(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 []



                         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 
  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 

       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 
       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.

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