Saturday, March 7, 2020

September 2019: Memorial for David

Posted:  March 7, 2020                                                     Previous Posts:
About: September 2019        August 2019: Painting, More HEAT, Carrie, Colin & Puzzles
                                                                         Extreme Heat and Endless Work    


September 1st was Colin’s first birthday and he had a mighty fine time with his cake.



I wonder if as much went in his mouth as on his face.



The next week I went to work on trimming up the grape arbor.  You have to have seen the last post to know how outrageously overgrown it was.   It is clearly going to have to have some structural support work or be taken completely down which would be a shame for these vigorous scuppernong grapes.



Tanner,  our lucky niece Ashley’s fiancé, came out that same day and did some serious clearing around the pond so it can now be seen again from the yard.  Thank you Tanner.


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He cut them down and hauled them away, load after load.

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A picture of the tired and hot workers.  I’m afraid the arbor repair is not going to make the memorial deadline.


While we were doing this,  Celia was starting  pre-school and loving it.



The week before the memorial I am frantically working on a slide show of David’s life.  Have you ever tried to go through someone’s life in pictures?  I was in tears most of the time.  In the end there were over 1000 pictures running constantly on the TV in the den during the gathering.  Roger had also brought a show which I put in the west porch just off of the kitchen.  Someone must have taken a picture of it but I can’t find it.




Two days before the memorial, Tanner lettered some parking signs for me marking the entry to the field Shannon had mowed for people to park in.  Thank goodness Tanner is a talented graphic designer.  No one would want to see my attempts at sign making.






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IMG_9979On the day before the memorial, Matthew, Carrie and the kids came to help with the set up.  I took these pictures of Celia just doing her thing and later realized that I also have pictures of her mother doing these same things if I could just find them.  

Celia is sitting in the tall legged oak canned child’s chair at the family oak table just as her mother did and then on the porch swing with her” friends” exactly as her mother did.   It was uncanny.  Hope I can find those long ago pictures.  It will make a nice comparison.


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Then here it was, the Fall Equinox and a gathering in honor of David’s Life.  I think it was one he would have enjoyed with his favorite food, his favorite people, in his favorite place. 

I worked, with lots of help thankfully,  for 4 and a half months to make it happen in a way and in this place that would have made him proud.  It was a labor of love and thankfully a beautiful day. 

My friend Pam made all the table cloths and decorations.   Her” assistant” followed her everywhere.   Thank you Pam!   This was a load off my mind.  Thanks also to Pam, my neighbors Phil and Kathy and Pam Sprouse the loan and delivery of chairs and tables so I didn’t have to rent any and had enough. 



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The food was David’s  favorite BBQ, both “Carolina Style” and “Virginia style” (meaning vinegar and sweet) from Paulie’s Pig Out just up the road, along with lots of pot luck fare brought by those who attended.   David never passed up a pot luck. They too were favorites of his.  There were two cakes for dessert,  of course they were THE CAKE for those of you who have followed us for the past 9 years.


IMG_0005With my camera, I took some of these pictures, Carrie took some, Pam took some.

But none of us got pictures of the delicious food.  Only this rather distant one from the end of the table as our nephew Ben serves up a plate after most everyone else had been through.

The tables were filled with family from Texas, North Carolina,  Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland as well as local neighbors and long time Charlottesville friends.

We’ve known Bob Mathany and Nancy, at the table below, since the late 70’s when we bought the farm.  Along with Bill Lanahan, Bob helped us reclaim the property and keep it up.   They are chatting with David’s sister Robin from Richmond.

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Celia and her daddy Matthew are sitting with Roger’s oldest daughter Karissa from Texas.

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Roger’s youngest daughter Abby and her fiancé Matt also from Texas.  They were married the next month and the Virginia family contingent attended their wedding in Texas. 

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Carrie sitting across from our friend and co-worker at UVA Pam Sprouse.  She worked with David for many years at the GCRC.  Next to Carrie is her friend since 2nd grade, Kate VanDerbeek whose mother, my good friend Pam, sits across from her.  And of course way down at the end is Colin looking on.


