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what a wonderful lady…

August 9, 2014


my mother Charlotte Ann Rettinger was in every way to everyone ever having had the joy in simply meeting her – my mother was born so long ago right at the brink of such a perilous time in the year of 1940 in pittsburgh pennsylvania – and while it seemed so long ago it now feels altogether far too soon that she is now so suddenly gone at only 74 – by the grace of God she had just enjoyed such a very nice several days with the 1st of august having been her birthday which thankfully led to many outings celebrating with friends and family – just this past saturday evening the 4 of us had such a lovely time at one of mom’s very most favorite italian restaurants where they even serenaded her with the birthday song – in such a sweet and loving fashion everything felt just like it did way back in another time up north in pittsburgh where we would all have such joyful visits all throughout the years with my mother’s amazingly vibrant and totally 100% italian mother, my grandmother, nana – as a matter of fact right at this very minute i can now very clearly remember how we all gathered together in celebrating nana’s life at her very most favorite italian restaurant in pittsburgh in the year 2000 as it was that summer seeing the loss of yet another wonderful soul in my grandmother – 

as for this past saturday evening i’ll never forget the big and beautiful smile mom arrived with as she came into the restaurant and saw us sitting there – smiling straight from the soul is something we all seem to be gifted with in this life yet so rarely does any of us ever truly share such a shining light from one day to another in quite the loving fashion that my mother did – sure mom had the ability to be upset but rarely was it ever for more than a fleeting moment as it was love that led the way in my mother’s life – it was a love for all of her family, such a beautiful affection for all of her friends and indeed quite the loving embrace for life itself that tells the story of just who my mother was – i can very clearly hear every one of my friends ever having met her telling me just how sweet your mother is and how fortunate you are to have her as your mother and they couldn’t have been any more on the mark in saying so – 

i’ve come to discover in these past many hours that right up until heaven arrived for her late on tuesday afternoon she was doing the things that made her so happy – she’d just finished making dad one of his favorite german meals and while it was coming to a perfect completion in the oven mom was also having another happy conversation with her golden-hearted daughter-in-law and my sister-in-law cheryl for whom i wouldn’t trade for all of the treasure in this world – 2 birds of a feather with hearts greater in size than all of the universe is what it was anytime mom and cheryl had occasion to be in one another’s company or even only on the phone together as they were this past tuesday afternoon – 

in reflection it couldn’t have been any more wonderful than for each of them to hear one another’s voice one more time not knowing my mother’d be in heaven in just a handful of minutes right afterward – in calling my father in for dinner he said he’d be right in and after one more call for him with this time including a softer plea that he’d better come right on in as she wasn’t feeling right dad came right in and mom sat down in dad’s favorite easychair and told dad in the finest of italian mother fashion that he’d better get the roast out of the oven so it didn’t burn and he did – in just seconds dad did as mom requested and when he returned to just the few feet away to where mom was sitting he found her with her eyes closed having already left us – he tried everything he could with emergency help literally arriving just 2 minutes later and unfortunately no one’s efforts no matter how valiant would serve to bring her back to us – it was entirely unexpected and we couldn’t be in any feeling of greater loss than that of which we’re now in yet we know beyond a shadow of a doubt heaven surely smiled with her arrival as an angel had returned back to where she once clearly came from, that was my mom – there’s never been a sweeter soul with a brighter smile or a loving heart as grand as that of my mother’s –

in life she was entirely selfless and loved by all who ever knew her – mom had the most wonderful laugh so very full of life to the point i can remember it just like it was yesterday as she got such a kick out of johnny carson to the degree at times that i’d wake up as a six year-old right about 1130 at night or a few minutes thereafter only to sneak downstairs just enough on the split-level to where i could peak in on the first-level family room – it was there in that perfectly cozy family room downstairs where mom and dad could typically be found watching the tonight show in the mid 1970’s – and that often meant a room full of laughter from the both of them yet it was mom always hitting the higher decibels and i loved it! – i know it’s right there and then that i found one of the gifts God’s so gracefully given me in loving to make people laugh and ever since that time when the moment seems right that’s what i strive for – and every time i get a smile and a laugh or 2 from there from someone around me or even more so from a perfect stranger i light up from within feeling that i’ve somehow made someone else feel as good or maybe even as great as mom clearly did night after night from johnny all those many years ago – and for that i say thank you mom for showing me such a wonderful way to live this amazing journey we all call life as it just wouldn’t be anywhere nearly as much fun any other way – and if it hadn’t been for my seeing you so happy in your sharing your laughter for everyone to hear i don’t believe i would’ve ever gained a naturally commanding yet truly peaceful confidence like i ever so thankfully have – and that confidence i must tell you mom has made all the difference in the world to me in resting most of my focus and nearly all of my energy on pouring into others and giving everything i can – it’s what you always did and in your honor what i’ll always carry on endeavoring to do the very same for the rest of my hopefully great many days –

