My Mom’s Legacy (Diana Greguska)
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This fear of death infused me with the desire to live and to live harder. ~ Josh Lucas
Revelation 21:4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Death Is Inevitable, But Life Needs To Be Cherished!
My Mom Took Care Of Me When I Was Growing Up!
So I Took Care Of Her When She Was 85-93 Years Old…
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
I felt that it was only right that I helped take care of my mom since she took care of me when I was little and when I was having my problems with drugs and alcohol in my teens and twenties.
It was not like I was forced to take care of my mom or my dad when he was alive; it was more out of gratitude and respect for my parents. I would say that children listen less to their parents because parents do not demand it, and our society has weakened the family structure.
Is your mom a strong person? My mom was always the go-getter kind of person. Mom had much energy and drive that was harnessed with determination. She grew up that way, and when my dad was alive, she had to be that way since most of the responsibility for everything fell on her shoulders.
Many years later Mom, after dad died, mom got remarried and took care of my stepdad at the end of his life, too. My mom raised me and loved me despite all the problems that I dragged her through.
Parents Do Not Always Stay Young!
Proverbs 10:9 The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.
Do you think children listen to their parents as they ought to? Mom, with help from the family and other resources, took care of my dad the last years of his life when he had Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. I felt great helping my dad; I recall feeding him, washing him and spending time with him. His memory was not suitable for recent things, but when I talked about the fur business or Red Star Yeast, he was right in with the conversation.
Looking back, it is too bad that I had to get old to realize how good of a man my dad was. I can not always say that I obeyed my parents because often I disobeyed them; most of the time it had to do with drugs and alcohol. Besides that time of my life, I obeyed my parents pretty well.
A Little Bit About My Mom And Dad!
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
My dad was a Czechoslovakian, who made a living as a furrier for many years. Later he worked in a yeast factory called Red Star Yeast Universal Foods. My mother, Diana, is a northern Italian with eight brothers and sisters.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future.” So I say that, yes, God without a doubt has a plan for every one of us! Our job is to find out what it is!
How important is work in a person’s life? Dad worked hard, and I can remember clearly when he used to lay down on the couch before supper because he was so tired from working in the factory. He would take his glasses off and sleep for 15 minutes, which was all he needed. We were not rich, but we were not in need.
My parents sacrificed a lot and worked hard to have somewhat of the American dream; sometimes I wished we all could have loved one another more and had less and not vice versa. Both of my parents lived through the Great Depression and World War II. They went through a lot of hard times as others in their era did, but they made it.
Mom and Dad instilled in me a good work ethic. In 1989, I worked four years at Elmbrook Church in the custodial maintenance department, and after that, in 1994 I worked ten years building wheelchair ramps for the elderly and disabled in the Milwaukee / Waukesha, WI area for a ministry called “Faith Indeed.”
I loved my work and did my best every day. I went out of my way so that when I did a job, I did it well as my dad taught me while I was growing up. Idle hands are a tool of the devil, which is why I believe that work is essential to living a healthy life.
Below Are Some Things I Wrote After My Mom Died
Diana Greguska-Busalacchi In Honor Of Her Life!
I took care of my mom for the last eight years of her life which was only right for how much she helped me while I was having problems with drugs and alcohol and other issues while growing up. With the realization that mom would not live forever here on earth, so in knowing that I was preparing ahead of time one thing that I was so thankful that I did, it was a photovoice recorder in which she recorded herself saying, “You’re a good son.” It has become a constant reminder of how much my mom loved me and how much I loved my mom.
Even though mom had medical issues such as diabetes, asthma, heart condition. She still was very alert mentally, and she managed to get around physically despite some pains in her knees and with her breathing.
My mom had no real fear of death; I think partly because she was in physical pain for many years but still could enjoy her life.
Mom did have a fear of going into a nursing home so I promised her that I would not put her into a nursing home and I kept my word.
Mom Will Be Missed By Many Especially Me!
