Its 7:00 pm
This is the eulogy I delivered at Lori's service. Because of time constraints,I was able to share a small part of this.
I know we are all here to say good-bye to Lori as she has gone to reward in Heaven. While I could stand here and share how she fought hard during the last days,I much rather take the time and share with you about her life.
Family. Family was Lori's first love,she really loved her family very much. Her bond with her momma was one we should be blessed to have. She spent a lot of time with her parents,always worrying about them,making sure they were doing okay,going on vacations all over with them. Later on,when they both had retired up north,Lori thought nothing of working a long week at work,to come home and make her folks meals,load up her car and make a 500 mile round trip to see them. I remember driving through two very nasty snowstorms,watching her sleep in the passenger side with a smile on her face...happy that she would be home soon.
She loved her Uncle Larry. She said that he was one of the main inspirations for her career. She loved him for who he was. Larry has said that Lori was the daughter he would have had if he had any children. They would talk for hours about so many topics. He fed her drive in exploring the world. Lori and her friend Shawn explored Europe and Lori traveled to Southeast Asia many,many times for her company as a buyer.
She share her experiences with Larry and later on,with me. The pictures she took are pretty amazing...
Her love of her friends was very strong. Every person who ever met Lori,almost instantly liked her. And no one ever disliked her. I have met thousands of people and I can count on one hand the people who had that gift and Lori was one of them for sure.
She always looked to raise other's before herself and anyone who ever worked with Lori are the ones who told me that...if you wanted to be the best,you worked with Lori. She always gave credit to her staffs and said she was a better leader and person because of the talented folks like Deb,Karen,Tammy who supported her. The people who believed in her ability like Tom McCallister of Jacobson's.
She loved a good challenge...Lori excelled at making the impossible well...possible! Turning around departments or even whole stores,she wasn't afraid of hard work because the results were so worth it. It pained her greatly when some of the stores she worked at failed for reasons that were way beyond her control but she still felt responsible. She worried about what would happen to her employees and did her best to help them land jobs or at least stay with the dying store until the end so they would at least have a paycheck.
She was proud of her last team at Lane Bryant,taking that store and moving it up the chain was perhaps her proudest professional moment. I mean this with the utmost respect but that group was in a bad way before Lori there and it was no fault of theirs. But she rallied those ladies and made that store one of the strongest in her region. Her team loved her and worked very hard to help her when her illness came. Lori enjoyed having her girls come to the house for the holidays,I always teased her about the amount of snacks she would make...what was supposed to be a plate of cheese and crackers and a splitting a can of Coke 12 ways often ended up becoming a full blown party with dinner,drinks and lots of laughs.
Of course Lori loved all animals....well,except snakes. She hated those with a passion but otherwise,she loved animals. She rescued two cats when Geri's mom died and OSK when his owner abandoned him in Livonia. She and her dad spent a winter making sure OSK (OutSideKitty) had a warm place to stay. It was all about the trust and when Lori spent 45 minutes holding OSK in her jacket getting him warm...he loved her and stayed with her.
I saw first hand the love she had...it was just one of many things we had in common...we believed in helping people and animals. Be it Frank,the homeless man in Northville we reunited with his family after 8 years of them looking for him,to stopping in a busy street to rescue a huge snapping turtle from being hit by a car,Lori's compassion knew no bounds. This is just a few examples of why I fell in love with her.
Now I have lost my light,my soulmate and my one true love. But only for a little while....just for a little while.
On this day in 2004,in Northville,Michigan...Lori and I were married. She called it her happiest day but I cannot....because every day I was with her and yes,that means even at the end,I was blessed.
I tell people "How do I know if today is going to be a good day? I see Lori and then Derek and all is good in my world".
Happy anniversary my lovely Lori. I hope you didn't mind me staying quiet today...I'll know I'll see you soon.