To Pop!

August 18, 2010

The words of the day were "Pop would have loved this." He was a socialite at heart.

The memorial service was beautiful – full of jazz music, songs, hymns and stories.

We went to pick my grandmother up this morning and everyone was dressed to the nines

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Including Hilton the Bear

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Upon arrival to the church, there were touches of Pop everywhere, and jazz music danced through the air

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We greeted my grandmother in the study and were surrounded by her beautiful paintings

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Each one features the holy spirit in the form of a bird –

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The service was beautiful – words spoken and music played and sung captured Pop’s essence. I was touched to remember how he would look at you, smile and nod during a church service. A secret shared between you.

Afterwards, we greeted friends from near and far over sandwiches and cookies

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Uncle Mel, who turned 100 this year

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Matt and I shared a duo of plates and tastes

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After the service we took Gram home and the cousins met for a little exercise – in the form of Mall Walking!

We walked throughout Towson Town Center for over an hour, greeting animals in the mix


This evening, we rendezvoused at my aunt and uncles for a meal of Pop’s favorites: Fried Chicken, Mac n Cheese and Salad. 

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Uncle Chris led us through a wine tasting of Australian varietals

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Izzy and Winston are the cutest dogs I’ve ever seen! 

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For dessert, we popped open some bubbly

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And Aunt Mary Ellen’s Bread Pudding, split 2 ways with Matt

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Because they doubted I’d put it on KERF, Butterfingers are GOOD!

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And we toasted, to Pop

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With an Armagnac from 1945 (1945?!)

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Strong, but goes straight to the soul

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To Pop!

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Honorary toast #2 was a whiskey from 1918 – the year of Pop’s birth

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Here here

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Plus family

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We raise our right hands!

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I have inherited back Pop’s KERF sweatshirt – will miss him so much.

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{ 111 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday August 18, 2010 at 9:29 pm

What kind of dog is that in the picture there with you?


2 Larb's Matt August 19, 2010 at 1:11 pm
3 Cynthia (It All Changes) August 18, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Your family has such longevity and such a great way to celebrate life even in death.


4 Estela @ Weekly Bite August 18, 2010 at 9:34 pm

What a beautiful day! Your Pop would be so proud! I love how you all honored him in so many different ways!


5 Victoria August 18, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Kath, I’m so sorry for your loss, but it’s so wonderful you can be surrounded by family at a time like this. I’ve lost both of my grandmother’s this summer, and I’m thankful everyday for a family as close as mine. I hope you’re all taking comfort in each other.


6 Julie @ Wearing Mascara August 18, 2010 at 9:36 pm

What a wonderful celebration of your Pop! :-) I love the whiskey from 1918. How awesome is that?! :-)


7 Krystina August 18, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I absolutely adore how beautiful and strong your family is and how you truly celebrated your Pop. It’s lovely. Just lovely.


8 Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 18, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Your family did it right- celebrate the life he lived :)


9 Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin August 18, 2010 at 9:44 pm

It looks like a lovely time despite the circumstances! It must have been great to be with your family at a time like this.


10 Rianne August 18, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Today was a wonderful way to celebrate your Pop’s life! I am sending happy thoughts and wishes to you and your family. :)


11 Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter August 18, 2010 at 9:50 pm

It’s so strange about memorial services how the unite the family. My extended family always has a very hard time getting together, but when someone passes its great family time.


12 Emilyeatsclean August 18, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Ohhh I’m soo sorry about your Pop!! I love the pic of you in his sweatshirt! That dog is HUGE!


13 Eileen August 18, 2010 at 9:53 pm

What a family! If I were to die at 92, I’d like to be remembered like your Pop. (I guess I would at any age.) It makes me a little sad to see the KERF sweatshirt, but I melt at the thought of him wearing it. Very sweet.


14 Caitlin @ Right Foot Forward August 18, 2010 at 9:59 pm

What a wonderful celebration of your Pop’s life. I’m sure he would have loved the day, and your post.


15 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) August 18, 2010 at 9:59 pm

My goodness, the people in your family live long!! It must be all the healthy eats and stuffed animal therapy :)


16 TorontoGirloutWest August 18, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Your family knows how to celebrate a life! What a tribute!!!

Please know my thoughts are with you – I noticed how you looked sad in that last picture. Lots of love coming your way Kath! :)


17 Deva (Voracious Vorilee) August 18, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Your post had me misty-eyed this evening. You and your family’s love for your Pop shines through your descriptions and your photos. It sounds like you have many wonderful memories of him to share.


18 Hannah August 18, 2010 at 10:00 pm

How wonderful that even a bear was there to celebrate your pop :) So lovely to have all the family together at this time, so that you can focus on what your loved about your Pop, rather than simply missing him. Thoughts are with you.


19 Jessica @ The Process of Healing August 18, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Another beautiful post… your pop must have been quite the man!


20 Dorry August 18, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Aww, Kath. You have such a special family – what an incredible day to celebrate Pop’s life. Hope you get some good sleep tonight! :)


21 Julie @ Willow Bird Baking August 18, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Sniff, sniff! That last picture really got me!


22 holly @ couchpotatoathlete August 18, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Kath these posts for your pop make me cry! Really, your photographs and words really touch me, and I never met the man!

What a great way to celebrate his life: with his favorite foods and things.

(and butterfingers are totally good!)


23 Wei-Wei August 18, 2010 at 10:11 pm

That last photo of you wearing Pop’s sweatshirt is so heartbreaking to see. Celebrate your time with your family, Kath! They are very very special.


PS: That photo of Kanz and Matt are just… wow. I mistook Matt for Kanz in the photo right before that (with Larbs?)!


