September 27, 2011 marks the end of the long trail of heroism and the loving care of our mother, Doris Abadie. That trail, began with the early death of her husband, our father, on September 8, 1964 at the age of 49. His death came after a long battle with the after effects of treatments he received for tuberculosis that he contracted at the end of his tour of service in World War II. At the age of 43, our mother became a widow with six children, the oldest 16 and the youngest less than 16 months. With the aid of our extended family and friends, her belief in God, and her huge heart, she lived to see all six of her children survive, prosper and give her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who she loved abundantly.
Doris May Conrad Abadie
ABADIE Doris May Conrad Abadie was an active volunteer in her community for more than fifty years. She was born in New Orleans, LA, November 8, 1921. She was a parishioner of St. Maurice Church for 72 years. Dot volunteered at St. Maurice School, she was a Eucharistic Minister, a board member on the Council of Catholic Women and the CCSCC for more than 25 years. She was a United Way volunteer member and chairman for the downtown area for thirty-five years. She was honored with the Order of St. Louis Medallion at St. Louis Cathedral for her many years of service to the Archdiocese of New Orleans. She was preceded in death by her parents: George Conrad and Irma Andry Delhomme Conrad; husband, Ernst Abadie (1964) and her siblings: Andry Delhomme, Mabel Delhomme Moinet, Evelyn Delhomme Zettwoch, and Shirley Conrad Patton; and grandchild, David Allen Ashton, Jr. She is survived by her children: Conrad and Michael Abadie, Jane Sedgebeer, Patricia Ashton, Ann Simms, Suzanne Schick; also, fifteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She gloried in her large extended family of nieces and nephews. We want to thank her many caregivers from Omni and Serenity. Relatives and friends of the family are welcome to attend a Funeral Mass celebrated in the Chapel of Jacob Schoen & Son Funeral Home, 3827 Canal St., on Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm. Visitation will begin at 10:00 am. Interment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, we ask that a donation be made to Metairie Manor, 4929 York St. Metairie, LA 70001. Condolences may be expressed online at www.schoencanalstreet.com
Published in The Times-Picayune from September 29 to October 1, 2011
In the little time since you've passed, I've been reflecting on the moments we shared together and the qualities I admired most about you. Saying you were an inspiration to me is not nearly saying enough. Your strength, courage and compassion are all things that seemed to come natural to you. It's these qualities that make me want to push myself to be a better person each and every day.
It's the little things I'm going to miss most. I'll miss the Happy Birthday phone calls I could count on every year. I'll miss how excited you were to hear anything and everything I had to say no matter how trivial the subject. I'll miss the pride you showed in how well I was doing in school and the encouragement you gave me to keep at it. I miss going to your house as a kid and eating Fruit Loops for breakfast and chicken and gravy for dinner (and the big tub of cheese balls you would have sometimes as a snack!). I miss your hugs and kisses.
I'll always cherish the last words we shared together. You told me I'd be happy, and I believed you. Even in the end, you were doing what you always did best; giving encouragement, support, and love. It was a comforting moment in a time of some of the deepest sadness I've ever felt. I'll always love you, Mere.
During the last week, I kept looking for the right words, I knew I wanted to speak and I wanted to make sure I got it right . I mean we are talking about a woman who for the lack of better words completely choreographed her funeral...from Uncle Conrad carrying around her obituary in his blackberry (and I am sure there have been updates, thanks to Suzanne for having Madison... at 42) to making sure we got just the right picture taken for the newspaper. So here I am, I have my letter, but that's about me, and as much as I would love to stand up and talk about me that is not right either. So I started trolling the Internet specifically for Pete Fountain songs I could maybe use as an outline...there were so many but still not just right either. So I expanded my search specifically for songs that Mr. Fountain covered that would be just right. What I finally surrendered to was a statement that kept coming up when I spoke to family, "Boy, is Mere doing it her way!" So there was my A HA moment!!! My outline! Once I started reading the words, they truly spoke to my heart and I immediately knew I found the right song! So, Mere, forgive me that I found the perfect song but it was not by your "other man" Mr. Fountain but by Frank Sinatra "My Way"
"And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain My friend I'll say is it clear I'll state my case of which I'm certain I've lived a life that's full I traveled each and every highway And more, much more than this I did it my way. Regrets I've had a few But then again too few to mention I did what I had to do And saw it through without exemption I planned each charted course Each careful step along the byway And more, much more than this I did it my way. Yes, there were times I'm sure you knew When I bit off more than I could chew But through it all when there was doubt I ate it up and spit it out, I faced it all And I stood tall and did it my way I've loved, I've laughed and cried I've had my fill, my share of losing And now as tears subside I find it all amusing To think I did it all that And may I say not in a shy way Oh no, not me I did it my way For what is a woman what has she got If not herself then she has not to say the things she truly feels And not the words of one who kneels The record shows I took the blows and did it my way...Yes it was My Way."
