February 25, 2015

11 Years

Crazy, isn’t it? 11 years. This time each year I go through our pictures to find one for an In Memoriam notice, even though I always end up selecting the same one: Ray & Rose on Yankee, practicing their knots. But I love going through them all. So many fun memories – boats, beaches, and bars. So many great times with great friends. In the last few years he’s always holding Rose. Mind-blowing to see the vivid life in his face, so full of joy. He was so damn young.

Each year I also read through this site again (thank you thank you thank you Dean, it brings me such joy). It takes a few hours to go through it all, but I love every minute. So many stories, so many people he touched, so much love. Thanks to everyone who shares a story about Ray. I also love the posts from ‘strangers’ who’ve found the site and Ray through Andrew Daddo’s wonderful book It’s All Good.

I will be escaping down the coast soon, to our usual memorial runaway. But this year for the first time on my own, since Rose has finals and can’t get out of school. She’s so happy there, I’m OK with that. She is amazing – tall, of course, and so smart. Endlessly curious, sweet, thoughtful, adventurous, caring, and goofy. Plays basketball – much better than her daddy did, it was the only sport he sucked at ;-). She’s in a year-long woodworking class: it’s fantastic to watch her concentrating over a lathe, shaping her own creation. The teachers love her: her dedication, her excitement in both the process and the results. He’d be so proud.

I’m taking It’s All Good along for company this week, re-reading it for the gazillionth time. Thanks & much love to Andrew for that gift.

This year I had a really wonderful experience: I spent a long weekend in New Orleans with many of Ray’s Tulane ‘brothers’ and their families. Wish everybody could have been there. So much fun to get a glimpse of his crazy past – although I barely made it through 3 raucous days, I don’t know how they all survived college! But the non-stop laughter, energy, teasing, and drinking!, the easy camaraderie and genuine love – I could see what a great Family they really are, and what a big influence that family had on Ray. Thanks so much guys: thanks for who you were in Ray’s life, and thanks for staying in Rose’s & mine.

Thanks also and much love to all of you reading and remembering. Go hug your own families and loved ones. Remember my Ray.