I usually plan a trip home around Memorial Day. I love helping Mom put the urns out at the cemetery and we usually do the plants on her patio at the same time. This year, I went up the end of April, so I didn’t make another trip for Memorial Day. I am feeling very sad today that I am not up there and a part of the formal remembrances of those I have loved and lost. I don’t REALLY need a special occassion for this, mind you, because I remember them and think of them every day of my life. But, it is a ritual that is very dear to me and I am missing it today!!!
So — I will create a formal tribute here! The ones I’ve chosen to write about are the ones that I “visit” when I am in the area because they are especially dear to me. Here they are – in order of the dates they left to join the angels.
David was a very special friend. I worked with his wife, Connie, and was friends with her and her sisters. Through her, I met David. He had a band – Definance – that was really very good! They played all the bars, parties, and jamborees around town. I followed them around wherever they played and became very close friends with all of them – in particular, David – he came to be like an older, very protective brother to me and I loved him dearly. David could take any Bob Seger, Elvis, or Southern Rock band song and make it his own – he had a great talent! David died way before his time in a horrible accident at the age of 41! He was a Sheriff’s Deputy – one night he was out patrolling and came up on a car abandoned on the side of the road. He parked his patrol car behind the abandoned car to shine the lights on it while he stood between them to get the license #. A drunk driver came speeding along and crashed into the patrol car, which then pinned David between the cars. He was left paralyzed and suffered greatly for about 8 months after the accident. Then, on Sept 8, 1989, David stopped suffering and went to sing with the angels. To this day, I refuse to walk between parked cars or between a car and a stationary object (like a wall) unless there are no alternatives!!!! I also caution others to please use the same caution.
Here are some photos of my dear friend, David Whittier and his wife Connie.
I have three guardian angels that are always with me – one is my Grandmother. Grandma was a very strong influence in my life. She taught me many things that will remain with me forever. She was a very strong willed woman who over came the loss of her first son, Laverne, when he was 5 years old and a life time of progressive nerve deafness. I admire her, love her, and miss her with all my heart! I wrote a post about a year ago that had some memories and stories about her – click here to read more about my dear Grandma. Grandma passed away on April 3, 1995. Here are some photos of Grandma as a young woman and as I will always remember her.
The second guardian angel on my shoulder is my Grandfather. Grandpa collapsed in the place he love to be in most – his garden – and passed away later that day on August 16, 1998. Grandpa was strict, opinionated, and strong! But he was also gentle, loving, and cared deeply for family and friends. I wrote a previous tribute post for him that you can read by clicking here. Grandpa always made me feel special and I felt the same way about him. Here is Grandpa as a young man and the way I will always remember him – either showing off a big catch of northern pike or coho salmon or posing with his huge tomato plants.
The third guardian angel watching over me is my Poppie! Charlie started out as a friend of the family and later married my mother! But, even long before he became our official step father, we adopted him as our “DAD” and he filled the role of the father I always wanted! I adored him – he was my friend and my hero! I also wrote a previous post about him – click here to read about how special he was to me…. Charlie left us on March 20, 1999, but will be in our hearts forever! Here are some shots of my Poppie. One of which is of the most special time we shared – when he walked me down the aisle at my wedding (by the way, the white haired gentleman to the left of us is my Grandpa looking on):
Aunt Betty just recently passed away – Dec 19, 2008. She was my Grandmother’s sister, so she was my Great Aunt. She was a gentle lady – soft spoken and “southern” in nature. She left our home town when she was a young woman to work in Washington, DC. She later married and settled on the eastern shore of Maryland and spent most of her adult life there. We used to visit her in the summers and learned how to catch crab using a chicken neck tied to a string and a fish net from the dock behind their home. Betty and I went on a cruise together and had other adventures – like a day trip to Niagara Falls and into Canada with her and my Grandma. Betty loved tea, so it was absolutely perfect when her son, Mike, bought a beautiful blue tea pot for her ashes. During my trip home in April, we had the memorial service for her and buried her ashes, in that lovely blue tea pot with a tea bag in the lid, in Mt. Albion Cemetery – right where she wanted to be among other family members. Of all my extended relatives, Betty was always most special to me – we shared a lot of laughs and adventures! Here is my dear Aunt Betty as a young woman and as I will always remember her:
There are many others that I think of when I pause to remember those who touched my life and my heart over the years! I have lost some very special people and miss them all terribly! But, these are the ones most dear and closest to me. They are always in my thoughts and it takes very little to send me off to a time or memory that we shared.
I love and miss you all……