We have our memories with you, Mere. We all had our roles to play. We will treasure them always. My grocery list will always include bananas and saltines, red beans and rice will always go with coleslaw, we will always vacation as a family on the beach and have a place to stay on the parade route for Mardi Gras even though we live in New Orleans, there will never be a better dessert than stale French bread toasted with butter and cinnamon dipped in coffee, and last but certainly not least I will forever use soda bottle tops as a way to sort my pills. :)
You found your moment when you knew everyone was where they needed to be; children and grandchildren accomplished great successes. You can tell our grandfather, Ernst, that you and he produced an incredible family full of first class chefs, successful businessmen, talented artists, gifted athletes, special agents, nurses, even a valedictorian, but most importantly a family who loves each other more than any other family in the world. One woman did that through these years...Thank You Mere!
So tootle-loo for the last time and watch from your favorite chair above; when we all get together to celebrate this life, when we think and laugh about all the great times, remember the strength we had during the tough times, but in the end all will be thinking the same thing..."It went like that! SNAP!"
This is the letter I was planning in my head to write for mom's birthday book. I thought for sure I would be gathering these letters for her to read, but God decided he was ready for her to celebrate in heaven with all her other love ones that have been missing her. In the case of my dad, for over 45yrs!
I would always tell people, that I have no bad memories of my childhood, and I could have had many. You are the reason!
First thing is, you learned to drive after dad died, then the adventures began! I can write a book on the wonderful beach vacations starting with taking us back to the same cabin in Pass Christian that just the year before you and dad took us to. What courage! You took us to go visit Uncle Genie in Memphis, not your brother, dad's brother that we didn't get to see much! What courage! You would pile all of us into the station wagon to go sing carols in Jackson Square! How did you get all 5 of us to go and have a good time? Mardi Gras, another season that I could write a book about! You would take us to every parade, sometimes 3 parades in 3 different location from St. Bernard to New Orleans!
Your other wonderful skill was finding programs that cost next to nothing to enroll us in. From the Girl Scouts that took a trip every summer, the K.C. Camp Maryhill and the Abby, where we spent 1 or 2 weeks of pure fun, The VFW sponsored Stardusters Drum and Bugle Corp, that I was in and later Ann joined. We traveled all over the eastern part of the U.S. in a bus full of teenagers and chaperones! Cost next to nothing, they even gave us money to eat with! You found a lady to try to teach me to sing because all my sisters were in the choir and I couldn't because there were no alto parts. That gave me the confidence that I did have a good voice. I joined my high school choir, then was asked to be in a singing group that sang in talent shows and had so much fun! You found a program at a bowling alley that taught the technics of bowling! Now I wasn't going to be bowling pro, but it was just another fun thing to do. I took baton and dance lessons from Stalling NORD playground, swimming lessons every summer at Pontchartrain Beach and NORD. You couldn't swim so you made sure all of us could! Dad gave you a sewing machine because surely a mom with 5-6 children should know how to sew, well that never happened, so you found a girl to come to our home to teach me to sew!
Now the older I got the harder things got for you. I was the first one to want to go to King Cake party's, to go on dates and such. All those decisions proved to be difficult. After I was married and had children, what a blessing to have Robert help me make those kind of decisions, I finally understood how hard it was for you!
With all of that said, and as difficult as those years were, you did a great job. You raised 6 loving children, who cherish you and we thank you for all you gave up for us!
P.S. Last but not least In the last few years mom would mention how she was afraid of dying and I would tell her," Mom you have accepted every cross that God gave you and some of them were very, very heavy. You carried them with faith, strenghth and courage, so you need not fear. God has seen everything you have done and He is a proud Papa that can't wait to give you your blessings!
Well now you are looking into His kind and merciful eyes and are filled with joy and happiness!