The following eulogy was written by Meghan’s soul-sister, Linda Kenny, and read at Meghan’s funeral mass…
From the moment Meghan entered this life, on September 24, 1975, she was a gift to the world. She was greeted by her devoted, caring, and loving parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hukowicz. They provided her with unending unconditional love and were the rock of her foundation. Meghan blessed the lives of many and quickly captured the hearts of all she encountered with her gorgeous smile that could illuminate a room, her contagious laugh, and her beautiful baby blues, that looked like a reflection of the ocean. As Mrs. Hukowicz recently mentioned, “When Meghan was born, she was not expected to live past 20.” But typical of Meghan’s style, she defied the odds and almost doubled that and the world was blessed with her earthly existence for 39 beautiful years! As Abraham Lincoln once stated, “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Meghan is a true testimony to this.
God’s master plan did not include any birth sisters for Meghan, but he made sure she would have “sisters” with whom to experience every part of life. At 2 1/2 years of age, my Mom vividly remembers seeing an adorable little blond girl sticking her head around the trees in our backyard, hoping to join in the fun she saw. Her curiosity that day led to the development of a deep, unbreakable bond of sisterhood that would bless my sisters and me every day for the rest of our lives and she quickly became a “4th” daughter to my Mom and Dad. I thank God for this most precious gift and for the honor and privilege of Mr. and Mrs. Hukowicz inviting and welcoming us to be a part of their family as well.
Our early years were filled with endless hours of active and imaginative play. We played house, played school, made home videos, danced and sang like no one was watching, rode bikes, built forts, climbed trees, played football, basketball, murder ball, softball, and we even formed a club in which we collected money to help animals. Meghan held on dearly to her love and respect of animals for the remainder of her life. We enjoyed running thru the corn fields that surrounded our houses and always loved running between our houses, making up games and racing to see who could go the fastest (especially at night time when we were scared). The most fun came when the neighbors had sprinklers going. I bet you can guess the path we chose. Life was never dull. Meghan used to have a quote above her bed, “Live like it’s heaven on Earth.” And that’s what we did.
One thing we did not love was getting up early to pick our asparagus. I remember one time Meghan was trying really hard to cut a piece of asparagus and stabbed her shoe instead. That quickly earned her a “break” in the pick-up for a bit and it provided us with many laughs. I think my sisters and I wished it was us so we could get a break too. We did however enjoy riding in the back of that pick-up in the meadows whether it was going to the dump or the asparagus fields. The wind would blow in our faces and we would make funny faces, sounds, and raise our arms into the air. We felt “free”. Perhaps this led Meghan to one of her greatest joys, driving with the top down in her famous black Toyota Celica convertible. Meghan loved her Hadley roots where her uncle was Chief of Police and her grandfather owned the Hadley Grain and Coal Company. She was awed by its beauty and always enjoyed cruising through the meadows and anywhere the roads led. And if you knew Meghan and her sense of direction, that could lead you on one heck of an adventure. It wasn’t the car she loved as much as the feeling of being free and she experienced great peace from that. I was fortunate to be copilot for most of these excursions and thank goodness otherwise I don’t know where she would have ended up.
As we grew older, we enjoyed the company of Hadley friends and MacDuffie friends and created many memorable moments. We spent some holidays together and travelled to some amazing destinations around the world. Her friends were my friends and my friends were hers. We also enjoyed and cherished our daily routine of lounging by the poolside at the Hukowicz’s. We swam and played games, but we also shared secrets and talked of life and our dreams for hours. Years later, we remained by the water, but this time it was the ocean waters of Martha’s Vineyard, which would capture Meghan’s heart and soul and become her favorite place. Thanks to the Rezendes family, we created endless and priceless treasured memories. Meghan became devoted to her studies during her college years, but was also sure to balance her studies with forming dear friendships that would prove to forever be a part of her life.
The next chapter in Meghan’s life is one full of her greatest joys. She began a professional career in the Boston area which opened up many opportunities for her to meet people. It is no mystery that when Meghan entered a room, all eyes turned to her, but only one lucky man would capture Meghan’s heart. In 2004, she crossed paths with her soulmate. I knew because of the way she talked about him and when I saw her look at him, I saw that glow. June 9, 2007 was one of the greatest days in my life as Frank Zoll and Meghan exchanged vows in truly a storybook wedding. It was perfect!
Four years later, resulting from one of the most selfless acts of love, a true miracle happened on August 5, 2011, and Brady Francis Zoll blessed this world. The love that surrounded him that day continues with each passing day. It is during this time that I truly saw Meghan shine. She was nothing less then an incredible, amazing, loving, Mom. Brady’s spirit is identical to hers when she was a little girl and because of him, a piece of Meghan will always live on. Brady was a miracle in so many ways and he continues to provide so much love and comfort.