The main reason that I have mentioned all of this is that each death may be similar. But at the same time so very different in how those who are left behind deal with their emotions of the loss.
Here are some of my notes that I jotted down just after my mother said her last goodbye on the phone on the afternoon of December 31, 2014. ~ Bill Greguska
December 31, 2014
My mom just died without much warning last night at about 7:30 pm in the hospital where my cousin Erica and Mike were with me.
I was very, very close to my mom my entire life; I took care of he during the last eight years of her life. It is just over 24 hours ago now, and it still has not hit me that she is dead.
That is why I say how people react to death are not the same in every situation.
It Was A Little Bit Of A Shock To Me
I loved my mother very much so it weird that this loss has not hit me hard yet. When I saw her in the hospital, I seemed to be in denial of her death, and I think I am still in denial.
When I was walking down the hallway in the hospital to her room, a wave came over me, and I started to whimper a couple of times because I knew her time might be near.
My Mom Was A Very Strong Lady
She was 93 years old, and she had a zest for life a very strong-minded yet loving mother. She had an excellent sense of humor that was very contagious which were a few things I loved about her.
Bottom line there is no one particular way to react to a death of a loved one, so if this is the case with you, be kind to yourself and stay connected with people like I am with my cousins and some friends. I am sure the feelings of the loss of my mom are probably going to be with me forever.
Mom and I were so very close my entire life. She was there for me when I needed her through my hard times in life, and I was there for her needs in her last years. I will update this story as time goes on. ~ Bill Greguska
January 2, 2015
My Sister Pat And I
We went to the funeral home together to make all the funeral arrangements. I still am not feeling too good because of my cold, but doing 40% better sure helps.
During our planning and talking, I told (Jeff, the funeral home director) that my mom and I sang a song together each night for about the last eight years now as I put her to sleep each night.
The song was a Laurence Welch song that sang at the end of each Lawrence Welch show mom always used to love to watch. Then in the office of the funeral director, I started to sing that song I always used to sing at night with my mom, but this time to my sister Pat and Jeff, the director, then suddenly the floodgates opened up, and I began to sob very hard.
I stopped then a few moments later I started up again which was I believe was the way God intended it for me. All those 32 hours without a tear, I think God was carrying me like the footprints in the sand. ~ Bill Greguska
January 7, 2015
Today Was The Last Step In Putting My Mom To Rest!
My tears the past few days have flowed like waves of sadness. My sister Pat and I and cousin Joe all had a short service with the Dan, funeral director.
I noticed that when we said the Our Father, it brought me to tears because it was the prayer mom and I said with each other each night before bed.
Surprisingly, I felt stronger than I figured that I might be having to say goodbye to mom for the last time in person.
Something personal between mom and myself, I decided to put in the coffin one of my business cards that she helped me design for NeedEncouragement.com.
After the funeral, I took my sister out to eat lunch at Andreas Restaurant, and then we went to mom’s house and wrote out many thank you cards to those who helped us the last few days and years.
Almost Feels Like I Am In Denial
It is hard to believe she is gone. The house is so much quieter compared to when she was still alive. Looking back my mom never talked about a fear of death, and I did speak to her about heaven and what God wanted us to do to be with him.
Mom loved to read Bible verses with me which I enjoyed doing with her. Now I am going to open a new chapter in my life, after the one I never got too close which was the divorce in 2007 that was also very devastating to me.
The thing with my mom’s funeral, I got to remember so many good memories compared to the divorce where most things were negative and painful in a different way.
A Little Help From Friends
I think I handled the loss of my mom in a pretty good way considering she was my best friend. I got much help from Pastor Mark Mallwitz, Ron and Sue Sauer and their mom, cousin Mike and Erica, my sister Pat, Kevin Reddy, and the rest of my friends and relatives who all encouraged and comforted me with emails, phone calls, cards, and most important prayers. ~ Bill Greguska
March 23, 2015
It Has Been A Couple Of Months Now
Since my mom has passed away. Since she lived with me, the house now is much quieter and empty.
