We miss you Momma

October 27, 1950 to December 22, 2005

This beautiful eulogy was delivered by Christopher and Michael Fazio, Susan's loving sons.
Susan Theresa Fazio
October 27, 1950 - December 22, 2005
On behalf of my father and my entire family, I want to thank everyone here who came to celebrate my Mother's life. Thank you also to all of you who called, sent cards, or visited while my Mother battled her disease. The outpouring of love and affection displayed to my Mother has been overwhelming and a source of comfort to our family.
We also want to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at the University of Pennsylvania, who took such good care of my Mother. They got to see first hand the will and determination that my Mother displayed in the face of the disease and many of them told us how inspired they were by her strength and courage. And also a very special thank you to Cathy DiFebbo and especially Judy Flaherty, two of my Mom's very good friends who also happen to be nurses. The loving care and attention you gave to my Mom during the last few days was touching to all of us, and for your kindness we are eternally grateful.
It has been said that we do not get to choose the way that we die, though we do choose the way that we live. That never meant anything to me until my Mom started her battle with cancer. Today I realize that my Mom chose to fight this battle the way that she chose to live her life. With passion, with vigor, and with courage that touched all that knew her and that we all will never forget.
My Mom was diagnosed with Mucosal Melanoma this past July. Mucosal Melanoma is an extremely rare form of cancer that strikes only 1 in 25 million people. Prognosis for people with Mucosal Melanoma is quite poor; most do not survive more than two years. Despite this daunting prognosis, my Mom approached her battle and treatment with the same energy and passion that defined her life. Through a 15 hour surgery, a tortuous 6 week radiation and chemotherapy regimen and declining health, Mom never complained, never asked "why me?", never wavered from her conviction that she was going to beat this Monster. Even though the surgery altered Mom's appearance a bit, she never crawled into a hole, never felt sorry for herself. She got on with her life, went shopping, went out with friends, even went back to work dressed to the nines in her ever-present Talbot's attire. She even flew across country in October to attend her niece's wedding. I was so proud of Mom that she lived her life despite the adversity she faced every day. And when we were told that the cancer came back after only 4 months, and that the odds just became so much longer, Mom allowed herself one small tear, then looked at her doctor and said, "Ok, what do we do now"? Even her doctors were choked up -- they knew how hard Mom fought and wanted her to catch a break. And although the cancer proved to be tougher than my Mom and it was so difficult to watch her pass, she will remain the bravest, toughest, most inspirational person we've ever known.
My Mom was so many things to so many people. She always talked about how lucky she was to have a wonderful husband, three adoring kids, six loving brothers and sisters, an army of friends who would do anything for her, and most importantly to her, 3 (soon to be 4) beautiful grandkids. But I think everyone here knows that we were the lucky ones to have had her. My Mom made an impact on every life she touched. She showed the same passion for her husband, kids, grandkids, siblings and friends as she did in her fight against cancer.
My parents have been married 34 years. Their relationship was and is the envy of those who have had the opportunity to witness it. Very few people are so lucky to be as to be as in love today as they were the day that they first met. My Father would look at my Mother and it was like he was looking at my Mom on her wedding day. It's always touched us to see Mom and Dad holding hands, smiling at each other, stealing a kiss. They were each other's soul mates, confidants, and best friends. Their love and their relationship is an inspiration for Chris, Cara, and me. I know that in our marriages we will try to honor her spirit.
My dad has told us that my Mom will live on in us, his children. Christopher exemplifies Mom's strong will, determination and courage. Throughout this ordeal, Christopher was always able to lift Mom's spirits with his optimism and confidence. Upon our many setbacks Chris had the strength to persevere in pursuing an ever elusive remedy for Mom's disease. And upon learning that we would not be able to win this fight, Chris had the compassion to hold Mom and let her know everything is going to be all right.
Michael has always been most like Mom, well read and informed, and just a little bit opinionated. Throughout this terrible time, Michael always seemed to know what was the right thing to do, what Mom would have, and more importantly would not have wanted. In sweet Cara, Dad sees my Mom's love, compassion, and heart. Cara cared for Mom after her surgery, during the last difficult week of her radiation treatment and over the past several weeks with a gentleness and kindness that was at the same time touching and inspiring. Cara let Mom know through her actions and her words that there was never a more important person in her life. For that Cara, we all will be eternally grateful.
To know my Mother is to know her love for her grandchildren. Mom loved to tell anyone and everyone about the latest exploits of Anna, Mia, and Luke. Mom made no secret of the fact that her favorite role was that of being Mom-Mom. Watching Mom with the kids over the past few years has been just a beautiful thing to see. Since my wife and I live only 20 minutes away, Mom had a routine where she would pick up either Anna or Mia one day each week and spend the entire day with them. Every time Dad brought Anna home after dinner and a bath, Anna would spend the next couple days asking, "When is it my turn to go back to Mom-Mom's house?" All your grandkids will miss you very much Mom, especially little Anna Grace, your heart. We know that you are their Guardian Angel now, and that they will be looked on forever.
We always knew that my Mom was a special person. My Mom lit up a room when she entered; she was someone everyone wanted to talk to and wanted to claim as their friend. However it was not until I was older, until I entered the working world did I realize just what a unique, accomplished and special a woman my Mother was. As I began to meet very successful Partners at the firm I worked for, I would compare them to my Mother and realize that not one could compare in terms of intelligence, soundness of judgment, and strength of character. The more people I met, the more I realized there was no one quite like my Mother. Driving around with my Mom one day, my curiosity got the best of me and I asked her "Why didn't you ever pursue a full time career?...I think you would have been very successful"
I think my Mom was flattered by the compliment, but told me:
"All I ever wanted to do was to be the best Mother I could be for you kids" "That is the only thing that mattered to me"
Chris, Cara and I are the beneficiaries of that decision and her selflessness. She was completely devoted to us; our lives were her life. It may be a clich?, but she literally came to every Little League game, every swim meet, every recital and every football game we had. And when we got older, got married and had kids of our own, Mom would always call to see how we were doing or if we needed anything - anything to support us in any way she could.
She touched our lives in countless ways. Her generosity stands out, but it is by no means the only way in which she enriched our lives. When we would visit we would always leave her house with our hearts full of love and our arms full of stuff. Whether it was big things like helping us buy our first houses, or little thi