Mrs. Mary Boyle is no longer with us. Our grief is unbearable because we have been used to having her with us – easy to contact, always hospitable and willing to give a helping hand.

On this sad day we all feel how important her presence was to us. We cannot physically feel the warmth of her attitude, her strength, her charm, her friendliness anymore. But here, she is still with us. And will ever be – in our memories, in our hopes, in our doings here, on earth.

She was a good wife, a devoted mother of two children, and a wonderful grandmother of three grandchildren. She was our friend, our devoted friend, who always cared for us, who always supported us, and with whom we used to share our happiness and anxiety.

Perhaps, I am one of the few who remember her as a girl. We lived in the same neighborhood and visited the same school. I often visited her parents’ house. There was something special in it. It was a warm family atmosphere that I enjoyed so much. My Mom died when I was ten. Mary’s family gave that feeling of home that I had been missing. I spent many unforgettable hours in Mary’s house, talking, listening to music, dancing, and singing. While growing together, we got to know each other better. This friendship of almost sixty years is meaningful to me. It helped me to live with hope, to love the world around me, and it colored my life in bright colors.

It was Mary who introduced the world of literature to me. I could spend hours gluing to a TV screen. I thought it was the only escape from loneliness. But when I made close friends with Mary, I think I was eleven at that time, my life had drastically changed. Well, she introduced a new world to me – the world that was full of love, sympathy, and goodness. Together with Mary, I became a regular church goer. Together with her, I volunteered to help the elderly people in our neighborhood. Together with her, I went to parties. Due to her, I got to know that it was time for hard work and for pleasure. She was a disciplined person, hardworking, brilliant at school. She memorized poetry, Robert Frost being her favorite, and did wonders interpreting it. She was a real born leader, admired by all at school.

Although we attended different colleges, we never seized an opportunity to spend time together. We became closer than ever when we got married the same year. My husband and I lived close at hand, so our friendship of two classmates turned into family friendship. Mary’s husband Jack became our dear friend. Mary was able to create a family atmosphere, of which her parents were very proud. Her home was open to my family. Our kids played together. We wanted them to have this great feeling of mutual trust and long-term friendship, which unites several generations.

Although Mary had been seriously ill during the last months of her life, she remained the same cheerful person as ever. She knew that she would not live long. But she never showed it. On the contrary, she helped us to prepare for this inevitable separation. In her presence we had to as strong as she was inwardly. At her bedside, she always had a book to read. She was a bookworm and could read several books simultaneously. When I visited her during her illness, we discussed literature, argued about literary trends, and shared opinions. She made me forget how gravely she was ill. She was a woman of remarkable intellectual powers. We remember her book printed ten years ago. She was a college professor respected and admired by her students. She knew how to achieve harmony in her life. A modest person, she was thoughtful and shrewd in her views. We will be missing her, all of us, in a different way. But there are so many things about her to remember that I believe – she will be present in our hearts, she will lead us to new achievements, she will protect us, seeing all of us from heaven, from the dwelling where God has a rest. She was a blessed person. Sleep quietly. You have deserved your salvation and redemption.