On the last day, we consulted with the doctors every step of the way. I have since learned that Albany Medical Center is one of the top five units for heart care in the US; however, one of our doctors looked all of sixteen and the other a cartoon character. The health care provided by the staff superb.
We sang. At Jennifer’s request, I asked the nurses to make copies of “Abide With Me” a hymn that only Jennifer and Darryl were familiar with. From my gene pool, I inherited many talents and skills. Florence has a beautiful singing voice but my Dad’s singing voice doesn’t qualify for American Idol. I got my Dad’s voice and so did most of my siblings. Nevertheless, by the third verse, we were hitting our stride and brought it home on the fourth. A family first.
We prayed. Throughout the day and into the evening, we shared verses in the Bible.
We discovered something mom did that left us wondering if Mom knew her end was approaching. Mike, unable to sleep a couple of nights ago, sat in the living room. Out of curiosity as much as comfort, he picked up Mom’s Daily Guidepost. She read it nightly; the bookmarker left on August 22, the day before the heart attack.
I have the same book. Each night in the space provided at the end of each month, I write a short note of some event, observation or thought that had given me a reminder of God’s presence in my life that day. Mom’s book was void of entries with two exceptions. At the end of August there was a 30th Anniversary Classic. Underlined were the last words and prayer of the entry: Face forward. Concentrate on what lies ahead…that’s the main thing to remember. Lord as I face the new year help me reach out to the challenging future, not look back to the unchangeable past. – Arthur Gordon. Then she wrote on the line for August 31st he found a message to remember – Look ahead, not back.
On September 2nd (obviously Mom was reading ahead) Mom who had a bad back underlined another passage. Seven miles, one step, one day, one miles, one ‘praise You Lord!’ at a time. …walking in the Lord’s place for us. In the blank to be filled in by the reader she wrote, Lord, I ask You to how me Your pathway to or not of - pain and anger. – Roberta Rogers.
She gave thanks for the reading on Sept 31, 2006: Thy will be done…—Matthew 6:10.
WILTON-Florence Jane House passed away on Monday, August 28, 2006. She was born in Newton, New Jersey May 9, 1928. She was the oldest of three girls born to Sherman and Jennie House. Her sister Clara Belle Henry and her husband David live on Maui, Hawaii. Doris Ann is deceased.
The name Florence means vivacious and cheerful. Most people remember this about her, but few knew that she obtained her pilot’s license at age sixteen. When she was eighteen Florence was making plans to go to Alaska until her mother found out and nixed the plans.
On August 25, 1946 Florence married returning World War II veteran Manuel Luna Perez. Together they had five children. Michael Luna and his wife Margaret live in Scottsville, NY. Valerie Tonia lives in Tennessee, Robin Eileen resides in Bethlehem, NH, Mark Stephen and his fiancé Cindi Weldon come from Harrisburg, PA and Jennifer Maria and her husband Darryl Conte reside in Worcester, MA.
Her grandchildren are Elizabeth Schwemlein and her husband Daniel of Evergreen, CO who are expecting the first great grand child in November and Andrew Perez of Scottsville, NY.
She taught her children to be their own individuals, each acquiring a strong sense of independence, yet this was balanced with a great appreciation and respect for each other.
Florence spent her days doing the things she loved while raising five children. Her cooking skills were renown throughout the community. Florence’s apple pies were rivaled by none. She sewed her children’s clothes when they were younger and tended a vegetable garden from which she canned tomatoes, put up vegetables, made soups from scratch, and whipped up a delicious apple sauce. Her Old Black Witch blueberry pancakes were a morning classic. Mrs. Perez was fond of daffodils, lilacs and lily of the valley, making spring her favorite season.
When Manuel retired from The Saratogian, the two set off in their small RV and traveled across the country, serving as campground hosts along the way. She finally made it to Alaska and even had the opportunity to do some white water rafting in the Denali National Park.
Her love and compassion for cats and dogs led her to have two very special shelties later in life, Holly and Rusty.
Florence was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church of Wilton where she was an organist for many years and leant her singing voice to the congregation.
Florence’s wishes were to be cremated. The family invites her friends and others to a memorial service to be held at Trinity United Methodist on Thursday August 31, 2006.
All things dear left behind, we will not forget Bootsie, her cat. In lieu of flowers donations made on her behalf can be made to the Humane Society or to the choir of Trinity United.
It is the very thing I will miss telling mom about.