Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Swan song
On Wednesday we said our goodbyes
to Frank's Mother, Pearl Mane Valach.
For over ninety two years she lived a
life filled with love and kindness. The
following is a revised version of a blog
that was first published on November
21, 2015. While we mourn the loss of
our beloved Matriarch, her legacy far
outweighs her limited time on earth.
She taught us to be better, stronger,
smarter, and kinder people. And while
she has left us, her love will never die.
Thus Pearl's spirit lives on in all of us.

Our one and only
Last November we celebrated Pearl's
ninety second birthday. Her ability to
survive and thrive that long was quite
an accomplishment. However having
lived that time in a gracious, elegant,
and kind manner provided even more
reasons to celebrate. Mom was one
of those unique individuals who was
exactly who and what she appeared
to be - a total class act. During all of
her time here on earth, Pearl not only
dressed, looked, and acted the part of
a lady - she was one every single day.

Happily ever after
However appearances and demeanor
only go so far. What's most amazing
about Mom was that she was honestly,
sincerely, and completely NICE 24/7.
No matter what happened, no matter
who erred, against any and all odds -
Pearl was forever kind, forgiving, and
supportive. Hence her fancy togs and
perfect "do" aside, this mother of 3
lived by the golden rule her entire
life. And those who were blessed to
know and love her couldn't help but
be inspired by her example.

Above all else
Often those with quiet dignity are the
ones who ultimately stand out from
the rest of the crowd. Their instinctive
ability to calm the rough seas of life
insures that those sheltered within
their sphere of influence always have a
smooth ride. Rather than chastise, they
reassure. Instead of running, they lead.
In the end an iron hand in a velvet glove
yields the best outcome. All of that and
more is exactly how Pearl led her life.
And along the way, showed us how to
bask in her quiet, subtle example.

Less is more
Now that Pearl is gone, we laud her
endless charity and generosity. She
never stopped giving and what greater
gift could there be than that? All who
came into contact with Pearl were the
better for it. All due to her ability to
treat every single person with a level
of respect that validated them. I never
heard Mom speak ill of anyone nor
burden others with her personal ills
or challenges. Rather she always rose
far above reality and therefore took
us ALL to a much better place.

Multiple choice
Pearl's example proves that we all have
a choice. It's quite easy to sink down in
the muck. However Mom simply opted
to always take the high road - no matter
the circumstance. Sadly dignity is now
but an anomaly in our modern world.
Somehow we've lost the art of respect.
Which is why I daily try to emulate
Pearl who was if nothing else a living
manifestation of the golden rule. She
may have not been a saint however
she lived in a saintly manner. Which
requires asking myself - W.W.P.D.?!