Not a scary empty, but an empty with peace knowing I did everything I could do to keep her out of a nursing home that was one of her biggest fears, and a personal wish that she made of me years ago which I was determined to keep.
It is hard to deal with the death of my mom and all the emotions and feelings that go with it.
On the other hand, I no longer after eight years need to take care of her medication, blood pressure readings, insulin testing, exercises, cooking for her, cleaning up, driving her to many appointments plus church, out to eat, movies, walks to Mc Donald’s, etc.
I Loved That I Could Honor My Mother And Father
I enjoyed taking care of my mom (and my dad when he was alive) One thing that always kept me going when things got a little tricky managing all I had to do to take care of her, was the scripture about honoring my mother and father Ephesians 6:2-3. I want to share a video about three reasons my mom reminds me of Jesus.
The Caregivers Were Very Helpful To Mom And Me
God provided help from an organization called Visiting Angels, and another group called At Home Loving Care, without these ladies to help me, I would not have been able to go to my part-time job or workout to take care of myself, or anything else social for that matter.
Last two years I got 2-4 hours of help which was enough to get out a little. Mom could be home alone for no more than an about an hour since she had her TV to watch her Brewers games and talk shows like Steve Harvey and Ellen.
We had an excellent group of gals that helped out with mom for a couple of hours at a time. Marva was a gal that I found through a mutual friend Jeanie. Mechelle was another one of my mom’s favorite gals. All the ladies were very helpful to us, to keep mom out of a nursing home at her age; these women were a significant help to accomplish that goal that my mom and I had set up many years ago.
After Things Start Settling Down
Now I have been busy going through the house sorting things to keep and giveaway. I have looked through pictures and cards that were a beautiful reminder of how full of life she had in the past 93 years. There is a sense of peace I have, but at the same time, I feel a significant loss and loneliness that I am sure will subside in time, but will always be there to a degree.
I can sense the feeling that mom is not here anymore, although I am so very thankful that I made a voice picture recording of mom saying something she always told me, “You’re a good son.” That recording is one of my most prized memory of my mom. (you might want to do the same with your elderly parents or loved ones).
I hear moms voice every night when I turn off the living room lights which activates her voice recording! A beautiful reminder of mom before I go to sleep.
Words Of Comfort From Pastor Ron Sauer
Pastor Ron Sauer told me on the phone that God knew my mom well before I did, and God wanted to take her home, so in understanding that, I feel that I can let go and hold on to all the priceless memories.
Death the last goodbye to my mother earlier on the phone her last day. Her last words to me were the words she always said to me on the phone after we talked that afternoon that were, “I Love You!” John 13:34-35 ~ Bill Greguska
May 31, 2015
Mom Passed Away Five Months Ago
Life is starting to settle down a little bit. I am living in the house that she and my dad had built-in 1959, the year before I was born.
She put it in her will that I could live here as long as I wanted, with the only condition is that I would take care of the taxes, pay the utilities, and the upkeep.
Mom had no real fear of death, but she wanted her passing away to be all planned out.
There is not a day that goes by without thinking of her; it is hard since I took care of he over the past eight years taking care of mainly all her needs.
Those who knew her from Elmbrook Church and other places always remind me how amazing a lady she was, and that is so accurate. She treated me better than I probably deserved. That made my sisters a little jealous which I can understand.
No Fear Of Death, But A Zeal For Life
Mom did not have a fear of death, but she did have a zeal for living. She was always thinking and making plans; you could say that dust never settled on her.
She raised four kids, worked full-time, helped my dad in the fur business and also she worked with dad at Universal Foods Red Star Yeast for about 20 years.
Mom was so always so good to me that she wished to stay out of any nursing home was my goal that with Gods help was achieved.
There is something special about a mother and their son, mainly because I was the youngest, I am Italian, and I just got along with and loved my mom so much. I love hearing her say on her talking photo each night when the lights go out, and it says, “You’re a good son.” I miss mom and hearing her voice is comforting even though it is only a recording.~ Bill Greguska
July 25, 2015
Mom And Dad’s Anniversary Was On July 21, 1945
They would have remained married for 70 years, but my dad died on October 1, 1995. Time goes on without those who we love.
