By all accounts, I think it was a pretty good day. I was happy with the way the service turned out as I think most everyone was pleased and happy when it ended. I tried to put something together that would be worthy of Mom. At the same time, I wanted to give everyone some much needed closure and assurance that Mom was in heaven and that while it’s ok to be sad, it’s also important to move forward with their lives here on earth.
The day started out early with us arriving in Denver by about 9 to get Lori’s hair done. Both boys had a quick trim too! While this was going on I rushed up the street to buy a new shirt and a tie for both Jagger and me. Then we headed to my Moms to hang out and rest for an hour before we needed to get ready for the service.
We arrived at the church about 2 and it looked lovely. There were lots of flowers and the sun was shinning. It was a day befitting of Mom and I think she would have loved it. The service started out with me making giving a brief welcome which became even shorter as I was starting to well up inside and cut my speech short. Pastor Ed was great and I think helped give everyone a sense of peace about the day. Tasha then spoke first and gave a moving speech about how much Grandma meant to her and shared her thoughts on how to thank those in our lives who are important to us. I know it wasn’t easy for her but at the same time was something she wanted and needed to say to Grandma that in her mind, was long overdue. I was very proud of her as I think everyone was. Next up Deb Rubin gave a moving speech about how Mom too had changed her life as she had countless others, which was touching and moving. Then thankfully her husband Len came up and read a letter from 25 years ago I had found in Moms things. It was so funny, and the timing was perfect as it made everyone feel good about the day. After that was some scripture and then the video that Kristin put together with love as if it was her own Mom.
The service was about to close with Pastor Ed providing a closing prayer and coming to me to lead the family out of the chapel when a man who had to be in his 90’s stood up and said “wait”! We looked at him and at each other as we didn’t know who he was. He began to speak and told the story of who he was and how he met my Mom and Dad when he first came to town in the 50’s. This man, who came out of nowhere, was one of the most prominent attorneys (now) in the Country. He told us how that when he came to town from the Judge Advocates office when leaving the Army, the head of a prestigious law firm told him there are two people you need to know in town, and one of them was Ivan Fugate. He then spoke of Mom and Dad and how they had helped him in his career early on and then in closing said he cannot leave without giving Mom a good Irish goodbye. He then proceeded to sing a moving Irish song acapella that you’d recognize but I don’t know the name. The crowd was stunned and moved to tears at this stranger who showed up out of thin air and closed the day with a moving unscripted tribute to our Mom. It was like some angel from heaven showed up in this old mans body to provide a moving sendoff to our Mom.
Right after the service, I of course went over to him and introduced myself to find out who he was and just what was his story. It’s not important who he was but after getting home last night after 11 pm, I Googled him and learned he was one of the most respected and prominent lawyers and for that matter, people, in the history of our Country. He’s actually up here in Vail this coming weekend as he is being honored at the U.S. Ski Museum, (another story). He invited us down and we plan on going to see him. It’s hard to describe the scene and impact this man had but was something you would expect someone would do for Mom.
We all then headed down for the reception and it was a really good time. A few hours later we headed back to Moms house and all hung out until about 9:30 when we left. Tom and Ali went home as it was a long day but Shelly, Tasha, Robin, Robert, Lori, the boys and I had fun reminiscing and sharing memories about growing up for hours until it was time to drive up the hill.
This morning I’m headed back down and taking the boys and I think Lori, to see Robin and Robert and Tasha. I need to meet with James to go over some work that we’re giving him to basically help him out. So, I was happy with the day. Many people told me Mom would be proud and that’s all I could hope for. I miss her deeply and can rest a little easier knowing she had a good service and was watching from above. We all miss and love her and always will as someone of her character will never be replaced, ever. But I know she’d want us all to move on and live our lives the way she’d would, and we all need to do so and make her proud! So let’s get to work and get on with our lives remembering in everything we do, that she’s watching and try to live up to the image and person she knows each of us are. God Bless.
Here’s one of my favorite pictures of Mom!