Tribute to my Mom

Me & Mom 1967

I’ve been in some very deep times of reflection the last few days, knowing that this day would come. Today, April 26, marks one year since my mother passed away. Until today, there has been a certain comfort in times when I could think about her and remember what was was happening a year ago… but now that short window has closed. Time that has been clocked with weeks and months will now shift to years.

The following are excerpts from a short speech that I gave at mom’s funeral:

I just wanted to take a few moments to tell you a few things about my mom. First of all, you’re probably aware that she was a very private and unassuming person who never wanted to draw any attention to herself. I can only imagine that if she knew that we were making such a big fuss about her today (and take this with the spirit intended) she would just die.

Mom believed that everything was better with butter. From a bologna sandwich to broccoli, it just wasn’t ready to eat until it was slathered in butter.

Mom believed in nearly every old wives tale that ever was. She would never let my sister and I near the water until EXACTLY one hour after eating, always fearful we might get cramps.

She was incredibly superstitious, and a HUGE Phoenix Suns fan. When we were all together watching a game, I was never allowed to say anything bad about the team because I might jinx them… and I was never allowed to say anything too good about the team because I might jinx them. Even though I thought she was crazy, the Suns have yet to win a championship… maybe she was right.

She was the queen of coupons, sales, and rebates. She would drive all over town just to avoid paying retail on

Mom was a pretty cool mom, but I think she was an even better gramma. Larissa, Hannah, Taylor, Maddie, and Garrison… your gramma loved you so much. I hope that you cherish every moment you were able to spend with her.

The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve others. My mother modeled Christ with an amazing servant’s heart. At even the simplest of family gatherings she was always the last one to eat because she was always making sure that everyone had what they needed. Philippians 2:3 says to think of others as better than yourself… my mother lived by that.

Mom had rules; I know because I broke all of them before I left home for good. The one rule she never wavered on was that you have to go to church. It didn’t matter if it was a freezing North Dakota winter or a sweltering Arizona August… you go to church.

Lastly, mom was an amazing fighter. She chose to fight cancer very privately, but she fought and fought and fought. Even in her greatest moments of fear she stayed so courageous.

What I learned from my mom:

  1. Don’t swim until one hour after you eat.
  2. Don’t bad mouth your team
  3. Don’t ever pay retail.
  4. Love and serve your family
  5. Fight for your life until the bitter end.
  6. And when all else fails, go to church… and cover everything with lots of butter

I miss you, mom.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matt. 5:4

Rosalie Antoinette Murphy, 1942-2007


4 comments on “Tribute to my Mom

  1. praying for you my friend.

  2. i love you man… seriously you are incredible.

  3. stevenjmurphy- what an amazing tribute to your mother. she had the warmest smile when i met her. what more admirable way to pay honor to her in her death, but to celebrate the highlights, smile, and point to christ.

    may the lord bless you, keep you, and overwhelm you with his loving presence this day.


  4. My brother & I spoke at my Mom’s funeral too (5 years ago). It was difficult and therapeutic all at the same time.

    I remember wondering if she believed in Jesus. We never went to church, except w/ gma. I remember praying for God to give me insight into my Mom’s spiritual life. The day after I prayed that, I logged onto her email and found that she was subscribing to an online church service. That was the only confirmation I got that maybe, maybe she had finally chosen to believe.

    Thanks for the comment. Be blessed.

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