Sunday, June 19, 2011

Quite a Day

Yesterday was Fred's Celebration of Life. David and I drove my parents to Seattle and accompanied them; Gregg was unable to join us, because he was in an airplane, en route from Italy, where he has been working for nearly two weeks.

Fred's family and friends gathered in an elegant club and toasted his beautiful life. His Marine Corps helmet (with bullet holes in it), Purple Heart medal, and folded American flag were on display at the entry. Photographs, newspaper articles and poems were displayed around the room.

My father gave a lovely eulogy, describing Fred's sterling character; I am very proud of the job he did with this difficult task. Another close friend also spoke of their many years of friendship, and Fred's gifts of loyalty and integrity.

Upon seeing Fred's elder son, I began to cry; he looks so much like him. He also looks like Charlotte, but the resemblance to Fred was enough to set me off. His words to the group about his father - his business partner and best friend - were deeply moving. He told us of Fred's words from his hospital bed, clearly stating his desire to host this very party. His family honored that desire well.

Their grandson, who is a musician, played the piano, spoke graciously about Fred, and sang elegantly. That required three more tissues from my purse.

This group of friends has had to bid goodbye to four friends in the past month. My heart hurts for them. Getting older is a privilege, but it is not easy. This generation of men, who have worked hard, sacrificed, served their country and cared for their wives and families, deserves to be honored and saluted. They are not replaceable. Their example should be held up - and followed.

It is wonderful to have Gregg back at home with us - the perfect ending to a deeply stirring day.
Happy Father's Day to all of you dads out there!


Elizabeth said...

I am so sorry for your loss and deeply respect the words you've written about that generation of men -- it's something that I'll think about all day.

Happy Father's Day to your Gregg -- surely there are few fathers as amazing as he!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh, I am crying just reading about Fred's service. So glad you were able to be there with the family.
Love that photo of Gregg with the cute. And the snapshot of your Dad with his babies....priceless!!!!!
Wishing you a beautiful day with your family.

ps. If Gregg ever needs a handy dandy assistant on these dreadful trips to Italy, I could fit it in. :)

Karen said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Karen. What a generation of men, and my dad amongst them. It is hard to say goodbye to someone so beloved and special to you all. I am sorry for everyone's loss and know it will be a valley of suffering for you all. Loved seeing pics of Gregg and your dad. I am so thankful for the good men who stand by their families.

Jenna said...

my name is Jenna and I came across your blog. Ur blog is so special and amazing. U are a special and caring person. I am sad to hear your friend passed away, but I am glad his celebration of life was special. I was born with a rare life threatening disease. I also love it when people sign my guestbook.

Jim said...

Karen, I agree that the generation of your father was a very special one. They will certainly never be replaced. Hopefully copied.
All the best.