Author Topic: Coming up on one year....  (Read 11662 times)

gaberax

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Coming up on one year....
« on: July 09, 2012, 10:31:01 AM »
I have sent out invitations to a graveside memorial service to family and friends for this coming Saturday.  The plan is to read a few things, offer a few prayers and release a single white balloon at the end.  Then there will be a luncheon at Denise's sister's house.

Since you guys have provided so much to me in this last year, I thought I'd let you read the invitation and my part of the ceremony.

The invitation:
Memorial for Denise E******. Saturday, July 14, 2012.

This coming Saturday, July 14, 2012 from noon till 12:30pm, there will be a graveside memorial service marking the one year anniversary of Denise's passing. I am inviting anyone who wishes to come to remember Denise to please plan on attending. If you decide to come, I encouraged you to bring a paragraph or two with a thought, prayer or poem inspired by Denise to be read at the service. If you would rather have your note read for you, that can be arranged.

Immediately after the ceremony, lunch will be served at Denise's sister Jane's house at approximatly 1pm. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Directions will be provided at the service.

If you would like to attend please let me know with a phone call or email as the luncheon will be catered (catering provided by S*********) and I would like to get a rough head count before placing the final order.

My cell phone is : (removed)
My email address is :  (removed)

If you cannot attend but would like to include a note with your thoughts to be read at the ceremony, please send me an email or contact me personally and I will send you my mailing address.

If you cannot attend and would rather not send a note, please take a moment around noon this Saturday and remember a wonderful person who was taken from us way too soon. I thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers. May God bless you all.

The address for St John's is below:

St John The Evangelist Parish
13305 Long Green Pike
Hydes, MD 21082


Thoughts from me to Denise:

I would like to thank you all for coming.  Tomorrow, July 15, marks the one year anniversary of Denise's death.  At times, it is hard for me to believe it has been a year. And yet, a year has passed. And it has been so very, very hard.   I miss Denise. I ache for her.  That yearning for her, her presence, is with me every moment of every day. Her loss has changed me. I am not the same man I was a year ago, before Denise became sick and died. I often feel that the "Bob" I was before died with Denise that day a year ago.  Or maybe I am just now becoming aware of the subtle changes that Denise has had on me through the years we were together.  At this memorial service I wanted to celebrate Denise as I knew her and highlight how she taught me how to live, to laugh and to love.


Denise lived her life fully and in doing so, showed me how to enjoy life.  She was warm, honest and sincere.  Almost from the moment we fell in love (and,yes, we often talked about that specific moment) she was by my side.  She got up early every morning, made us breakfast and ate with me.  She packed healthy lunches for me. She kissed me often, encouraged me, told me the truth when I needed to hear it, held me when I was overwhelmed, guided me when I needed it, she protected me...simply, she loved me.  She pointed out to a very foolish me, often, what was important in life.  Sometimes, when we would be driving around in my truck and we would pass some grand house I would sigh and mutter "I wonder what this guy does for a living" or "what am I doing wrong?"  She would smile at me and say, "They're not happy. Not like us."  And I would smile and realize that she was right.


I was a more lighthearted man when Denise was alive. Denise and I would  laugh often.  We danced slowly in the kitchen. I played my guitar in bed in the dark and we sang songs together.  She was my harmony singer.  We celebrated with family.  We dressed up gingerbread men.  We collected toys. We went to flea markets. We read books to one another. We stopped by the roadside and took pictures with the sunflowers. We fed birds and squirrels.  We planted a garden. We went to Broadway shows, holiday celebrations, family celebrations, art museums, historical sites, fine restaurants and fine hotels. We learned little things about each other along the way. For me it was as wonderful and as intimate as being with another can get.  She taught me how to argue correctly.  She drew me out of my cave when I was angry, She soothed the madman in me when I was raging. She held me through the night.

Denise helped me raise my twin daughters ( a terrifying prospect for me, a man lost in the alien world of women.)  She said I helped her with her relationships with her sons.  We became a family.  She literally made me weak in the knees.  She literally took my breath away when she walked in a room.  I physically had to get next to her....to hold her hand...to touch her...to kiss her.  One time, years before she got sick, we were having a conversation about what we would do if something ever happened to the other.  I wasn't comfortable with the conversation so I gave her the answer I thought she wanted to hear.  Denise had always been jealous (although I loved her madly.)  So when she asked if I would love again, I said "No, honey, after you I am hanging up my spurs with women."  I was surprised when she got mad.  She asked me "Has loving me been so bad?"  "No, of course not," I spluttered, "Loving you has been the best thing to ever happen to me." "Then, if something ever happens to me, I want you to love again.  I want you to be happy," she said.

But I was happy.  Happier than any time in my life. And so a year later, I am struggling.  Moving on in a new house.  Dating another.  Both things, I have a sneaking suspicion, Denise had some hand in arranging. The coincidences are so strong in each instance. If you only knew how that woman thought. She gave me everything she had in life...and provided for me beyond.  Her loss has shaken my belief system to the core and I have wrestled with some big questions in this last year...questions on the meaning of life, on death, on God and the hereafter. In the end, the only thing I know for sure is this...Denise was here and loved me with everything  she had.  And I loved her then with all my heart. I still do.

Let me conclude with one of our "standard" replies to each other, one I am certain that she initiated.  One would say, "Do you love me?"  And the reply, "Always and forever."  I miss you, my darling. And I love you. Always and forever.

Death is Nothing at All
by Henry Scott Holland

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

browneyedgirl

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 11:33:01 AM »
(((((((((((((((Bob)))))))))))))))))

Will be thinking of you on Saturday. 

