February 5, 2002 - Issue: Vol. 148, No. 7 — Daily Edition107th Congress (2001 - 2002) - 2nd Session
MASSACHUSETTS SECRETARY OF STATE JAMES JAJUGA'S ELOQUENT TRIBUTE TO HIS MOTHER
(Extensions of Remarks - February 05, 2002)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E83-E84] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] MASSACHUSETTS SECRETARY OF STATE JAMES JAJUGA'S ELOQUENT TRIBUTE TO HIS MOTHER ______ HON. MARTIN T. MEEHAN of massachusetts in the house of representatives Tuesday, February 5, 2002 Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, I was saddened last week to learn of the death of Sophie Jajuga, the mother of my good friend James Jajuga, the Secretary of Public Safety for Massachusetts and a former State Senator. At the funeral service for his mother on February 5 at St. Lucy's Church in Methuen, Massachusetts, Secretary Jajuga delivered an eloquent tribute to his mother that deeply touched me and all others who were present. He described in vivid terms the lifelong love and support that Mrs. Jajuga gave to her family. Secretary Jajuga's beautiful eulogy to his mother should be of interest to all of us. I ask for unanimous consent to submit it to the record: Good morning, on behalf of my entire family, I want to thank you for attending this beautiful service here at St. Lucy's this morning, as well as for the many kindnesses you have extended to me and to both the Bednez and Jajuga families over the past few days. I would also like to thank Fr. Loscocco for his support and guidance during this difficult time and for celebrating today's mass, and Camille Peters for her beautiful voice and organ playing. I was asked by my family to share with you some thoughts about my mother, Sophie, and am both humbled and honored to do so with you now. In life we tend to take some things for granted. One of these things is that our mother will always be there for us, in good times and, especially, in bad times. No one shares a child's happiness, pain, or sorrow, more than his or her mother. No one understands more how a child is feeling-- really feeling deep down inside--than his or her mother. My mother, Sophie, was a wonderful mother to me and to my two sisters, Jane and Mary. We grew up in Haverhill and moved to Lawrence. Some of us took that move better than others, but that is a story for another day . . . A story I would like to share with you today that exemplifies the kind of person my mother was is this: When we were young children things would disappear from our house, ``things'' like clothes, dolls and toys, and, of course, my favorite jacket that I had only worn for a short period of time. Finally, mother told us that she had been sending our personal belongings to our relatives back in Poland because, in her own words ``they need them more than you do!'' When we came home from school or play, we never knew what would be missing next, and if we really valued something we knew we better find a very good hiding place to keep it safe from mother's reach. Mother called all of us ``Honey'' or ``Dear'' and when she did call us by name it was usually someone else's name. In fact, for a while there I really wasn't sure whether my name was ``Jimmy'', ``Stanley,'' or ``Eddie,'' because she called me all three names regularly! She continued to do this with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well. My mother loved us all--her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren, her brothers, Stanley and Eddie, her sister, Helen, and her many dear friends. Sophie's love knew no bounds. She loved to laugh, and she especially loved to spend time with her grandchildren and her great- grandchildren. She used to play cards with the grandchildren, a variation of the game of poker called ``No Peek.'' A game where no one was supposed to look at the cards. But of course she would always peek. They'd call her on it all the time, but she would swear that she only saw one card, when they knew she had seen them all. But they always let her get away with it. I asked everyone in the family, including the grandchildren, what they felt were mother's strongest attributes. By unanimous proclamation they all agreed her greatest strengths were her kindness, her generosity, and her thoughtfulness. My mother never had a bad word to say about anybody. She was always there ready to help out whoever needed it. She did not--could not--say no to anyone, no matter what was asked of her and regardless of her own situation. She shared whatever she had with others unselfishly. She never asked for anything in return. She was a gentle woman. She went out of her way to show she cared, always putting family and friends first even before herself. Today, we say goodbye--for now--and though we are all deeply saddened by her untimely passing, we are comforted in our firm belief that she is in a better place, reunited with our father and with those members of our family who have gone before us. Ma, thank you for a lifetime of memories that we will cherish forever. Thank you for always being there for all of us. We love you, we miss you, and we all look forward to playing ``No Peek'' with you again someday. God bless you, Ma, and God bless you all. [[Page E84]] ____________________