When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”~ Paul Coelho

"Some Mad Hope..."
A young and vital child knows no limit to his own will, and it is the only reality to him. It is not that he wants at the outset to fight other wills, but that they simply do not exist for him. Like the artist, he goes forth to the work of creation, gloriously alone.
Jane Harrison

Jude Harzer Artist/Art Educator

Jude Harzer Artist/Art Educator
My art is a reflection of my effort to recognize and embrace the beauty in the world around me, even when it seems most difficult to find. Contact me at judiharz@aol.com or visit my website at http://www.judeharzerfineart.com

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"Most of us have two lives- the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance."Steven Pressfield

"The greatest freedoms are freedom from regret, freedom from fear, freedom from anxiety, and freedom from sorrow."
Thich Nhat Hanh

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Phyllis Frances Vereb: Remembrances of Our Mother

Phyllis Frances Vereb, 73, passed away at Bayshore Hospital in the late evening of Dec. 4th, surrounded by her loving family. Phyllis was born on July 27, 1940 in Trenton, NJ to parents Edward and Bernadette Wierzbicki. Visually impaired since birth, this platinum blonde beauty with a “Colgate” smile was raised, along with her younger sister and brother, by their devoted mother, in their Lalor Street home where Mrs. Wierzbicki remained until her death in January, 2008 at the age of 87. The passing of Phyllis’s mother, who was her most treasured friend and greatest supporter, was a profoundly sad event in her life.

Phyllis graduated from Cathedral High School in 1958 before marrying her childhood sweetheart David Vereb in 1960. Together they had six children, all of whom were raised in Trenton before the family relocated to Clarksburg, NJ, Millstone Township in 1972. Phyllis independently reared her spirited brood of six in this picturesque Monmouth County farming community. She proudly lived in her Stagecoach home residence until her recent fall and subsequent illness in late October.

Phyllis leaves behind her beloved six children: Lisa Diez, (CA), David P. Vereb (VA), Judith Harzer (NJ), Beth Martin (NJ), Christopher Vereb (NJ), Robert Vereb (VA) and thirteen grandchildren: Christopher, Shannon, Kelly, Christina, Justin, Maurice, Robert, Mary, Michael, Mario, Patricia, Jordan and Jacob. She helped to create and inspire all of these beautiful, passionate and accomplished young lives. She is also survived by many valued immediate and extended family members and friends. Phyllis was pre-desceased by both of her parents and her ex-husband.

When remembering Phyllis, her children wish to recall her devout faith and the affirmations that motivated her despite a life filled with tragedy and hardship. Daily she would assert, “This too shall pass.” “ One day at a time.” “Patience is a virtue.” and “Life is easy as long as you don’t weaken.” Phyllis loved music, especially Johnny Mathis and Broadway show tunes. She played the accordion as a child and was a graceful dancer mastering the Lindy, Jitterbug, Waltz and Polka. Phyllis valued art, literature and fashion, having been a model for local Trenton department stores as a young woman. She prided herself on baking authentic traditional Polish holiday nut rolls and Chrusciki for her family. She appreciated history, Shark Week, Jeopardy, the ocean, Anne of Green Gables, dogs, the color pink and wonderful food. She adopted the butterfly as a symbol for her life as it represented freedom, beauty, evolution and flight. And with what little she had, Phyllis regularly contributed to charities and organizations that supported children and the underprivileged. These are the memories that help define who Phyllis was and how her family wishes to remember her.

Phyllis will be cremated and celebrated privately by her immediate family. She was recognized, post mortem by the New Jersey Sharing Network for a successful organ and tissue donation. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider making a donation to Catholic Charities who greatly assisted Phyllis while raising her children, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or the Blind Commission.


“to live in this world you must be able to do three things
 to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it;
 and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.” ~Mary Oliver

Jude, Art and Inspiration