Your words are so beautiful and touched my heart.  Thank you for sharing. 
Tony Repola 07/20/66 – 03/29/09
I know you are fishing in the oceans and streams of heaven

sonya

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2012, 11:37:13 AM »
((((((((((((Bob)))))))))))

Thank you so much for trusting in us so much to share those things. The are, as always, beautifully written and express a deep and sincere love that the two of you shared.
I feel lucky to have had Tone as long as I did, wish desperately that he was still here, and have been trying to figure out what to do for him as his one year anniversary approaches.
I think that you have just made that very clear for me. Thank you.

I hope that you have a wonderful day celebrating her life and love, even though I know it will be really tough. I would love to hear more when you are ready.
Take good care,

SOn xxx
Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy

MyLou

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2012, 03:47:20 PM »
(((((((((((((( Bob ))))))))))))))

Thank you for sharing.  Just so so beautiful. 

Sending you peace also for your friends and family.


Always

Lisa
"Soulmates Forever"

I miss you every second of everyday My Love

I know I will see you again

Halfpint

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 05:11:42 PM »
Very touching.

Wishing the best for you on Saturday.

Terry

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2012, 06:40:38 PM »

Oh My! Bob....I was crying after reading the invitation before I even read your thoughts on Denise. :( Thanks for sharing this with us. What a beautiful way to celebrate Denise's life.

I don't believe in coincidences, either so I'm with you that Denise has had (and will continue to) a hand in your future happiness and will be with you while you're facing life's challenges, too. Love never dies.

(((((((((Bob)))))))))

Love,
Terry

Jean D

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 07:08:18 PM »
((((((((((((((((Bob))))))))))))))))))))))

Such beautiful thoughts and feelings. I don't know what I am doing this coming Saturday, but I do know what I will be doing at noon...saying a prayer for your Denise and you...

Jean

hixguy

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 09:57:11 AM »
Well though out and said beautifully.  It will always hurt having lost our partners, but at least we have admirable and loving memories of them.  The fact we miss them so much, that their absence has changed us in so many ways just demonstrates how important they were to us.  That does not happen often in life.


Will be there on Saturday in my thoughts.   Andy

johnkmurray

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2012, 03:09:19 PM »
((((Bob))))

Well done. I couldn't give that speech, not without breaking down. Just reading it brought on a few tears. Ihink that's why I so often play the pipes for Kit - I can play the music where my voice would fail me. I'll play a tune or three for Denise on Saturday.

John

Terry

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 06:37:49 PM »

I'll play a tune or three for Denise on Saturday.


How very thoughtful. ((((((((John))))))))

gaberax

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 10:35:13 PM »

I'll play a tune or three for Denise on Saturday.


How very thoughtful. ((((((((John))))))))

Yes.  And thanks to all of you beautiful people for your support over this past year.  Literally would not have made it without you.

Bob

angie

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 02:19:56 PM »
((((((((((((((((((((BOB)))))))))))))))))

Thankyou so much for sharing this Bob xxxxx

What you have planned and written is truly beautiful.
You and Denise will be in my thoughts on Saturday
I always put up a couple of balloons on a Saturday so I will put one up for your Denise too.xxx

All my love
HUGE HUGS
Angie
XXXXX

arthur

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2012, 10:11:40 PM »
Bob-what a beautiful tribute to this wonderful woman who was your wife. Almost everything you said about you and her in your tribute echoes Maureen's life and death and my own life without her. Take care Bob,(((((BOB)))))) arthur

gaberax

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2012, 01:01:08 PM »
A message I just posted to my facebook page:

Thanks to family and friends who attended, sent thoughts and prayers or contributed in any way to the one year memorial service held at noon today for my beloved Denise.  The clouds parted long enough to allow the celebration to go on as scheduled.
 
Three beautiful pictures of Denise rested on small tables behind the marker.  A couple of dozen roses were strewn around the pictures.  I lit a candle on the marker and three white balloons sat close behind.  One of my sisters and one of my daughters read passages written by Denise's friends and co-workers.  My other sister read a passage supplied by the priest that presided over Denise's funeral.

I could barely make it through my prepared text. I cried throughout. Then a nice poem I had stumbled upon. When I finished everyone held hands and we shared  the Lord's Prayer.

Finally, I called my 5 year old grandson and 3 year old granddaughter up. I asked my grandson to cut loose the 3 white balloons which he did joyfully. He said, "Fly up to heaven!"  I asked my granddaughter to pass out the roses to all the attendees which she did dutifully.  When she ran out of roses she handed out the remaining baby's breath.

My grandson came up to me then and said, "Pop-pop, I am going to let you borrow my blankee. It will make you feel better so you don't cry." He handed me a little striped towel which I hung around my neck. He said, "Pop-pop, you can keep that till tomorrow. I have another one."

Most of those attending went back to Denise's sister' house for a delicious catered lunch.

The ceremony was wonderful and I think a great tribute to a wonderful, wonderful woman.  Denise, I love and miss you.

Thanks again to everyone.

Terry

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Re: Coming up on one year....
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2012, 01:23:47 PM »

Oh Bob! Thanks so much for sharing Denise's special tribute with us. Aren't those little ones just precious? My Granddaughter would always comfort me when others were uncomfortable doing so. If adults could only be children a little while longer! :)

And, a close family you are to be sure; including the children, grandchildren...they are learning from you, Bob how to honor someone they love in a beautiful, caring fashion. Too often we see others continuing on with no thought for anyone but themselves as they see themselves as a victim when the real victim is the one who died.

I am so happy to have read this today, it truly warmed my heart. There is such a stigma on death and grieving that so many families fall victim to and in the process they end up not honoring their loved ones. And, I have to ask, "Were they really loved?" Sometimes I don't wish to know the answer.

((((((((Bob & Denise))))))))

Love,
Terry