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What Will They Say April 21, 2011

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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I went to a funeral last night. It was for someone I did not know personally. The funeral home was packed with family and friends. It was an open casket, only the second I had ever been to.

The deceased’s boss was one of the eulogizers. He spoke without notes, straight from the heart with a surety and confidence that in itself was comforting. He used adjectives like, honorable, hard-working, loyal, trustworthy, “his word was his bond”.  He painted a picture of a God-loving man whose family came first and the rest of the world was a close second. Those same adjectives were repeated over and over with each speaker.

A fine husband, father and grandfather has passed over and is now on that part of the journey that we all will take one day.

I wonder what words will be spoken about me when I pass.

Saying Goodbye October 22, 2008

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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I got back today from Kalamazoo, Michigan.  That’s where my Aunt lived and where her funeral was held.  It was an impressive affair held at the First Presbyterian Church downtown.  It’s a gorgeous traditional, neo-Gothic stone church with pointed arches, carved oak alter and chancel.  The floor is a highly polished flagstone which looked even more impressive illuminated by the light passing through the stainglass windows high up in the clerestory. The pipes of the massive  organ lined the rear wall of the nave and their soaring sound resonated magnificently among the stone and oak.   Missy’s friends filled the church with almost every pew full.

Her best friend, Linda Brown, wrote a wonderful tribute. She was afraid emotion was going to overwhelm her ability to speak so she had her son read those amazing words for her.  It was a heartfelt story that painted an incredible picture of a friendship that lasted nearly 50 years.

That was followed by three of Missy’s grandchildren reading their own personal memories.  The tears really began to flow as each one became overwhelmed with the words they were reading. Pure love was never more evident. Then two of Missy’s sons spoke. Rick was first and offered a beautiful tribute to his mother.  I was also struck by my cousin Charlie’s eloquence. I was a bit concerned when he announced his mother was like a marine, and started to weave a story using military metaphors to describe her various attributes.  My fears were unfounded as his tale was well crafted and wonderfully presented.

We sang amazing grace and recited the Lord’s Prayer and we all said goodbye to Sara Jane Bald, our Missy.

I’m going to miss my Aunt Missy October 18, 2008

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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My Aunt Missy died Thursday morning.  She succumbed to cancer.  The mixed blessing was she passed so very quickly and, I pray, the pain of lingering —but she left us before many could say goodbye.  She leaves three sons; my first cousins, a brother and her mother here on earth.

Missy was married to my Uncle Fritz, my name sake and my mother’s brother.  Fritz died almost 15 years ago. He was far too young.  Only 59.

Missy’s boys, Charlie, Rick and Jon will say goodbye on Monday.  I will be there too.

Aunt Missy had a very dry humor and she measured her words carefully.  To those who knew her, her facial reaction, or lack thereof, spoke volumes.  I can’t ever remember her raising her voice in anger.  I’m sure she did though…she had three boys.

Summers in Michigan on Crystal Lake was where it all happened.  Missy’s cottage was center stage and she shared it generously.  She adored her grandchildren and made sure their time spent at the Lake was the best.  So much love.

Summers will be different now.  I”m still going to say I’m going to Aunt Missy’s when I visit the cottage.  But I’ll miss her smile and her great hugs.  I’ll miss her humor and her chili dip.

I’ll miss the special love she had for each one of us.