My Mother's Eulogy

In Memoriam: Doloris Rae Rowe Aldous

November 11, 1950 to August 25, 2023

Our beloved mother shed her mortal shell at around nine in the morning on Friday, August 25, at her home in Mountain Home, Idaho. She was diagnosed with kidney cancer in the spring of 2022 and fought it for a long time, but it eventually spread throughout her body until it took her life.

Doloris was born at home in Thornton, Idaho on November 11, 1950 to Doris and Tom Rowe. Of the ten children born to her parents, eight survived to adulthood, and Doloris was the fifth. The family lived in Thornton until Mama was eight, when they moved to Blackfoot. On November 10, 1973, about one month after her father passed away of a massive heart attack, she married our father, Myles, and they went on to have five children. She graduated from Blackfoot High School in 1969 and earned an associate degree in business management from the University of Phoenix when she was in her sixties. Her first job was driving a potato truck in the fall of 1967. She worked a variety of jobs in different fields until her retirement in 2012. She and Daddy had four more years together until his death on April 15, 2016 made her a widow. From then on, she was pretty much on her own.

Mama was not only the most faithful follower of the Path, she was one of the people who helped to shape it. She was the most moral person I have ever met, and I often went to her for advice if I had a moral dilemma. Some of the Core Tenets and Virtues of the Path were inspired by the way she lived her life, which is why she is named as a Patron Saint as well as being recognized in the Acknowledgements in the Book of the Path.

Our mother was a generous-hearted woman who tended to adopt our spouses and friends, remembering their birthdays and welcoming them into her home as if they were her own children. Several of our friends -and even former spouses- still remain part of the family, drawn in and held together by the love that she held for all of us. Thanksgiving Day became the holiday when we all got together, and it always made her happy to see her children getting along and supporting each other. All of us tried to be on our best behavior in front of her, even when we had our quarrels outside of her view.

Mama was also quite creative, able to draw, crochet, sew, and craft things like earrings. She made most of her blouses and loved to embellish thrift store pants with birds and flowers. All of us have hand-made gifts from her that are treasured family hierlooms. She loved peacocks, hummingbirds, elephants, and tigers, and images of those animals could be found all over her house. Grandmama’s house was a magical place for her grandchidlren and great-grandchildren, full of toys and treats and good times. Family gatherings were loud and boisterous and full of the sound of laughter.

The most important lesson I learned from my mother is that a woman must be her own person, instead of defining herself solely as a spouse or parent. Some women do not know how to Balance their love for their children with love for themselves, but our mother did. She had friends, and hobbies, and work, and encouraged her children to grow into responsible, self-reliant adults. This was unusual in the environment we lived in at the time; a lot of my friends had a toxic relationship with their mothers. I never felt pressured to follow one specific career path or to pursue whatever dreams she gave up to become a mother. I know she sacrificed a lot for us, but she never used that against us. Mama took pride in her children’s accomplishments without being overbearing or trying to control us, and we all appreciated that. She was always the first person I would call with good news, because I knew she would be happy for me and celebrate with me, whatever it was.

As far as I know, the only source of unhappiness in my mother’s life was her weight, which she struggled with since her second pregnancy. My father was not as good to her as he should have been because of her weight, which really did not help. However, the extra weight may have prolonged her life by months, if not years, because her body had reserves to draw upon when the cancer began to take hold. Thanks in part to her weight, we had some time with our mother, time to make memories with her that we can treasure and share with our grandchildren. She was also able to see all of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren before her passing.

Our mother’s true legacy is this big, loud, loving clan of people that only exists because she said yes to a man with a ring way back in 1973. The best way to honor her memory is to remain as loving towards one another as we can be.


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