and then there was your love for music that you instilled in every thread of who i am mom and it’s been such an amazing life for me in so many ways in that world as well – i learned at an early age to play the drums and from hearing the way-to-go’s from my big brother jimmy’s friends when we played it went over very well every time i sat down with them – and that never would’ve happened if you and dad hadn’t been so encouraging with us in learning to play an instrument as well as being so wonderful in exposing us to so much fantastic music on the radio, excellent records on the hi-fi and indeed the many incredible experiences at the number of brilliant shows you treated us to as well – i mean really what a life it was as a seven year-old in late 1976 seeing your favorite the one and only elvis presley as my very first concert, i actually still have the ticket – and then in years later making sure that i saw the likes of neil diamond, barry manilow, frank sinatra and luciano pavarotti just to name a few, amaaazing! – that love you instilled in me led to so many additionally amazing memories at quite a number of shows with my big brother jimmy from night ranger and van halen right to an epic stadium masterpiece of a performance by the who and at least a dozen-strong horn section in tampa stadium in 1989 – it’s such an incredible love of music that further so happily tells the tale of my life to this point and for that as well mom i say a most loving thank you

and then there’s the compassion with which you led your every day in always being there for us well beyond what we even were aware of as we were growing up – yet in now looking back from the eyes of my 44 years i so clearly see as to just how beautifully and completely you loved us – you were there for us with the most heartening support emotionally and lovingly all along the way and of course you and dad always far surpassed our every need and met so many of our further desires in treating us to so many fun-filled vacations all over north america – and then even for a few days it was just you and me in paris before dad arrived from scandinavia to meet up with us and what a captivating adventure we had running all around the city like it was ours for those few days back in 1991 – in a city where it’s always said that an american isn’t typically all that well-received they welcomed you wherever we went like you were royalty and i know it came from that most wonderfully winning smile that only so many people we ever meet in life are so blessed to have and you always had it mom – for many years now and to this very day i feel your loving spirit very deeply within me in my wearing that very same smile wherever i am and with everyone i can – it makes me feel so happy just to send a smile someone’s way with the simple hope that it’s met in some similar fashion by those i’m around just as yours was with everyone that was ever around you –

for all of everything i’ve said above of your infectious laughter, your wonderful appreciation for excellent music and your immeasurably loving compassion for not only your closest loved-ones yet for anyone you ever met i say thank youthank you for so lovingly leading me in feeling the very same passions in my life – mom now even more so than ever i completely feel your exceptionally loving heart within me, i always have and i always will – and for the rest of my days in your honor i’ll do all that i possibly ever can in living my life to the very fullest achieving everything you ever thought that i could – and as i do i’ll feel your encouragement, i’ll see your beautiful smile and i’ll hear you telling me how much you love me just like you always did – mom you were the very best mother anyone ever could have had – thank you, i love you and godspeed to you in every single way mom, your loving son gary – wishing every one of you the very same happiness and God’s every blessing ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Leslie Goldstein permalink
    August 10, 2014 12:13 pm

    Gary, what a beautiful memorial to your Mom. As she was a wonderful wife,mother and grandmother, so she was a loving, warm, and compassionate friend to Steve and me. She will forever be in our hearts.

  2. August 10, 2014 3:42 pm

    thank you so much Leslie, you and Steve have always been treasured friends to all of us… you both are a great blessing and we’re exceptionally grateful you’ve been in our lives all throughout the years…😊

  3. Nicole permalink
    August 11, 2014 6:04 pm

    Gary: So sorry for your sudden loss. Thankyou for this wonderful eulogy of your dear mother God bless you and all your family during this time

    • August 11, 2014 10:20 pm

      thank you so much Nicole I am so happy you had the chance to meet and spend some time with Mom, she was absolutely the best… she thought very highly of you and was very happy that you were able to join us for our summer vacation in 2013 at Sanibel…😊

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