Devine site

A little bit about my day, my family, and my knitting.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm Back!

It's been almost a month since my last post. I want to thank everyone who wrote comments to that post. Your words and caring were very comforting to me. So it's time to let you know that I am doing fine. I sat Shiva for three days during which a lot of my family, friends, coworkers as well as Mom's friends, Gerry's friends and coworkers, and his brother and sister-in-law. Of course, my kids were here too and they were unbelievably wonderful (Avi made a huge hit as well). We had a lovely memorial service for Gerry that Sunday. Gerry was in AA with 20 1/2 years of sobriety. Since he wasn't a religious person I decided that it was most fitting to have the service where he went to AA meetings. It was supposed to be for an hour but at 2 hours I had to tap my watch to have our friend stop it (he was the moderator). He alternated saying a few words with having each of Gerry's 3 other best friends talk. Then my daughter Alison spoke, then me, my brother in law (for 2 min) and it was then opened to anyone who wished to talk. It was wonderful - no one painted Gerry as a "saint" as so  many people do for those who have died. They all told of Gerry as someone who wasn't always easy to deal with but who, for many of them, saved their lives, contributed to them staying sober and getting their life back on track... as someone who lived life to the fullest... who was caring, loving (even when being tough); as someone with a strong will to live, as evidenced by the fight he gave to his cancer. Alison told how, while she wouldn't have picked Gerry as a husband for her mother (me), was impressed with him as he dealt with his family and ours, and how he was an amazing grandfather to Avi (who really was his step-grandson). The last person to speak was a woman who we knew several years ago. She told how she had just gotten home to Texas from a trip to NY/Washington, DC with her 4 yr old daughter and husband, the night before the service. She put her daughter to bed saying, "Mommy is SO done traveling. I'm SO tired." Then she got the call about Gerry and the service, turned to her husband and said, "I have to go to Florida," picked up the little girl from bed at 4:30 AM and flew here to attend and speak. THIS is how much he meant to people! It was such a fitting closure for all of us.

My family, friends and neighbors were also so generous. Many sent or made food to be served during the Shiva. Many made donations to either Hospice by the Sea , MD Anderson Cancer Center or other Cancer organizations in Gerry's name. My friend Melinda made a fabulous collage of  Gerry pictures that she brought to the service (plus a huge display of flowers for the service from her husband John, the best man at our wedding). In two weeks I am flying to New Jersey to attend the christening of Gerry's newest grandnephew. The day after that we are gathering at Gerry's parent's gravesite. He wanted some of his ashes placed there and the family would like closure too, so we are having a memorial service/celebration of life, similar to what we did here. Melinda is shipping the collage up to NJ for the service and I will bring it back on the plane. Gerry's other niece graciously offered to have everyone back to her house for refreshments afterward. I am so happy to have been given this Devine family - they are certainly keepers!

Two weeks after Gerry passed away his friend Rick rented a really nice boat and took Mom, John, Melinda and our friend Steve out in the Atlantic Ocean to scatter Gerry's ashes (and those of our dog Cocktail, who we put to sleep Oct. 2006). Gerry wanted most of his ashes on the Delray Reef where he had scattered the ashes of Robert C, an older gentleman who Gerry took care of when Robert had lung cancer and was living with Gerry (before I came along). When I released Cocktail's ashes they sunk right down into the water. When I let go of Gerry's they stayed in a cloud on top of the water, not any veering off,  as if he was searching for just the right spot to rest in. It was rather cool! 

I am back at work and it's good. I have friends there and everyone is very nice! We started two days late due to the Tropical Storm (Fay). My class is good so far - I have 19 kids - but I know more will be coming in the next two or three weeks. 

Everyone asks if I am lonely. No, not really. I spend as much time as I want at work to get things done. At home I am mostly on the computer or watching TIVO'd Olympics (it's great to zip through what I am not interested in). The first few weeks I had so much to take care of - canceling this, transferring that, setting up appointments for house stuff, etc. Most of that is behind me (and how lucky I had all that experience when dealing with doctors, health benefits, etc, so I can hold my own with various company representatives). What is true is that I often miss Gerry - his company, his humor, his feet against mine in bed, going to the movies together, and more. But I am also very grateful for the 8 years that we were together, for the fun, the insights into people he taught me about, the friends and family he bequeathed me, and the love he gave to my family. 

2 Comments:

  • At 7:54 AM, Blogger Sarah said…

    May he rest in peace.

    Hugs,

     
  • At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Donna S. said…

    Just got home & was checking on you. Thanks for letting us hear you are ok.

     

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