Cover photo for Catherine Jay Geraldson's Obituary
Catherine Jay Geraldson Profile Photo
1932 Catherine 2020

Catherine Jay Geraldson

January 10, 1932 — March 27, 2020

To my brothers and sisters in our world,

Jay, our momma passed peacefully on Friday March 27th. We rejoice in her life and have faith in where she is now. She adds to the strength and power of our angels.

She would be saying now, grieve not for me, lets pray for the world at large.

We are in difficult times. Sad, we cannot come together and hug and love on each other and celebrate. This too shall pass. We will proceed with her final resting when the world allows. Our immediate family will gather at the graveside with the haunting sounds of a bagpiper playing music in the distance, this seems fitting with the Scots blood that runs in our souls.

Stay strong and keep your faith...

Catherine J. Geraldson
January 10, 1932 - March 27, 2020

Eulogy

Have I told you lately that I love you…have I told you there is no one above you…you fill my heart with gladness, take away my sadness, ease my troubles, that’s what you do…
…these are the words to a Van Morrison song; the words are directed to God, but are also relevant to Moms, to us all, and to those we love…”have I told you lately that I love you”…
Let’s pause a moment and gather strength from our other departeds and loved ones…
Our/my family, we, thank all of you, our relatives, our friends, however you may connect to this story, your offer of support, help, notes, calls, visits and memories you share, lifting us up, loving on us, it humbles us, it is important to us, and we truly love you all…
Praise to our caregivers…Shepherds’ without robes…

Take a deep breath as I tell you a little about our wonderful lady:

Mothers are special, and our Mom is a special lady, this is part of her story…

Catherine Janet Anderson, Jay, was Born on the North Sea of Scotland, growing up in a small fishing village, Findhorn, sailing in the bay and on the tides of the sea, athletic as a young child playing field hockey, growing up with her family of four and her dog Rover…
These early days began to shape who she is…and taught her lessons of life…just a child when WWII began, bombing raids, villagers not returning home, challenges interspersed with goodness in such a mess…

…her words from a presentation she made in 1990: “we think we live in a fast-paced age today, but in 1942 history was being made at a fast pace. Kindness and cruelty were being practiced to extreme. The world suddenly became smaller and blew into my quite little village like a raging tornado and nothing was ever the same.”

An example of the good in this time…her home was called Duncraig, she came home one afternoon to find two German POW’s in her kitchen having tea, it set her back, once they left, my grandma said “We can only pray they are taking care of our boys”.
Jay learned early what kindness meant and can do, and wove that into the fabric of her life…

She attended college at Aberdeen University, obtained an education degree and became a teacher. At 25, she transitioned into a next phase of her life, a move across the ocean to the US…a 2 week boat ride ultimately coming down the St Lawrence Sea Way making her way on to Chicago…of course, she told us about the three guys on the boat that were always ready to assist her…she met up with her brother Bill and off to Rockford they went…she continued her teaching career at Keith Country Day School…her parents followed a few years later and my siblings and I had a rich relationship with our grandparents as well…
Next big step in her life, she met our father Jerry, the big guy, they married, took a long honeymoon in Europe and started our family.

She became a Naturalized Citizen of the US, a process of which she was proud.
Our family life was typical, a lot of action, a little trouble from a couple of the kids (hmmm), great battles on the tennis court, all the stuff you can imagine, we were fortunate to see many parts of the world, and venture life together…

Growing up we did not know how or why things were as they were, we did not know that it was special, just that we always felt good, secure, loved and happy…today our family shares a deep root…

We are all her favorite, including all the grandkids, she has a reckless love for us all…
She and our Dad were married for over 50 years, happy, faithful, engaged in life together…later in their journey they spent 20 years living on the shores of Lac Labelle and the oceans in the gulf at Southwinds, this was a time of fun…in our Dad’s final days, his last birthday prayer began…” dear Lord, please watch over my best friend and lover of over 50 years”
Right after Dad’s passing, we went to Scotland (She and Pete joined my family), we were driving north from Aberdeen, passing Fochabur, Foress, Kinloss, it was late at night…everyone in the car was asleep, she came slightly awake and whispered “Jerry, are you still Ok driving”…I whispered back, “yes”, she nodded off again with the comfort of her lover warming her soul… She did and will always revere in her love for our Dad…

We visited Findhorn, her little village on the sea, she had not been back in years, we walked into the community hall and sure enough we hear, Jay, is that you…boom, on went the talking, out came the reconnecting…we went to the Kimberly Inn, which our grandpa, had been the proprietor, had some food, a pint and a shot of Jaeger (I know it Scot’ish Whiskey)…

The next phase we saw, was, who she was after our Dad passed…

A new world was thrust onto her…
Seeing good in all that comes…
She continued to go to Southwinds to enjoy the beauty of the Ocean…
Family was never far away…
She lived: “Every day is a choice from God…be present”

The final days:

She walked off the plane in December from Southwinds, engaged in the Christmas Holiday, hosted her Christmas morning family party, made her casseroles, she had a sense of satisfaction…
…then, she began to climb the stairs to the end of life…
This turbulence unbalanced our family, we drowned in a river of tears, then used the tears and rallied, and we cared for her fiercely…
She was surprised how quickly the changes came, we talked about how much her heart had beat over her life…millions of times…and what all those beats meant…
One of the last mornings I was with her she sat in the bathroom putting on her make up…it was beautiful as she put herself together…she was at peace…she was not afraid…

The signs from Nature came:

She saw Rays of Light that came and cast over us – she was Contacting her Angels…
Instinctively, all our dogs knew something was up…
A single fox ran in the yard for days then another one showed up…they played and then ran off into the woods together to keep each other warm…
Pete went to the ocean with her spirit and touched the waters…after all she was a child from the North Sea…
Eventually, the elements of life Earth, Water, Fire and Wind went naturally as she passed…

So, here we are:

We are graced because we have a strong bond with our family…
We are graced because we live a faithful way…
We are graced as we saw what a loving relationship can turn two people into…
We are graced because of all of you…
Our souls will find comfort, but we will miss her so much…we will carry on strong and be hardy, such is the way she would want us to be…

Now, we call on all the Angels to bring her home…

We love you Mom…

In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity that is close to your heart in memory of Jay.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Catherine Jay Geraldson, please visit our flower store.

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