I have never existed without Meghan and never will. Although I cannot reach Meghan by dialing her number that is embedded in my brain, 617-512-3138, I will still be calling her all the time for her support and guidance. I may not see her, but will most definitely “feel” and “know” the warmth of her presence that will surround me.
If you have been listening, I forgot to mention one small detail, Meghan was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). I say small detail because Meghan never let CF define her. She was in charge of her life and CF sometimes just caused a bump in the road. At a young age, we learned to ignore the cough, talk over it, or just wait until it stopped. We watched closely as Meghan took all the meds lined up in her cabinet shelves and as she breathed into her nebulizer. Sometimes we even asked if we could try some of the cool devices she had that helped to clear her airways. We also found joy in our numerous visits to the hospital using the controls on her bed and our excursions outside the hospital, back when she was allowed brief releases from her stay.
As any Doctor or Nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital would tell you, to witness Meghan’s release from the MICU at the hospital on August 19, after all she had endured, was a true miracle. The compassion and love that each nurse and doctor demonstrated toward Meghan while caring for her, exceeded all expectations and did not go unnoticed. Neither did the love of her support team, captained by her most devoted Mom that never gave up hope. One thing I learned is, angels are truly amongst us.
During her time at the Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Care, Meghan’s goal was simple, she wanted “to go home”. Other than her inspiring guardian angel, her Mother, that slept by her side, she requested visits from others only on weekends so she could focus on her goal and maximize every minute to get stronger. Her strength and determination always prevailed. Part of her inspiration could be seen on her wall as it was covered with beautiful art and messages from the children in her life.
We did not realize it, but it was here we were all blessed with the gift of time. Time to understand and appreciate the power of prayer. People who did not pray were praying and those who did, prayed more. We also witnessed Meghan deeply embrace her faith. Perhaps this was all part of God’s plan. Time allowed Meghan to learn how loved she truly was by so many. She was able to listen as we read many texts, facebook posts, and cards from people who knew her and people who knew of her. She was able to “feel” the love that surrounded her by those near and far. In fact, she told her Mom and me how loved she felt. We were reunited with friends from the past and gained new friendships as well. Most importantly, although it was faint, we could hear her laugh and we could hear her talk which also allowed her to share cherished time with her beloved, precious son. During their final time together at the ICU, they drew pictures together and watched “George” (Brady’s name for “Curious George”), his favorite show. She was present with us, and those are the simple, treasured gifts we received through this blessing of “time”.
As much as I didn’t realize it at the time, nor do I know if I would have accepted it at the time, I believe God granted Meghan her wish of “wanting to go home”. It may not have been our plan, but it was his. He knew all she had endured. He knew she had fought the brave fight to the very end. He knew she touched and impacted so many lives and that this world was certainly a better place because of her. So, in his caring, loving way, he answered her and brought her to a beautiful place where she would suffer no more. A place where she would reunite with all those she dearly loved who passed before her. A place she would be CF free.
During church this past weekend a soft sound of bells ringing echoed throughout a good portion of mass. All I could think of was a line from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”; “Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings.” As a warmth filled my heart, I realized that the movie resembled that of Meghan’s life very much. Just as it took George Bailey a time of great darkness in his life to realize his impact in this world, so did it take one of Meghan’s darkest times to realize how blessed and loved she truly was and by how many. She was a beautiful spirit that graced us with her presence. She was an angel that walked this Earth and God knew she exceeded her limits and her “job” was complete.
When I lost my Dziadziu, one of the first significant losses in my life, Meghan told me that she found comfort as she imagined her loved ones sitting on a big white puffy cloud smiling down,. She said it might help provide me comfort and it did. And since her passing, I always see her on a white puffy cloud smiling down and always watching me. And yes Meghan, I do find comfort and thank you for that. I know she will continue to be a guiding light for so many and a guardian angel to the lucky ones. And I know I’m a lucky one.
I have been so blessed and loved every step of my journey with Meghan. She has not died, and I know we will not let her. She has just gone to a better place. Meghan, until we are together again, give big hugs to all our loved ones. Know your beauty will still radiate and shine and we won’t have to look far for it. We will find you in the radiant colors of the sunset, the beauty of the sky above, in every rainbow, and every time we smell the scent of a rose. Everything beautiful will have your mark. And your voice will be heard amidst the soft gentle breezes. We may not see or hear you physically, but we will feel your loving presence always and everywhere and your flame will continue to light the way for others and inspire many.
And while we wait for that amazing moment of being reunited, may we do each day what your message at the conclusion of your emails always said, and what you always did ~ Embrace today and smile because it happened.~