Sunday, January 28, 2007
© The above painting was painted by Conchita Guerin. All rights reserved.
My mother, Conchita Guerin, has joined her God in heaven. She was a tremendously successful woman. She succeeded in raising seven children and helping them to become mature, caring, productive members of society. Her actions made an enormous impact on other people.
Her unwavering faith got her through hard times, and taught me to do the same. She cooked hundreds of meals without complaint, washed thousands of dishes, diapers, clothes and towels, and vacuumed up millions of dust bunnies in the years she spent raising seven children. Then as we started to move out of the house, she made use of the emptying bedrooms by opening up her home to folks that needed a hand up for a time.
Folks whom she'd never met were able to make a new start because of her and Dad's bigheartedness. They helped several Vietnam refugee families begin a new life here in America. They took in young pregnant girls who wanted to carry their babies to term, but whose own families had kicked them out of the house.
She and Dad used to regularly cook large trays of dinners for the homeless shelter. She was the embodiment of charity. Through it all, she kept her quick wit and wonderful sense of humor. She had a great talent to make one smile and laugh when they were down.
As we kids grew older and her duties as a mom lessened, she made sure her God-given artistic talents didn't go to waste by producing oil paintings. Portraits and landscapes were her favorite genre and over the years this Spanish-born artist developed an exquisite style reminiscent of American painter John Singer Sargent.
I tell folks that Vincent Van Gogh is my favorite artist. I do like his paintings very much, but I must confess that I have been lying. The truth is my favorite artist is Conchita Guerin.
I will miss her.
We will be saying goodbye to her this Wednesday morning at Saint Denis Church on Eagle Road, Havertown, PA. Funeral mass will be at 11am, and family visitation across the street at Stretch Funeral Home from 9:30 till 10:45.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of your choice.