Good morning, Everyone! Hope you all had a nice weekend. Corbin posted this about seven hours ago:
"Magnificence! A glorious day! While my mother would probably throw out a load of "F" bombs about a hundred of her closest friends and family paying tribute to her - and the money spent to do it - I know she was peaking around the corner - THRILLED at the sights and sounds of her memorial. It was simply awesome! God on display! The love. The love! The incredible outpouring of love that has been a part of this entire journey from the first night some six weeks ago where I asked for your prayers for her. The love!
Food and drink and then words from the heart representing family, friends, and co workers. Nothing extravagant but an incredible quilt of stories and personal reflections.
I welcomed everyone, said a word or two - mostly things I've been saying here about the "gain" in my life, not the "loss," since her passing. An old neighbor of hers and dear friend of the family, Steven Leder, spoke next and gave us some spiritual perspective followed by a few awesome stories about living next door to my mom - the good, bad and the ugly! He was followed James Todd, a man she had befriended almost a quarter of a century ago, a fan who simply sent her a card that she personally replied to and they became incredible, life long friends. Jim was followed by Eric Braeden, who represented for the Young and the Restless. Eric has been a real friend during all this and reminded us of her work ethic. He was followed by my cousin Roy - always amusing - who gave us some perspective from her Taft beginnings - whether she liked it or not! After that we moved onto family. My brother Collin gave us an amazing trip down memory lane with great stories and reflections, many of which we have shared here, specifically about my mother the carpenter and brick layer! He also was a trove of stories I had forgotten about. Just awesome! Collin was followed by my sister Caren who, in a modicum of words from the heart, simply reminded us how my mother always "had our backs," always! Family and friends! She ALWAYS had our back. After that Collin's son Harrison spoke for the "grandsons." He reminded us how my mother's wisdom guided us and continues to do so. Then finally, in our business you always want to finish strong and we did just that... my niece Grace, Caren's daughter amazed. She read a note that she had written the night my mom died. Suffice to say tears and laughter traded jabs for a full five minutes. Simply exquisite, honest, truthful and filled with love.
We concluded and I invited everyone to enjoy an ice cream cart that we brought in. My mom loved her ice cream! And while we had plenty of incredible food, we knew that it would be the ice cream that my mom would have been most thrilled about... WAS most thrilled about....
About five minutes after we wrapped up our tributes and dug into our ice cream, several people rushed me back to where we had spoken our tributes and pointed to a dove sitting on a branch just behind where we sat. They told me that the dove flew in just as I welcomed everyone and HADN'T MOVED for a full hour and a half during the tributes! 20 people noticed this! I'm attaching a picture of the dove! We, all of us - stared at it in amazement, still perched there on the branch. Finally another dove joined it. Wow! Only then, another five minutes or so and after most of the people had left the garden for other parts of the house, did the dove simply fly off! Done watching! This is the honest to God's truth!
As if the entire day, the perfection, wasn't enough... there sat this bird that I knew, in some way, was connected to my mom, looking on at the entire proceeding. Simply magnificent!
I will post more pictures tomorrow and even try to throw a little album together. But know that today brought a substantial piece of closure to a process for us all that will surely take more time. As I told all in attendance - now it's up to us - all of us. She touched so many people, so many of you... and encouraged us to live the life she would want each of us to live. These are her words that I read to those in attendance today in closing...
'I wish someone would have told me how difficult it is and how glorious it is to realize you're just a brief moment in time. You can make that moment last by your identity and finding yourself. Find yourself and live in your own skin. Move with authority. Never loose your self-esteem. This propels you forward. It gives you purpose. You can't just stand in the middle of the earth and go around and around. You must find a purpose. You must give us some of yourself to something, to volunteering. To whatever. That's your survival instinct. You must have a curiosity. You must wonder what the next day will be. What can you learn? What don't you know? You change with the Earth.'