Last week we lost a precious part of our family. Below is the tribute I shared at her memorial along with photos from the past fifteen plus years of life, laughter and love.
Adulation for Teresa
…as it would appear in the Booneville Banner-Independent
After seventy glorious years of living life to the fullest, Teresa Seal moved to the next realm…as always…on her own terms and fully in charge. Teresa was greeted by a heavenly host of friends and family. The Pearly Gates were opened by her precious BoBo wearing nothing but a Top Hat, Cat-eye glasses, Red Stilettos and A LOT of Mardi Gras Beads. The Heavenly Hosts raised tall flutes of the finest Champagne and showered her with Angel Dust as she strolled down the streets of gold to The Crystal River where she found her sweet sister Camille floating on her Celestial Flip Flop Raft. Camille shouted, ”come on in, the water is fine”. Wearing leopard print thongs, the adorable Cherubim and Seraphim served her Cruzan Rum Punch and presented an endless display of Foie Gras, Truffles and Caviar. Thus, Teresa began her splendid life in Paradise.
When hearing of Teresa’s departure her friend Delia responded, ”My prayer is that we all enjoy life the way she did…”Life is a banquet…”. Well, if life is a banquet…as always… Teresa presented a spectacular feast.
Teresa’s banquet started with the perfect Aperitif. Teresa always offered generous amounts of Class, Sass and yes, a Snap of Trash. No matter what the occasion, she not only fit in but she actually heightened the atmosphere.
Then, her world-famous appetizer…True Happiness. The ever elegant presentation combined Joy, Elation and Bliss accompanied by Effervescent Cheer and a very subtle touch of Cool. Her consistent vitality…the energy or ”life force”…was unforgettable. Her True Happiness wasn’t something her friends had to ask for…it was always available and she shared it freely.
Next, she brought out the Primo or First Course…A Beautiful Soul. Teresa’s soul was more complex than most. It brought a sense of ease to those that were anxious. The love in her soul was all-encompassing and totally unconditional. It had a range of creative expressions that was vast…from hot sauce, to Cock hats, to monogrammed hand towels to checks from her personal bank account…she shared her soul in complex ways but made it seem very simple. Additionally, her service to others showed the real depth of her soul. It was a source of inspiration for many. It opened doors to the universe of incredible experiences. Her Beautiful Soul has left a sumptuous after taste that many hope will never go away.
Her Secondi or Main Course…A Full Life. Teresa’s recipe for life was highly sought after. Many attempted to copy it. Some, even envied it. But most, simply are proud to have been a witness to it. ”Do” was her first step in preparation. Let’s do, can do, will do…Do this, Do that…Do you? I absolutely do? That was seasoned with a large amount of silliness. This is the ingredient most people don’t think about but Teresa put a little (and sometimes a lot) in everything. Her recipe for life was not a slow cooking recipe. She believed in getting in and getting it done so she could move on to the next big thing. Her philosophy was ”work harder so you can play longer”. But, the real ingredient that put her recipe over the top was her passion. She was passionate about everything.
But, especially her family.No one can ever come close to the amount of selfless love that she had for family…and chosen family. Many might define her Full Life as what they see on the surface. While she loved her homes, her furs, her lipDICK, her travel, her fine food and yes, even her salt… and her black drawers her Full Life was actually defined by being surrounded by family and friends.
And the Finale of the Banquet…The Piece de Resistance…a little Dolce.
Laughter, floating in a pool of amusement, topped with hilarity, sprinkled with glee and a snort on top. The sweetest thing Teresa gave everyone was her laughter. Many have found themselves laughing uncontrollably with her. All of a sudden someone walks in the room and says, ”what’s so funny?” and they have no idea what they’re laughing about. Her endless laughter was a signature.
It will be a sweet remembrance; the perfect banquet finale…now and always.
The music for her Banquet was heard first in the voices of her boys. Their voices were at the heart of her very being. Then, the addition of the daughter-in-laws created a blend that she adored beyond words. But her favorite sounds were the sweet voices of her five awesome, intelligent, beautiful, talented and adorable grand children. Teresa lived everyday looking forward to hearing the sweet voices of Bailey, Reagen, Austin, Jackson and Seth. Their Birdlay’s were very special days to her and something she planned for years in advance. Many of her friends never had the opportunity to hear the voices Teresa held so dear but she made sure everyone knew all about them.
Expectedly, her banquet decorations were over the top. Teresa loved an outlandish theme and personified the idea that more is better. She brought in her favorite designer so that every detail was completed to meticulous perfection. She broke all the rules. She believed in asking forgiveness instead of permission. She loved the WOW factor. Her special touch was that a little sexy was always thrown in. And, she never regretted doing something that made people smile. She took chances and pushed the envelope. And, by doing that she allowed those around her to find their own personal freedoms. That’s the kind of life decorations money can’t buy.
Teresa’s parting gift was her Sweet Spirit. FA, John, Sean, Scott, all her family and friends now have her incredibly sweet spirit with them every single step of every single day. A wonderful, although sometimes Cuh-koo angel perched on everyone’s shoulder. She will be there needed or not. She will be there in good times and bad. And, when out of the blue something indescribable happens…
that’s Teresa reminding us to make life a banquet.
Her life was the best banquet…ever.
As she settles in Paradise she is thrilled to hear her friends say ”her banquet was lovely and a good time was had by all.”
May 4, 1945 to September 28, 2015