Eulogy of my Mother

Pat Freiheit was my mother & I am her one and only child. My perspective and experience with her is unique from all others because I’m the only person on earth that had the honor to have called her Mom.
That being said, I want to honor her memory by speaking of what I know better than anyone: Pats role as mother.
While I was growing up, It was always my Mom & I. My mother was not average or typical. She was old-school in her approach to parenting. She played the roll of mother & father and did it well. I loved, feared & respected her. She ruled with an iron fist like a father but she made dinner from scratch every night like a mother. Every evening dinner was always at 6pm sharp and if I was late or I didn’t like what she cooked, I wouldn’t eat that night. My chore list was literally endless. As soon as I thought my work was done, she would always find something else for me to do. I never complained, I knew not to complain, because her reaction to such behavior was worse than the chores. My mom would not tolerate disrespect or laziness. She taught me to be grateful & appreciative. With me she instilled work ethic, common decency & common sense.
When I got into my teens, she used to tell me “I know you better than you know yourself”. And I always responded with adolescent defiance: “You don’t know the half of it, Ma”. But she always knew! I could not hide anything from her. My Mother knew everything about me, she eyed my every move like a bird of pray. She kept me from slipping into the dark places that teens tend to gravitate towards. Partying with my friends was unheard of & boyfriends were illegal. She never released her iron fist. My friends in high school called her “Sergeant Slaughter” because of her task-master ways along with her Army veteran status & she loved it! She had a wicked sense of humor, so she took “Sergeant Slaughter” as a term of endearment. At the time, in my teenage mind, I hated that iron fist…but it was for my own good. Out of my group of friends, I was one of the very few that made it though high school without a drug habit or a criminal record. She refused to let such things happen to her daughter.
As an adult, my mother became my closest confidant. She listened and advised, never passing judgment. Although she wouldn’t hesitate to tell me I’m a dumb-ass when I was making a bad decision, she allowed me to make my own choices & learn from my mistakes. She recognized that her duty as a parent was to give me the tools to develop the skills to become an effective, productive, responsible adult & she succeeded. She was a dynamic mother.
I am now a mother, I have been for over 14 years. Of course, being a mother myself has made me recognize and appreciate all the methods behind the madness. My son, Ethan, was the apple of her eye. She was so proud to be a grandmother to such an intelligent, well-rounded grandchild. She saw her grandson as the grand culmination of her life’s efforts. I am proud that I was able to return my mothers investment in me by providing her with a legacy, her beloved grandson.
My mother sculpted me like clay into the person I am today. I am forever grateful & will continue to keep her memory alive by living by the standards & code of ethics she instilled. I love you, Mom.

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