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Three On Thursday

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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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This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. How wonderful to remember someone you lost like this, with family and help and community. It’s still sad to have lost him, but every time you write about it, I also feel the warmth and connection between all the people that miss him. (I’m struggling to find words for this, I hope you understand what I mean – sometimes my English just isn’t good enough).
    Wishing you all the strength you need for the coming days!

  2. ‘..the way his story ended isn’t the end’–what a perfect way to say it. Wishing all of you everything you need this Saturday, which it sounds like you’ve got. (Each other.) And then, some rest.

  3. I think you mentioned the service once a while ago, and to be honest, I’ve been thinking about it and your family often ever since then. A small, intimate gathering might have been easier in a lot of ways, but it’s clear you can’t contain all the love for Randy, Dale, and the whole Julius family. Sending you all the love, strength, good and healing thoughts that you might need, for Saturday and beyond. XO

  4. Oh Carole, this sounds like it will just be a lovely service. Sad, yes. But also beautiful. Sending you and your family strength, love and all the best juju.

  5. You are blessed Carole. And as I’ve said before, so many folks are blessed to have you in their lives. I know Saturday will be an amazing day.

  6. Thank you for the link allowing us to virtually participate and I hope that you will feel my virtual love and support, joining with so many others – to surround you all as you gather to celebrate Randy. Much love to you, my dear friend XO

  7. I love that you’re putting together this very special event that I know will mean so much to you, Dale, Mary,Jack and all the rest. Know that we love you and will be thinking about you, giving you a virtual hug.

  8. Carole, I am so sorry for your loss. I will definitely be sending good thoughts your way on Saturday. What a wonderful, loving tribute to Randy. I hope the event brings your family a measure of peace.

  9. I wish I could be there with you in person, Carole. Please know I’ll be there with you in spirit (and virtually as well). This service will be so good for all of you . . . together. XOXO

  10. I am sending all my love to you and your family, Carole. I am glad to hear that you are feeling loved and supported by friends and family around you. In my experience, it can take the loss of a loved one to remind us how many people care about us — in your case, I think you’re getting a much bigger picture of all the lives Randy touched. Something we say in my faith when someone dies is “May their memory be for a blessing.” I wish that for all of you who loved Randy.

  11. Carole, I send blessings and prayers to you and your family, Randy’s loved ones and his friends. It is obvious that he brought much happiness and sunshine to so many; his goodness and giving will bring you peace throughout this time.

    Thank you for sharing; know that we too celebrate his life.

  12. Your celebration and memorial sounds like it will be beautiful . I admire your strength in being the MC. Sending all the warmth and light to you and your family. xo

  13. Peace and comfort to you and your family this weekend. Lots of people will be there with you all in spirit.

  14. Wait! Wait! Wait! Okay, I think I’m way too old and it can’t possibly be but…. Randy looks SO familiar in that first picture! Any chance he was playing music in Richmond and/or Nashville in the late ’70’s early 80’s and had a 45 (not even an album, just a 45) with cover sleeve with a black and white picture of him and a very thorny rose? For the life of me I can’t remember his last name but I had a Massive crush and absolutely LOVED the song.
    That being said… I wish you peace and blessings this Saturday.

  15. I will certainly be thinking of you and yours this Saturday, Carole. I think your plans sound perfect for the celebration of such a wonderful life. I hope this brings all of you peace and a measure of comfort. Just pause some time in the ceremony and remember all of us who love you from afar.

  16. I was attending a fabulous event about reimagining paradigms today. I want you to know that I held y’all in my heart … and I can only trust that some of that energy made its way to y’all. peace, blessings and love.

  17. I am sure there were many challenges [and a few tears] to bring this all together. Hopefully the memories of this service and it’s planning will help the healing process. Continuing to send hugs and kind thoughts.

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