Perhaps our oldest friends here at the gathering are the Deuchers, Ted and Lynne.  We’ve known them since our two daughters went to kindergarten.
Allegra, Carrie’s oldest friend, is sitting next to her dad and across from my wonderful friend Laurie, who like Pam has supported me in all things.  They lift me up.


David’s position at the University necessitated that he wear a tie.  He was very particular about his ties and they were unique as the people he worked with will attest.  I saved a number of them and had the men of his family each pick one to take with them and hopefully wear in his memory.   Here are some of them modeling the ties.

From the left is his cousin Brian, his nephews Justin, Ben and David (his namesake) and his older brother Roger.  Brother Randal, cousin John, brother in law Ernie and friends Bob and Phil also took ties but were not in this picture.   Wish I’d taken close up pictures of the ties.  They really were great.


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While the grown ups were talking, the kids were playing.  The kids and David’s sister Robin that is. 

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Robin gets around.  Here she is in the background.  In the foreground are  Niece Amy clowning (at which she is very good).  Robin’s daughter Ashley, her fiancé Tanner and me.

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   Angela, our niece Amy’s wife,  Amy, Robin and me.  Is Angela a niece in  law?



Roger’s wife Carol chats with Carmen, Nephew Justin’s wife.  So wonderful of so many family members come so far.  Carol’s family from Texas and Carmen’s from Pennsylvania.

Carol and Carmen



IMG_0028I’m standing behind Bob and Nancy.  To Bob’s left is our terrific neighbor Phil.  Next to him is Kevin Sumter a most amazing dancer.  Next to him is Phil’s wife Kathy.  They live on the front of the farm lane and have been wonderful in helping to keep an eye on the property in our absence. 

To Kathy’s right is Lisa Morales Kevin’s partner of 19 years.  They have been friends of David’s ever since he first started trying to learn to swing dance nearly 20 years ago.  Lisa is a marvelous instructor and dancer.  She and Kevin are our Fred and  Ginger. 

It’s difficult to believe that Lisa also has Multiple Myeloma, a disease neither David nor I had ever heard of, before  he got it.  Sadly Lisa died from the disease just a little over 3 months after this picture was taken and 11 months after David’s death.  So very very sad.  She was 10 years younger than David.

So glad to have my friends and family around me on this difficult day.

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Time for dessert.  Chocolate cake with butter cream icing.  The traditional family cake.  Only David could make the delicious family pies.  DGB for David George Boyd.  We used our initials in many ways – DGB, SLB, CCB.  But this is the saddest one of all.

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After the eating was over,  folks gathered together for those who wanted to share memories of David.  I’m afraid I didn’t get many pictures of those who spoke such loving tributes to him.  They had my undivided attention.  This is of his older brother Roger who started us off.

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Remembering David.


Carrie, Allegra and Colin.

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Roger toasts his craft beer loving younger brother.  His eldest daughter Karissa beside him.


Sorry I took no pictures of the clean up after wards.  Many hands make the task easier.  Celia carted some things in her mother’s childhood wheelbarrow.  It was a bit of a trick to keep it balanced at first, but she got the hang of it.


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Everybody but Nana has something to push.


It seemed very quiet the next day after Carrie and her family left.   But some of the locals kept me company in the following days.  Several turkeys just outside the fence.


And bluebirds on the fence.


I feel like I’d finished a race and am exhausted.  I’d not gotten everything done that I wanted before the memorial so I’ll have plenty to keep me busy for the next 6 weeks or so before I leave to go back on the road.

49 comments:

  1. Very touching, Sherry. Memories that you will hold dear for the rest of your life.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

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  2. Incredible. Yet no surprise so many people traveled near and far to celebrate David's life. Lots of work and lots of love.

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    1. Thank you Gaelyn. I was very gratified that so many people could come to honor his memory. You definitely get it - a lot of work and a lot of love.

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  3. You did a beautiful job Sherry.

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    1. Thank you Betty. It was hard. All of it.