I miss my mom and my dad too. My dad was a very kind patient man who was also a significant influence on my life regarding working and common sense.
I have reminders of both of them, and especially her life with me each day since I live in the house that she and my dad built.
It is kind of sad knowing that I will never see mom or dad here on earth again, yet someday when I die, I will see them again in heaven.
There Is A Time For Everything
There is a time to live and a time to die. Mom’s time was up, and the Lord even gave her some extra innings since she lived to be 93 years old. A lot of my ways that I do things or think are because of the direct influence on mom’s life and how she raised me.
I look forward to the day I hear her voice in heaven saying to me, “You’re a good son.” Instead of hearing it on the talking photo each night before the lights go out. ~ Bill Greguska
September 4, 2015
The Months Are Flying By!
I still think about my mom almost every day in some way or another. I always thank God that He put it in my mind to record mom’s voice that I hear every night when I turn the lights off in the living room. Mom has genuinely made an impact on my life, and she will never be forgotten.
Some of her strong points that made her who she was, is the way she was strong yet loving, wise yet open to new ideas, she loved to laugh.
I only got to see her cry a couple of times, loyalty was a high priority and getting family together was another top priority. Mom was the center of our family that kept us all together. ~ Bill Greguska
January 11, 2016
It Was Mom’s One Year Anniversary Of Her Death
I am sure she is in heaven even though she gave me a hard time when I talked to her about the Bible and her need to confess with her mouth and believe in her heart that she would then be saved.
Being Catholic for 93 years made it hard for her to accept the Protestant way that I was sharing her salvation with her.
Bottom line, I know my mom’s heart and love for the Lord to know that she now is in heaven. I look forward to being with her whenever the Lord takes me.
Things have settled down in my life, and I still do miss mom! Each night I hear my mom on one of the most valuable things she gave me which is a photo recorder that she recorded her voice saying, “You’re a good son.” ~ Bill Greguska
April 16, 2016
I Missed Mom’s Italian Biscotti Cookies
It has been over one year now since mom passed away, but it seems like not a day goes by without thinking of her or talking about her to someone who used to know her.
There are so many stories that I can recall about what mom said or did, or what she cooked or accomplished in some way or another.
I missed her Italian Biscotti this past Christmas which was one of our Christmas traditions she and I did each year since I was a little boy.
Below is the recipe in memory of my mom.
2 cups of butter (1lb)
5 ½ cups of sugar (cream butter and add together).
In another large bowl measure
9 cups of flour
6 teaspoons of baking powder
3 teaspoons of salt
(Sift together dry ingredient very well)
Add 12 eggs, one at a time, into dry mixture alternately until moist, and then add more dry mixture until all used. Add one teaspoon anise extract and 4 teaspoons of vanilla. Then add 1 lb of roasted almonds, mix very thoroughly by hand. Cover everything with a plastic bag and store in refrigerator overnight.
Next day, put flour on the breadboard, take a hand full of the dough and roll by hand it into the shape of a 16×3 inch long roll. Turn oven on to 350 degrees and grease 3 cookie sheets. (Bake two rolls on each cookie sheet at a time)
After they are baked, place them on a cooling rack. Slice them diagonally carefully, while warm, about 1 inch wide. Cool thoroughly and put into gigantic popcorn tin lined with a plastic bag. ~ Bill Greguska
July 21, 2016
Today Would Have Been My Mom And Dad’s 71st Anniversary!
That is if they were both still alive. In a way, they both are still alive to me. I think and talk about them both, a little more my mom, but my dad too since he taught me a lot about work and tried to install the value of integrity in me.
Each night before I go to bed, I turn off the lights in the living room that automatically starts up my mom’s photo machine, so I hear her say every night to me, “You’re a Good son.” When I hear her voice, and the lights are out, it is almost like she is right there with me for a brief second.
