I don’t think I told you all but we’re having a memorial service for Randy this Saturday. It’s Leap Day and our family found something very appealing about holding this service on this year’s extra day. A day that’s special and doesn’t come around every year feels right. Plus we have the bonus of not having to face the anniversary of this memorial service until 2024. Planning this thing has been a mixed bag. Sometimes it’s been stressful, sometimes it’s been a good distraction, and sometimes it’s been a bit of work because we’re coordinating a lot of moving parts, including people and technology. I explained to a friend the other day that it’s like planning a wedding but without the associated happiness. All of this is to illustrate why I’m sharing a list of things I’m grateful for right now because they all pretty much relate to this.
- I’m grateful for the help of friends. I alluded to this yesterday but to expand on it, I’m grateful for people who instantly said yes when I asked them to speak at the service, whether it was to sing a song or read a poem or offer a remembrance of Randy. I find it miraculous that literally every single person we approached said yes to whatever it was we asked them to do. I’m also grateful for people who have worked with us to create the program, slideshows, playlists and more. Some of this has been way above my pay grade and I know how fortunate I am to have people who know how to do this sort of thing when I don’t have a clue. Finally, I’m grateful to friends who have offered to bake, to host, to serve, and to comfort. I get all verklempt when I think about how much love has come our way at a time when it has truly been needed.
- I’m grateful for my family. My oldest stepson Brant has traveled from Florida for the first time in many years to be with us. Everyone is taking some time off from work to be together and just hang out. To reminisce and extend comfort, to cook food and share it, to tell funny stories and say remember when. Even though I’m someone who gets a lot of my strength from alone time I’m still very excited about spending time with the people who make our family the crazy thing that it is.
- I’m grateful for Randy’s legacy. In putting together the service, we have looked at so many photos and documents that Randy saved . . . he even had a letter I wrote to him from before Dale and I were married asking him to read at an event we were having at the library. There are videos of the band and videos of family gatherings and hunting trips. There are awards and cards and so many mementos. They point to a life well lived and a person who was so well loved. They illustrate the many roles Randy played in the lives of others, as a friend, a teacher, a mentor, and a colleague. They show that the way his story ended isn’t the end, that the things he shared with others through his writing, his music, his artwork and more will guarantee that he will be remembered forever.
Thanks for listening to this and thanks for all of the grace you have sent our way. If you’d like to read Randy’s obituary, written so lovingly by his wife, Mary, you can find it here. And if you could send us good and healing thoughts for Saturday that would be wonderful. Finally, if you’re so inclined, please know that you can watch the service live on our town’s Community Access Channel. Just go to EB-CAM and select Channel 9. I’ll be the Master of Ceremonies so for those of you wondering what a real Boston accent sounds like . . . this is your chance to hear mine!
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