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  4. What a beautiful party for David, and such a wonderful gift for all of those who loved him to come together to celebrate his life. I think he would have enjoyed his party, Sherry.

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    1. Thank you Laurel. It was a celebration of his life and I tried to do it smiling.

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  5. Thanks for posting a glimpse into Davids wonderful send off. A man loved by many.

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    1. Yes he clearly was Tom. I'm glad you got to meet him.

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  6. It was the perfect way to remember David's life. He would have loved the gathering and been so proud of how beautiful the farm looks. You did a marvelous job putting it all together!!! Loved the idea of each man picking out a tie from David's collection:-)

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    1. Thank you Nancy. I think he would have been very happy with it all. I wish you two could have been there but I knew it was far too far for you to come. I'm still not finished with the work and didn't give away all the ties. He had quite a collection and pretty much only wore them to work.

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  7. It was a beautiful way to remember David. What a lovely friend/like-a-brother he was to me. Thank you for letting me be a part of the celebration.

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    1. He cherished your friendship Pam as do I. I so appreciate your help with this gathering and your continuing friendship.

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  8. Still sorry I never got to meet him, but what a great tribute!

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    1. Thank you John. I'm really sorry that we were both in Florida for many years at the same time and never managed to cross paths. David would love to have done craft beers with you and you probably missed out on the best cherry pie of your life. :-)

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  9. You did a wonderful job. So glad you had a memorial to remember our wonderful friend and a chance to get together with you and your family and friends.

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    1. Thank you Lynne. It was great to have such long time friends come and be with me on such a difficult day. So glad you were there.

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  10. Wonderful turnout for David's memorial, he truly was a well loved man and friend of many. We are honored to have known him.

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    1. Thank you Paul. So glad we were able to meet up with you and Marti on the road.

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  11. That service looked nice!

    Boyd?
    My great great grandmother was Catherine Boyd. She's is buried next to her father (Robert Boyd) and my GG grand father (David Milroy) in the Northwood cemetery in Bellefontaine Ohio.

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    1. Interesting Rob. My relatives are from Ohio but the Boyds are from Texas and Oklahoma. Don't know whether you and David might have been distantly related or not. His grandfather was Homer Boyd and his grandmother I believe was Elizabeth Caruth but I"m not sure

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  12. I can imagine that you are tired. The memorial looked perfect. The ties were a great idea.

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    1. Thank you. It was a lot of work but I was very pleased with how it went.

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  13. David's memorial was perfect and just the way he would've wanted it to be. Friends, family, food and the farm- perfect.
    xxxooo

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    1. And much of it was thanks to you Pam. You are a wonderful friend!

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  14. Perfect, I'm certain David would have been extremely pleased. Wonderful folks attract wonderful folks and it's evident in the photos that there was a large gathering. It speaks volumes of both you and David. A bittersweet day to be certain but you made it. Well done Sherry.

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  15. You've hit it right on the head. Bittersweet and my feelings exactly that I made it.

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  16. You deserve so much credit for bringing this all together. You have been working so hard to get everything ready, and must feel exhausted by the time everyone left. You can be proud of your efforts, and I'm sure that David is beaming with pride! I hope you can get some good rest now - you've probably been going on adrenaline for a while. Take care of yourself - job well done!

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    1. Thank you Gypsy. You are so right. I was completely exhausted after everyone left.

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  17. It looks like it was a wonderful day. I love the idea with the ties.

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    1. I hope the ties will bring loving memories of David to the minds of those who wear them.

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  18. Very nice memorial celebration. I was surprised to see my name on the poster board and even more surprised to see that David and I have the same initials. I wish that I could have met him.
    Don in Okla.

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    1. Don if you are from Oklahoma you could well be related to my David. it's where his grandparents and much of his family is. Drop me an email if you are interested in discussing it

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  19. Seems to have been a wonderful Memorial. So many helping hands to get this going and helping after.

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  20. Yes Jo people were so kind to help and contribute.

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  21. What a wonderful memorial of a life well lived! Well done Sherry!

