Sunday, March 4, 2012

Don's eulogy to honor Brenda English-Yovicsin

Don’s eulogy for:
Brenda English-Yovicsin
May 3, 1962 - Feb.27, 2012

Brenda asked me several months ago to properly honor her with a eulogy and she also added please make them laugh too.

Later that night I got thinking... eulogy, eulogy, I can’t even spell it!?!

So I asked the smartest person I know – Wonder Boy my son Jake and he then spells it out for me; E-U-L-O-G-Y and he adds I think there is an app for writing them too.

Scroll a smart phone ... not yet!

So I go back to Jake telling him that there is no app for writing eulogies and Jake sagely says  
... dad, dad, dad...

just… open with a joke,
close with a joke
and tell a story from the heart in the middle.

I married my best friend here in this church in November of 1989 almost 23 years ago. Brenda was a stunning bride! So stunning she took my breath away!
I married way outside of my league.

I met Brenda while I was working downtown Boston at the Parker House and she asked me out on our first date. Soon after, we were married and lived in Brookline in a place that I had chosen only because it was next to a basketball court at Dean Park and I could easily walk to the Circle Cinema and Pino’s Pizza. It wasn’t until after our son John Michael Yovicsin or Jake was born that I really understood the true virtues of living in Brookline.

*The awesome school system
*It’s proximity to Boston
*being adjacent to the finest hospitals in the world
*and 2 Anna’s Taquerias

As I said earlier, I married my best friend and like best friends we had our differences;

* she saw rainbows and I saw black & white
* she liked still life and I like abstract
* she liked Sarah McLaghlan and I like Springsteen
* she preferred Presto Pizza and I preferred Pino’s

We foolishly let silly things get between us, divide and separate us. But, we never compromised our shared parental responsibilities as Jake was always our life’s priority. Sadly and the irony of her disease is that it brought us back together and then cruelly separated us again.

 Brenda, there is no ex in love!

Brenda wasn’t a saint. But, she was the most loving, selfless person I’ve ever met. Her life was always Jake and others centric as there was never an I or a me involved. She lived for others, always ready to lend a hand, a smile, a word of encouragement, a prayer, or even just a simple hug. She was always willing to give. If she knew someone was in need, she would be the first to offer help. If it was going to make another happy, she did it without thinking twice.

Brenda only had 2 things on her bucket list and she realized both of them;

* seeing our son Jake graduate from Brookline High
* and seeing Jake off to college this past September

Brenda was a fun loving, free spirit and an artist with painting with oils and watercolors as her true gift and passion. Brenda was never a career driven person and her only true desire was to be a mother and to have a son. She gave birth to our son Jake - July of 1992 at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston just up the street from Brookline.

Brenda had her son and she couldn’t have been happier and then she used every color on her life’s palette to create and illustrate a masterful piece of brilliant art of dazzling perfection - our son Jake. Brenda used beautiful brush strokes of love and nurturing to make Jake the awesome man he is today.
Brenda, you succeeded brilliantly!!!

Brenda’s legacy is sitting in front of me in the front row. Brenda’s legacy is our awesome son Jake. Brenda used all of her creative and life energies and motherly love and created an exquisite work of living art!
Thank you so much Brenda!

Unfortunately, sometimes even the good lord deals a shitty hand. Brenda’s body betrayed her and her life taken away from us way to early by metastasized lung cancer. Cancer is a diagnosis that attacks an entire family and is an equal opportunity offender. The throes of cancer are miserable, dastardly and unrelenting. Cancer shatters promises, dreams, hopes and aspirations. So it is our responsibility to fight the cancer fight collectively. We all have been touched by cancer, some of us assaulted and some of us today are survivors. Please, do whatever you can do to join the battle against cancer.

I would also like to mention a special Brookline project that Brenda, Jake and I have all embraced - the Brookline Teen Center project. Brenda has requested any/all memorial monies to be donated to

I was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania just 3 hours due west of Asbury Park, NJ so maybe that explains my love for Bruce Springsteen’s music. I had a grand plan to check off one of my bucket list items by performing Brenda’s favorite Bruce Springsteen song to properly honor her today. But, the church said no to my request so I will now read you the lyrics to;

Bruce Springsteen’s
If I Should Fall Behind

We said we'd walk together - baby come what may
That come the twilight - should we lose our way
If as we're walkin - a hand should slip free
I'll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me

We swore we'd travel- darlin' side by side
We'd help each other - stay in stride
But each lover's steps fall- so differently
I'll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me

Now everyone dreams of a love - lasting and true
But you and I know what this world can do
So let's make our steps clear - so the other may see
I'll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me

There's a beautiful river - in the valley ahead
There 'neath the oak's bough - soon we will wed
Should we lose each other - in the shadow of the evening trees
I'll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me

I'll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me

I have much emotional scar tissue. I have a gaping hole in my heart that I am filling with awesome memories of Brenda. I love and miss you, Brenda, but I know that you're still very close to us in spirit and that you've gone on to your very much deserved Heavenly Reward.

