Pause – OK
You’ve been with your mom and dad and your brother Bill and Uncle Vic?
And little Joey and Billy? That is awesome!
Pause – OK, I will tell them.
Bill and Cindy, Mom wants me to tell you that Bill and Joey said to tell you they love you very much and to thank you for the many years of loving care you gave them.
They both have new bodies and are running and playing everywhere, getting in trouble every now and again just like Bill use to.

Pause – I see, You got a new body too – yes, everyone knows you needed a new one. Ah, and no aches or pains – you haven’t had a feeling this good since you were a teenager.
Who else have you seen?
Pause – Erica and Harry? Great?
Pause to listen?
OK, I will tell her – Susan, Mom says your parents are doing great and send their love. They said they know you are doing a great job with their grandkids Gabby and Jack – and that it gives them great joy to watch you. 
Pause – OK you want to say something to each kid?
Mary, mom says to tell you that you were always special to her – the first born. And she loves you very much. 
You have two very handsome sons – a tall one and a short one – both really good kids.
She wants you to tell Jason to keep following your dreams – someday it will happen. 
And that John and Kelly’s babies are beautiful – and that she is sorry that she wont’ be there in person to watch them grow, but that she will channel her love through you now that you are living in New York.

And Peggy
Pause – OK.
Peg, Mom wants me to tell you that you and Kevin always made her laugh – she knows that a great sense of humor is key to a long marriage – without it she could never have made it through the last 63 years with you know who!
Mom says that she knows your kids are the apple of your eye and that Maddie is absolutely gorgeous.  The boys have wonderful wives in Erin and Ashley.
Pause – OK.  She wants Matt and Mark to know that she told dad to break that hockey stick. Which isn’t true, but that way they won’t be afraid of their grandpa any more. And Amy, like your mother, its OK to see someone who isn't Army – they're probably smarter, unless they're a Marine.

And John?
Pause – Uh huh.
John, mom says that she wants you to know that she thinks you are wonderfully patient and compassionate.
And mom wants you to know that you married extremely well the second time, and that Debbie has been a blessing, and that she cannot thank you and Debbie enough for all that you’ve done over the past decades for her and dad. She is so very happy to have been able to spend as much time as she did with Erin, Andy and Morgan – she is so proud of them. And Erin and Chris, nanna and I will be watching over your wedding this fall.

Pause, OK – John, mom wants to talk to you. 

Hey ma – 'sup?

Andy, mom wants to let you know that its been real special for her and dad to have you and Kalina be back and nearby. She is so proud of Kate and Nick for the young adults they've become. And Andy, mom says you are her favorite son, below 6 foot.

So you want me to tell Bill and Cindy that they are Angels on earth; and that they inspired you to be a better person – wow – I can’t think of a better tribute to anyone than to have been an inspiration to someone who was, and remains, such and inspiration to so many. Bill and Cindy, mom wants you to know that she loves you very much. And Cindy, she says your Father is there and plays a lot with Billy and Joey, and in another couple light years will introduce them to Old Style beer.
And Bill, mom says to stop making fun of Dave’s and my hair.

OK, Bob.
Yeah mom, I know, Bob was a late-bloomer. 
Bob, mom wants me to tell you that she always knew you would turn out to be a great father and husband – really great.
She’s very proud of your spirituality and the Catholic faith you and Susan have embraced, and live, every day.  She says she will watch over Jack and Gabby – and ‘help’ whenever the rules of heaven allow.

Speaking of rules mom, what limits has God put on you?
Pause - Uh huh, I see. A ‘No Intervention’ rule. So there really is no hope for the Braves this year.
So how did the Cubs win last year?
I see, even God felt sorry for the Cubs – and broke his own rule.

Ok, Dave
Yes, your baby Dave is here.
Dave, Mom says to tell you that you and Wendy have the biggest hearts of anyone she’s known. You are compassionate and loving, you have three wonderful children who have unimaginably better lives because of you. God told mom to tell you this has not gone unnoticed – and that he will personally watch over Jacey, Jake and Keel.  He also said to tell Dave that he is sorry about the hair – he just ran out after 6.

OK Mom,
Dad is here too.
First, mom, dad wanted us to read you something he wrote.

Pause, OK.
Dad, Mom wants you to know that she loved her life with you, your strength, your faith,  your devotion, your smile and sense of humor, but mostly your love for her.  She doesn’t have to tell you she loves you – that you know that.

Pause, OK,
Dad, mom says –
She said she saw you and John adding those shelves to the swamp, and almost reached down and knocked John off the ladder.

She says she thought about it and decided that if it makes you happy, do it, that's all she cares about.  Except no more lawn art, she's drawing the line there. And flying a plane, and sky diving, and buying a hobie and rowboat … you got that dad?

Pause, OK.  Dad, Mom says God made her 6 foot six when she got up to heaven and trained her how to play basketball, so she's ready to take on your sorry two-hand jump shot when you get to heaven in some one on one.

Pause, OK.
And to Her sisters and brother, Mom says you were my best friends and brought endless joy to my life.  She's says you know you will miss her, but please, take your time coming to see her.

Pause, OK.
And to all our friends, Mom says you inspired her and kept her strong, making her and Dad feel a true part of the community. She's says she's sorry to ask, but please continue to take care of  Jack, and if you see him wear a multi-colored suit coat, tell him it looks great on him.

Pause, OK.
Mom says the best thing about heaven is you can sleep as long and as deeply as you want. She said she's going to sleep for a while, but will always watch over all of you.

OK, we love you too, bye for now.


  1. You guys sure no how to write. So sorry I couldn't be there for Aunt Nancy's send-off, but know her love is infinite. Blessings to you all as you process through your grief. Love you.

  2. That was great, I enjoyed reading it. I don't think I could have delivered that without choking up.