Ruey, who by the way hated that name went by Liz because of her middle name is Elizabeth. She thought and was told she was named after her maternal grandmother. When she went to burry her mom she found out that wasn't even her grandmother's name. The men in her life that loved her; my dad, Pat my first husband, Mike my husband, her nephews all called her Ruey. I only called her mom. I loved her fiercely and I know she loved me. We just never seemed to get to the friendship phase. In the last few years we grew closer and many times I longed for her and would call her to share things going on and seek advice, and support. We were very different people on one hand and the other, we were cut from the same cloth. I see this in my daughters today. She was the most loving, giving, strong-willed person I have ever known. She sees things in people others don't, my daughter Teanna is like this. I thought this was her Achilles heel, yet she never felt that way. I admired and envied the way she loved because I have never been able to love at that depth. She was a mind over matter person, a very positive person. She always chose to see positive and run with it. The negative never seemed to linger or be chosen to be focused on. Even with her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer stage 4. I think she tried to accept reality but simply couldn't do it. Instead, she made up her mind that she would conquer it. That if she ignored this reality she could will it away. The first time I heard her say that she was sick cancer was the Friday before she died. This is how she lived. She had a very strong will and was a fighter. I didn't realize that her acknowledging her cancer would soon be the end. My mom gave me my faith. Yet we felt, experienced, lived, and practiced out Catholic faith very differently. She was a wonderful mom! She worked very hard to provide for us and to give us better than she had. She worked very hard to provided for us and to give us better than she had. She taught us to believe in ourselves and to be fly. We never seemed to know limits. This is a double-edged sword. She raised us the opposite of her mom and I know she did the very best she could. I think my journey as a mom has taught me this. She never limited us or told us we couldn't, she would tell us to go try. She not only worked 2-3 jobs to provide for us materialistically but she attended every event in our life, leading or encouraging us. She did without anything and everything to give to those she loved. She did everything to give to those she loved. She never seemed to mind it was second nature to her. I never heard her complain or feel sorry for herself. If others, including me, hurt her she never focused on it. She knew what we were going through was more important. She was quick to forgive. She was opinionated. She would speak her truth whether you wanted to hear it or not. Yet this is what I and others admired about her. She didn't believe in can't, the impossible, or unrealistic. One of her favorite sayings was "can't is a word for someone too lazy to try." She overcame so many obstacles in her life and the way she lived encouraged and motivated many and fascinated others. I am in awe of how others saw her and loved her. She was an amazing woman who loved, gave, lived 100%. Even in her last days, she was concerned about others instead of herself. The most selfless woman I have ever known you lived so sacrificially. I am blessed and humbled that she was my mom. -Michele
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