In the end, life is not measured by the breaths that we take but by the moments that take our breath away.

Brenda, thank you so much for taking my breath away all those years!

Brenda, when I count my blessings - I count you twice!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Service plans and more

Brenda J. English – Yovicsin died Monday, Feb. 27 at her home in Brookline after a lengthy illness at the age of 49.
Born in Newton she grew up in Milton and was a graduate of Milton High School Class of 1980. She attended U-Mass Dartmouth School of Art and the former Eleanor Roberts School of Cosmetology. She enjoyed summering on Cape Cod.
Brenda was the beloved mother of John " Jake" M. Yovicsin. Devoted daughter of John P. and Suzanne (Weeks) English of Milton. Sister of Nancy Fitzgerald and her husband Brian of PA and John P. English Jr. Former wife of Donald M. Yovicsin of Waltham. Also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Funeral Mass Sat., March 3, in St. Agatha's Church, Milton at 10:30 am.
Visiting Hours - family only.
Interment Private.
If desired contributions in Brenda's name may be sent to:
Brookline Teen Center, 40 Webster Place, Brookline, MA 02445.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rest In Peace Brenda!

Brenda left us for a better place @ 10:30AM February 27, 2012
Rest in peace Brenda!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's time...

February 10, 2012

Hello Everyone!

     Please come by soon to say hello and good bye to me soon! My disease has progressed and it is time to say good bye to all of my wonderful supporters, friends and family. I love each and every one of you and please remember I count you all twice when I count my blessings!!!!!

12 Eliot Crescent

With much love!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Groundhog Day 2012

February 1, 2012

Hello Everyone!

     It’s February 1st with temperatures damn near 60 and not a trace of snow in Boston – awesome! Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog has his annual fifteen minutes of fame tomorrow and tells us how much more winter we will have remaining. When did it begin? February 2nd is also my mother’s birthday so we have plans to celebrate at my fave’ – the Capital Grill, Chestnut Hill on Friday.
     I have been using a new form of pain med application by using a portable pain pump which keeps my meds at a constant baseline level automatically and if I have a break through headache I can just press a button for relief – cool! The trade off for this convenience is I must carry a small shoulder strapped pump around at all times :(.
     This is a VERY exciting time for our New England Patriots as they are in the Super Bowl again! I love our Patriot’s but I also have a family friend playing for the New York Giants, Mark Herzlich. He is a BC grad that has beaten cancer and eloquently spoke about his battle at a cancer fundraiser that Don organized more than a year ago in Waltham. Mark just tweeted this through our new and immediate Twitter world yesterday;

“2 yrs ago I was told I might never walk again. Just WALKED off plane
 in Indy to play in The SuperBowl. Take that Sh*t Cancer!”

Go Patriots and may Mark play a great game but his Giants come up short! I will echo Mark’s words – TAKE THAT SHIT CANCER!

With much love!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Carpe diem !

January 18, 2012

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. 
It's the life in your years. 
-Abraham Lincoln

Hello Everyone!

     Seize the day! I awaken every day and I grab the beauty of the rising sun and squeeze every bit of wonderful life out of every blessed day and then I relax and enjoy the peaceful setting of day’s end. I have lived my life full throttle and enjoyed years of jam-packed life - more wonderful life than 2-3 people. Carpe diem!
My life’s journey has been awesome and I have been sooo blessed in so many ways. My time may be shortening but I have a lot of life to live and I will continue to live everyday to its absolute fullest. Thanks for being part of my life and a supportive member of Team Brenda.

When I count my blessings, I count each and every one of you twice!

With much love!

Angel of Hope

Give your worries to the angels,
it's time to heal your heart.
Everyday a new beginning
where love and heart can start.
Give your worries to the angels,
release your doubt and fear.
Trust in god to always be there
with angels always near.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

January 3, 2012

Hello Everyone!

     I enjoyed the holidays with my family with Christmas day celebrated at my parent’s home in Milton with Team Fitzgerald visiting from Philadelphia. It was very busy but wonderful to share it with all and we all enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner, as well. I enjoyed a very quiet & restful New Years Eve by going to bed by :)!
     Our Boston winter has been very tame with the only snow happening way back in October around Halloween. Both November and December have been near record warm for Boston so I brace for a nasty January and February. Brrrrrrr!
     Jake is home for 5 weeks on break from UMass and he enjoyed seeing his Philly cousins! He also took a trip with his Brookline and UMass buddies to Montreal for the New Year celebration. He got home safely yesterday with many stories and he even spoke a little French pour moi!
I started home hospice almost 1 month ago with the Hospice of the Good Shepherd of Newton. I have a hospice nurse come by periodically and I get my pain medications from him. The hospice service is to provide me comfort and peace. I like comfort and peace! I received for Christmas two precious gifts I wear daily; a St.Peregrine and a St. Joseph medal on necklaces. I have 2 new friends looking out for me but I can always use a little extra help – please say a prayer for me soon.

I am thinking and living positively!

With much love!