It has been a year and a half now, but to me, she still is alive by the way she taught me certain things around the kitchen with cooking and baking, I will never forget the joyful laugh she had which was always so contagious. I do miss taking care of her. ~ Bill Greguska
September 23, 2016
It Will Be Two Years That My Mom Passed Away.
I think about her often, yet I have learned a new normal now without her.
She was my best friend because of how much she loved me and watched out for me.
The last eight years of her life I was given a chance to so-called pay her back for all the good she did for me when I was growing up.
By no means I am saying that she was perfect, only Jesus Christ is perfect, but I am saying without a doubt or hesitation.
Mom would have done anything for me and my brother Tom and my sisters Pat and Gerri, yet I always knew that I was special to her by the way she treated me.
Mom Did Not Want To Go To Any Nursing Home
That has something to do with how I kept her out of a nursing home which she genuinely feared. Mom did not have a fear of death at all really, but she did have a fear of nursing home!
I realize that other kids love their mom and dad in a similar way that I loved my mother and father, but I can only speak for myself, and know the truth that my mom was the greatest!
She pushed me when I needed pushing, and she nurtured me when I needed nurturing, and she always loved me no matter what I got myself into.
One of my fondest memories of my mom was her sense of humor! She always told me that either you can laugh about it, or else you will cry about it! ~ Bill Greguska
February 8, 2017
It Is Hard To Believe!
It has been over two years now since mom died. I think of her often since she had made a tremendous impact on my life as both a child and as an adult.
Mom lived a good life, and I am thankful that I could keep her home and not have to put her into a nursing home.
We Had To Work Out Some Details
Others were interested in putting her in a home, but since I loved my mom as I did, and she was always good to me while I was growing up, granting her wish was not something I had to do much thinking about at all.
I thank God that I was wise enough to record her voice on a photo machine, so now at night when I turn off the lights, I get to hear her voice saying, “You’re a good son!”
Her passing away makes me more aware that I will not be alive forever either. I have no fear of death because when God calls me, I will be ready. In the meantime, I have more work to do, and more people to try to encourage. ~ Bill Greguska
May 4, 2017
There Is Probably Not A Day That Goes By!
I would honestly say that I think about our talk about my mom every day. That is true because each night I heard her voice on the photo recorder saying “You’re a good son!” is the last voice I hear before I go to sleep.
I am sure that mom would be pleased and proud of what I am doing. Taking care of her for the last eight years of her life was an honor that I am glad I could have. Yes, sometimes it was difficult, but if asked to do it all over again, my answer would be Yes!
Mom truly loved me and watched over me and encouraged me in both good times and bad. I do miss her home cooking, yet she taught me pretty good to cook for myself now…I just wanted to share a few thoughts in honor of my mom! My mom I would have to say was my best friend I ever had. ~ Bill Greguska
July 8, 2017
Without A Doubt My Mom Was Wonderful!
Mom overall was a great person; she was like an anchor in my life that kept me going.
She defended me from my sisters, spoke up for me in school, she provided for me, she comforted me and protected me, she chased after neighbor boys who picked on me because I was the youngest in the neighborhood when I was about five years old.
Mom disciplined me pretty good too but not enough, she laughed with me, and let me tell her anything on my mind, and I mean anything!
Mom Had Some Special Ways About Herself!
My mom used to say, “There she blows” when I was about to cry when I was depressed so severely when I had a nervous breakdown during my divorce, she played chess with me when I did not seem to have any friends when I was little, she came to all my basketball games in grade school and high school.