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  22. Such a lovely and loving gathering. I tried and failed not to tear up. Wonderful that so many could attend and share their memories and tributes. I know it meant a lot to you, and that it was a relief to have it behind you. And to have gotten this post completed :-) The pic of Celia with the wheelbarrow is beyond adorable. I'm loving her curls!

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  23. So glad you blogged about his memorial service. You know we would have been there if we could have. What a great tribute to a wonderful man. Love the tie idea! My Dad had a bunch of old ties, I didn't think of that. The grounds of the farm looked perfect, lots of hard work to get it ready. I'm glad so many people came to celebrate his life.

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  24. Thank you so much for preparing for and organizing the memorial for David. It was a wonderful event at the perfect location. The only thing missing was David but all the memories of times on the farm with him made it feel like he was still there. I kept feeling like he was just going walk out of the house any minute and could picture him enjoying the event. He is missed by his big brother! Thank you for recording the memorial in your blog. I know this was a labor of love on your part and a very difficult one too.

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  25. Beautiful tribute! I'm grateful tp everyone who helped make it happen. Dad would have loved being there. So sad that he missed his own party, but it was in the perfect place with an outpouring of love for so many who loved him. You did a tremendous job making it exactly as he would've wanted it. I love you.

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  26. It is good that so many people came out to honour him.

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  27. A very sad, but beautiful, day. I was so glad to be there to honor David. That was quite a large group of people who all love and will remember him and carry his memories and stories forward. I’m not sure what more one can hope to do in their life, no matter how long or short a time they have here (besides amassing a world-class tie collection! [hope it’s okay to joke a little...]) Celia is adorable, and very timeless, in her pretty red dress— yes, very similar to photos I’ve seen of her mother! The generations layer over and under each other in a confusing but profound, and at least somewhat comforting, way.

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  28. I can only imagine how difficult it was to write these posts of reliving some of your most difficult moments while trying to move forward into the next chapters of yours. I am glad to see you again moving into a part of your life that brought you joy. I look forward to you finding your way. Take good care!!

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  29. I am just catching up on your post Sherry, and I say you are incredible. Im sure David is smiling up there in heaven seeing you doing all these things on your own and holding up. I was glad I got to meet David during his last few days and even if if he was no longer sociable he managed to gave us a smile. You are incredible and glad that you have picked up the pieces and moved on. Everything you did for the celebration of life made David smile.

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  30. Beautiful day for beautiful people. You are a brave soul, Sherry.

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  31. Sherry, A true labor of love.....all of it...including the work it took to get the farm ready. I know there were helping hands, and tears in the process. This is the farm that David loved so. Surely he was looking down as all the people came from different places to honor his memory. Celia is such a cute little girl. There is something about her that makes me think of young Abby. So nice for cousins, siblings, nieces, nephews and siblings to be at the memorial. My thanks to all those who made such an effort to travel, and hopefully add a little joy to you during this ongoing time of sadness. I find some comfort that neither you nor David expected his passing at that very moment....that you were both looking forward to watching a ballgame together. i loved that David struggled to make his life as normal as possible. I understand that it was difficult for both of you. Hoping you find some comfort as you re-live the memory of the memorial that you so lovingly put together for him. May we all find some peace in that memorial as we walk through the remainder of our lives without his physical presence.

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  32. Sherry, A true labor of love.....all of it...including the work it took to get the farm ready. I know there were helping hands, and tears in the process. This is the farm that David loved so. Surely he was looking down as all the people came from different places to honor his memory. Celia is such a cute little girl. There is something about her that makes me think of young Abby. So nice for cousins, siblings, nieces, nephews and siblings to be at the memorial. My thanks to all those who made such an effort to travel, and hopefully add a little joy to you during this ongoing time of sadness. I find some comfort that neither you nor David expected his passing at that very moment....that you were both looking forward to watching a ballgame together. i loved that David struggled to make his life as normal as possible. I understand that it was difficult for both of you. Hoping you find some comfort as you re-live the memory of the memorial that you so lovingly put together for him. May we all find some peace in that memorial as we walk through the remainder of our lives without his physical presence.

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