PURNELL, Carmen M. (Pazo), 58, lifelong resident of Tampa, passed away on Tues. Apr. 22, 2008. Carmen was a 1967 graduate of H.B. Plant High School and attended the Univ. of Tampa. She is survived by her husband Bruce B. Purnell, her mother, Regla Pazo, her daughter, Heather Sorensen (Tom), granddaughters, Amelia and Katie, and her sister, Debra Johnson (Dr. David). A celebration of Carmen’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Sat. Apr. 26th at Blount & Curry Funeral Home, 605 S. MacDill Ave., with a reception immediately following in the funeral home Banquet/Reception Room. In lieu of flowers please make memorial contributions to Melech Hospice House (Burgundy Team), 11125 N. 52nd St., Temple Terrace, FL. 33617.
Thank you for coming here today to remember my mother, Carmen. She was a pretty amazing person.
If she saw that somebody needed something, she would find a way to get it to them.
She was a loving woman, a kind woman, a funny woman, and a smart woman.
Most importantly (to me), she was my mother.
In the last few years, I have become a mother myself to two beautiful girls, Amelia and Katie. They're back in Atlanta with my husband, Tom, right now. Amelia is 4, and Katie just turned 2. This has been the hardest job I've ever taken on. Even though I'm "just" a stay-at-home mother now, most days I am plumb exhausted by the time the girls are in bed at night. If I am this tired and I've only been at the job for 4 years, I can only imagine what I'll feel like at 10 years...or 18 years. I admire my mother for living through those years and waking up every morning and greeting me with a smile, warmth, love, and forgiveness.
My mother took in all of my friends. She was the group mom. All of my friends were welcome at our house, and there were no strangers in our home. I had several friends who fell out with their parents. She would invite my friends to stay with us for a few days, feed them, clothe them, and mediate to get the families back together. I share this anecdote because I think it tells you the importance family had in my mother's life. She believed in the importance of sitting down every night to a family dinner and talking. I do this with my husband and children (much to Amelia and Katie's chagrin.)
I believe my mother died way too young. I wish she could be around to watch her grandchildren grow up to conquer the world. However, she'll just have to watch them up from Heaven. I'll make sure to tell Amelia and Katie lots of great stories about how Carmen used to take me to the airport late at night to watch the airplanes take off or how she taught me to cook ropa vieja from scratch. I just wish she could teach them these things herself.
I'd like to close with a poem from Christina Rosetti called "Sonnets are Full of Love":
Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome
Has many sonnets: so here now shall be
One sonnet more, a love sonnet, from me
To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home,
To my first Love, my Mother, on whose knee
I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome;
Whose service is my special dignity,
And she my loadstar while I go and come
And so because you love me, and because
I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath
Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honored name:
In you not fourscore years can dim the flame
Of love, whose blessed glow transcends the laws
Of time and change and mortal life and death.