Mom used to cook like a gourmet chef, and baked like Martha Stuart, she spoiled me a little, but everyone needs a little spoiling once in a while. I am so thankful I can hear her voice when I turn the lights out at night, and her voice recording says, “You’re a good Son” I miss her, but I am glad I had her when she was alive. ~ Bill Greguska
January 14, 2018
It Has Been 6 Months Since I Wrote About My Mom
I still talk about her probably a couple of times a week for some reference or another? When I think of her, I do not feel depressed, but blessed to have had a mom as I had in her! December 31, 2017, was the three year anniversary of mom’s death. Living in the house that she and my dad built helps keep the good memories alive. I have tried to love my children as she has loved me, yet I feel I fall a little short because she went above and beyond what I would consider the responsibility of a good parent. May she be resting in peace with the Lord Jesus right this minute.
September 12, 2018
Time Is Flying Bye
The days and week and months are going by now since mom died on December 31, 2014. It still feels like my mom is still around because I think and talk about her many times a week. I love the plaque that the caregiver company gave me when my mom died, I have it on my garage door, so I see it when I drive the car in the garage, and others can see it too. It says, “The seeds that mothers plants, bloom for a lifetime.”
My daughter Sherry and I talk about my mom almost every time we get together. Sherry loved her grandma very much, and Sherry used to always call my mom “Gorgeous.”
I am very thankful that I had mom record her voice on a picture frame recorder, I have it in my bedroom, and at night when I turn the light off each night, it says. “You are a good son.” She always told me that, and it encouraged me and gave me the strength to keep taking care of her the last 8 years of her life until she died.
Here is a link to pictures from the funeral home I wanted to share
Here is a link to the Milwaukee Journal obituaries
Here is an excellent link of condolences from many relatives and friends.
Do you have a will set up for yourself?
Two Great Parents
Both of my parents went to church every Sunday and were both great people. To me, that was excellent, but I knew that just going to church and being a good man, does not mean either one of them was going to heaven. I had many talks with both my parents before they died.
I explained to them that they needed to confess with their mouth and believe in their heart that Jesus was their Lord and Saviour. Romans 10:9-13
Both of were Catholic that made it harder for them to understand the need to do what I asked them to do. I am grateful that they could both understand the Gospel and that they are now bothin heaven together.
Make sure you know where you are going when you die. Also be sure to know where your loved ones are going when they die. There should be no fear of death. God wants nobody to be left behind.
When it comes to being with him in heaven, and that is why it is so important to share the Gospel with others! This way there will be no need to have a fear of death. ~ Bill Greguska
One Of The Greatest Gifts:
One of the greatest gifts we can give people is the hope that their death is nothing to fear – you know, not that it has no fear of it, but the promise of the scripture is that God will lead us through the valley of the shadow of death. ~Max Lucado
Why God, is discipline something politically incorrect? I always loved my mom, even when she had to discipline me because I knew she loved me. She had to be the mother and father of the home since my dad worked so much and his personality was not as assertive or in charge of my mom. Looking back as an adult, I could have used a few more spankings as a child.
Also beneficial would be more motivational things, like what my mom did for me, by getting me involved in basketball in 4th grade. That seems like the only real incentive that I had to behave. Looking back now, I see that I did have it easier in some ways, but because I lacked some discipline, school, and my early twenties were tougher than they to be. Without training, life will become more of a challenge than you can imagine!
Proverbs 3:12 Because The LORD Disciplines Those He Loves, As A Father The Son He Delights In.
Do you think you get away with things just because you are not caught right away? Dad was very honest, hardworking, wise, and kind. Remembering when I was about seven years old, my dad found a penny on the rug in church one Sunday and being so honest. It must have convicted him because the next week he brought it back.
My mom has always been loving, outgoing, fun-loving, firmly determined, smart and loyal. Thought I went astray from their example for many years, the Lord was merciful and kind to me to give me a second and third and fourth chance. Growing up I had problems with my integrity which resulted in being arrested a few times, and even going to jail a few times.
Why God, was it not until I let go of my alcohol and marijuana that I could honestly say that my integrity started to grow. It took me a while to realize that God’s gift to me was my life my gift to God is what I do with it. God watches over us because he is omnipresent which means he is everywhere watching what we say, think, and do, so we can never fool God.
Mom Would Have Loved To See This! Tim Hawkins
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