It was a shock when Gary was diagnosed with lung cancer and a deep loss when he died on December 31, 2013. Gary was a lovely man, one of the 'good guys', a great friend, husband and father. At the Memorial, friends and family told wonderful stories that exemplified his character and personality.
He didn't know before he died that he would have been a grandfather, but a grand baby is on its way to the delight of Judy and his family and friends.
We had an emotional day remembering Gary as the person we knew, and the life he lived and the profound realization that we had him no more. We also thought of Judy and the new life she would need to create for herself; and their grandchild who would never know him personally, and his children who would miss his wit, wisdom and love.
All of us face this but it doesn't seem real until it happens to us or people we love. These occasions are significant in that they remind us of our own mortality and how precious our lives are so we get a chance to reassess and reboot, if necessary.
The Memorial was held in our home town in South Dakota so many old friends and classmates were there which provided the joy of the day. I was reacquainted with friends from high school that were 18 or 19 the last time we saw each other- that is 45+ years! Boy, is that a reality check. I don't know about you, but I feel like 'myself' inside and if asked an age, it would be 20 something. So when meeting with high school friends after that time apart, the reality of 'real age' hits hard!
(L to R)Judy McKay Schroeder, me, Linda McFarland Engel, Quindrid Albert Godden, Sue Miller Tuttle
|Old college friends; Me, Judy and Carol in front of the Campanile|
on campus of SDSU
|(Front) Craig & Judy Rearick (Back) Russ & Carol|
Lovegren, Mark and me
And finally a special shout out to my sister-in-law, Marilyn, who is recovering from triple bypass heart surgery. We love you and are so happy you are on the road to recovery.
|Mark and Marilyn a couple days before surgery|
Grandma Carolyn making granddaughter, Ava,
smile while great aunt, Marilyn, and great uncle,
Mark, look on