On Wednesday, August 24th my husband suddenly passed away.  He was only 63 years old.  Much too young to die.  He was such a wonderful husband, father, uncle, grandfather and friend.  We would have been married 41 years next month.  I am still at the point where I know that he is gone in my head, but it hasn’t hit my heart yet.  I know that might be a rough ride, but God will get me through it.

Right now I have my three kids with me and their spouses.  They have been here every day helping me get things done around the house.  As wonderful as my husband was, he did procrastinate.  So I appreciate Stephen, Joe and Bud taking care of the overgrown yard.  He was also a pack rat.  But these two things I knew about when I said yes, so unless it got out of control we did fine.

My daughter in law Karina couldn’t come to help as she had only had her surgery for the cervical cancer a week before.  She feels terrible as she and Gary really had a good relationship and used to tease her about her Yankees.  And she would come right back at him about the Phillies.

Each of my kids were special to Gary and they had their own unique relationship with him as they do with me.  Gary and Bud’s were best friends.  They spoke on the phone daily and sometimes more. They had their love of baseball and card collecting.  That love was started when Bud was about 8 years old. Gary coached him in soccer, baseball, basketball, and roller hockey.  Even though Bud has lived far from us, they only continued to get closer.

Karina and Bud gave us our second granddaughter.  I am so blessed that we got to spend so much time with the baby when we were in Florida.  She won’t remember, but we have pictures to show her. And they are so good about face timing us so we got to see Bella in real time.

Kelly and Joe gave us three beautiful grandchildren.  Three years ago they moved down here to NC. That made us so very happy to have them close to us.  Kelly is our first.  She had her dad wrapped around her little finger from the get go.  She wanted to be a Brownie but there was no leader.  Gary became a girl scout so that she could be a brownie.  Then she wanted to play basketball but there wasn’t another coach to take a second team.  Gary became her basketball coach.  They would go to the Phillies games together and he patiently walked around the top of Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia every time they went.  Gary continued to coach Kelly the whole time she played CYO basketball, soccer, and softball.  Kelly and her dad were close.

Andrew who is 12, has red hair and is just as sweet as can be.  He and his Pop Pop would spend hours here writing dialogue for Andrew’s imaginary productions.  Andrew has Asperger’s and he is so very smart.  They also designed shopping centers and malls.  He’s also a wiz with the computer.

Aidan who is 10 years old is a real charmer and has the greatest sense of humor.  He is sweet and very loving.  But he can be a terror too. 🙂  Now Pop Pop and Aidan did different things together. They would go metal detecting, build 3-D puzzles or just sit and Aidan would explain about his interests.

Alannah who is 8 years old is our dancer.  She competes too.  She so pretty, another red head.  Gary would sit there and drink make believe tea for hours, or play memory games with her.  Of course they read many a book together too.

At Christmas time he would make gingerbread houses with the kids.  He loved those kids so much. They brought him so much joy.

Samantha is our baby.  Now as much as Kelly had her dad wrapped around her finger, Sam made Kelly look like an amateur.  I was working evenings or nights as this point.  I couldn’t believe what she got away with.  Kelly would say teasingly that Sam was the princess.  And I would answer but you are the queen.  She is also our brain child.  She is so smart.  All of the kids are smart just in different ways.  Samantha and her dad were close.

We have been blessed with good children who have grown into wonderful adults.  Gary was so very proud of each and every one of them.  He also had a good relationship with their spouses.  I have mentioned my quilt guild.  Well he was loved by all of the women there.  He took care of a lot of their sewing machines.  He always had notions with him.  And he was our official cutter for out outreach workshops.  I always teased him that he had a cult of quilters that followed him.  LOL  Gary was just that type of guy.  Nothing was too much for him.  He would do anything for you if it was possible for him to do it.  He could drive me right up the wall sometimes, but he was my friend, my husband, and my life.