Aunt Lili's Euology from Rosie's funeral mass
I can’t even believe that we are standing up here today. The pain that we are all feeling during this time is unexplainable and it’s impossible to make any sense of this in just 3 days…or maybe ever. But Laura and Charlie wanted me to take a few minutes to communicate some of what we’ve been feeling and remembering about Rosie with all of you, on their behalf.
First, they just want to thank you all - for coming today and for the outpouring of love, support, and kindness they have received over the past few days – from friends, from the school, from the parish, and even from total strangers. It’s helped them to feel that they are not alone.
Rosie came into this world on September 14th, 2017. Just two short years ago. But in those two years, the memories we have with her and the mark she left on all of our hearts is immeasureable. She was like a shooting star – a blast of light – strong, impactful and bright.
To know Rosie was to love her. She was beautiful, a firecracker, loving, and smart, with an energetic and silly personality that was infectious to everyone she encountered. Rosie was a perfect combination of Laura and Charlie. She was the daughter of a United States Marine Infantry Captain and the college athlete/machine that is my sister - So, Rosie. Was. Tough. And strong. And confident. Nothing held her back. She would fiercely try to keep up with whatever her big cousins were doing. And if she fell down trying, she’d always get back up with a determined look on her face and keep going – and she always went FAST.
We always joked Rosie had one speed – and that was “GO”. Full throttle. She only knew one way to enter a room, which was in a full on sprint, with an enormous smile on her face, and screaming whoever’s name it was that she was going to see. Whether it was into Sullivan’s every Tuesday night, into the classroom at school, or straight on into my front door, you always knew Rosie was coming by the quick pitter patter of her feet and joyful shriek. She was an all-out burst of energy and joy, and she was just SO excited to be around those she loved.
I often had the pleasure of witnessing what a reunion looked like between Laura and Rosie when she got off the train at the end of a work day. Rosie would be sitting in the back seat with her beloved nanny, Seeta, and she’d be kicking her legs, waving her arms, and I swear, you could see the car shaking because she was THAT excited to see her mom. And on the nights when Charlie and Laura both got off the train and approached the car at the same time – forget it. Off the charts excitement.
She loved watching Frozen, Moana, and couldn’t wait to go visit “Minnie’s house”. She completely owned the Baby Shark dance and lately, she’d rock out to Lizzo in the backseat. Bopping her curly head up and down. She had some personality and incredible sense of humor – she’d often make a silly comment and follow it with “I’m just kidding”. She was also a fashionista, loved sporting sunglasses, carrying a purse, and showing off her outfits every morning to Daddy. And boy did she like to eat. And I’m not talking about normal kid food like chicken fingers and grilled cheese. I’m talking mussels, bagels, spaghetti and meat balls, shephard’s pie, beef stew, BBQ ribs. You name it.
As joyful, excited and tough as she was, Rosie was even more sweet and caring. Yes, she’d be sprinting through the door, but she always had her baby dolls in hand. After she said her hellos, she’d get right to tucking her dolls in and make sure they were warm and cozy. You could find her having sleepovers in her tent, wrapped up with her stuffed animals. And each animal was always in a very particular place – like they each had a home. She loved to cuddle. She would twirl her wild curly hair as she was falling asleep and nuzzle in to whoever was rocking her, mainly her mommy and daddy.
And she was no doubt such a sweetheart because of the constant love being showered upon her by her parents. I’ve never seen two parents more obsessed and in love with their child, and, guys, Rosie for sure felt this every single day. She may have only had two years on this earth, but God blessed her with two parents who gave her a lifetime of love. From the video montages you made for her on her birthdays, the letters you would write to her, the family photos you had printed and mounted all over her playroom, to the many special songs you would sing and books you read – all with the underlying message of LOVE. I know that every night at bedtime, especially for the last few weeks, Charlie would hold Rose on his lap, grab her cheeks, stare at her in the eyes and firmly tell her how much he loved her. It was like he knew he needed to make this abundantly clear. And she gave that love right back. She would randomly tell you both, out of nowhere, and without prompt – I love you.
As everyone knows, the past few days have been profoundly heartbreaking. We are all leaning on one another and trying to process how to proceed. Fortunately for us, we need to look no further than the example that our sweet, tough and determined Rosie set for us. As I said earlier, Rosie didn’t let getting knocked down stop her. Ever. And For us, this is a massive fall. The biggest one we will ever take. But just like Rosie, we will get up and move forward. Our guardian angel will be on our shoulders, she will be in our hearts, and she will be in our actions helping us put one foot in front of the other– and eventually, we’ll find that we are sprinting through the next door with a big smile on our face, spreading the same joy that she brought to us each and every day.
Charlie and Laura have tremendous faith and they instilled that in Rose. They said prayers with her every single night. She would look forward to them and finish the verses. She went to church every single Sunday (sprinting down the aisle of course!) It’s their faith and the idea of seeing Rosie again that will get Charlie and Laura through. They have said that they have a renewed mission to get to Heaven – because that’s certainly where she is and where they will be reunited.
While our time with her was short, the time we had with her was an absolute gift from God, a blessing on this earth. We are forever fortunate and grateful that our lives were touched by such a beautiful and sweet soul. We will miss her every second of every day of the rest of our lives, but know that we will see her again. May God Bless you Rosie, and may you rest in peace. We love you.