24 lynn (The Actors Diet) August 18, 2010 at 10:14 pm

looks like a great service and spread – your family is lovely, kath.


25 Donna August 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Great celebration. Of course the greatest concern going forward will be your grandmother and how she copes with the loss of her long-time companion. Hopefully the family will be sensitive to her needs and will provide her with the necessary support.


26 Ida August 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm

What a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. I can really tell how much he was loved. I’m impressed by the spread too- i can’t believe you even had macaroons, they are my favorite.


27 Jessie (Bites and Pieces) August 18, 2010 at 10:20 pm

I got so teary-eyed reading this post. I think it is beautiful how your family is staying positive and actually celebrating Pop’s life and memory. It is so much better to think of all the happy things, since that is probably what he would have wanted you all to do anyway. :)


28 Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) August 18, 2010 at 10:21 pm

It looks like a truly touching service and gathering of family. I love that you ate his favorite meal, that’s such a great way to honor someone’s memory. That picture of you in his sweatshirt is really sweet and sentimental!


29 Dynamics August 18, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Thanks for sharing. You Pop was an amazing man. You were so lucky to have him in your life. Take special care of your grandmother, she will need it, especially when everyone goes home and things settle down.


30 Donna August 18, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Dynamics, you said it so much better than I tried to say it…it is going to be unbearably hard for the grandmother in the next few weeks and months. Don’t forget her.


31 Sarah for Real August 18, 2010 at 10:26 pm

That was just beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. Sorry for your loss. What a wonderful day of remembrance though.


32 Nikki August 18, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Sorry for your loss Kath, seems like a beautiful celebration of him you had:)


33 lauri Watson August 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Such a sweet tribute! I love the how your family spent the day celebrating the life of your grandfather rather than mourning his passing! I obviously do not know him, but I would gather that this is what he would have wanted :) Stay strong!


34 Jac August 18, 2010 at 10:49 pm

God bless you and your family and your pop, wherever he is.


35 Brooke August 18, 2010 at 10:49 pm

This post totally made me tear up. It looks like such a wonderful celebration of Pop’s life. My condolenses to you and your family.


36 Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman August 18, 2010 at 10:54 pm

wow! whiskey from 1918! that’s really cool that it’s the year of your pop’s birth…Cheers to Pop :)


37 Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman August 18, 2010 at 10:54 pm

wow! whiskey from 1918! that’s really cool that it’s the year of your pop’s birth…Cheers to Pop :)


38 Katrina @ Bonafide Humanity August 18, 2010 at 10:55 pm

aww beautiful.

too funny p.s. I’m the manager of a california JUSTICE!


39 Lea @ Healthy Coconut August 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Your post reminded me of the time I lost my last grandparent, my grandma who I was really close to. Our family celebrated her life the same way your family did and it was also nice to see cousins near and far.

Have a safe trip home


40 Mary Frances August 18, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Beautiful Tribute and Memorial Service. Seeing the photographs on the easel reminded me of him talking about all of the people he knows and meets. The one on the top left was with Bill Cosby and the bottom left he was having dinner with Cal Ripken, Jr. I didn’t see the one from (I think it was his 80th birthday) when Jay Leno roasted him. It didn’t really matter who you were, Pop treated everyone with enthusiasm, something nice to say / a compliment, and was interested in what you were doing. He surely will be missed.


41 Casey August 18, 2010 at 11:35 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss Kath. He sounds like a wonderful pop. I love that you are saddened by all of this, but celebrating the good times and memories you’ve all had with him. I’m sure he’s looking down and loving it :)


42 Lisa @bakebikeblog August 18, 2010 at 11:48 pm

What a wonderful celebration for a man that clearly meant a lot to your entire family :)


43 Lily August 19, 2010 at 12:14 am

Gosh- a family with a 90 year old and an 100 year old..what great genes! You’re in for a long, healthy, happy life :-)


44 Heather (Heather's Dish) August 19, 2010 at 12:22 am

what a beautiful memorial…it sounds like it was truly a celebration of his life :)


45 Neen @ Broad Bean to Runner Bean August 19, 2010 at 3:22 am

Another beautiful and touching post, looks like a beautiful day, your pop would be proud x


46 Julia @ Brit Bride August 19, 2010 at 4:30 am

You have a beautiful family. This made me tear up, especially the inheriting back of the sweatshirt. xxx


47 Tina August 19, 2010 at 5:16 am

Love that idea in the artwork of depicting the holy spirit as a bird. What beautiful work!

How special to get the sweatshirt back. I’m sure you will always cherish it.


48 Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) August 19, 2010 at 5:29 am

I love it when you know that everything about the memorial service is exactly what the person would have wanted and enjoyed. Seeing his family together and the social atmosphere.

Such a beautiful post, Kath! I hope you’re doing well through all of this!


49 Lauren August 19, 2010 at 5:46 am

I love that you celebrated his life! So touching Kath! :) I know he will be missed but lived on through your memories forever! 😉

I LOVE the Towson Mall. I use to live in Towson. Such a great little town. Did you happen to see the Trader Joes that’s hiding underneath the mall? It’s hard to find but it’s a good one!


50 Stacey @ the Habit of Healthy August 19, 2010 at 5:49 am

It looks like it was a really nice service with a good turnout of family and friends.

The good times will live on through your memories.


51 Lynn August 19, 2010 at 5:55 am

Kath & Family- –
So sorry for your loss. A lovely tribute to your Pops.


52 [email protected]:// August 19, 2010 at 5:57 am

That’s beautiful. Looks like you guys honored him very well.


53 The Healthy Hostess August 19, 2010 at 6:09 am

I lost my 90 yr. old Papa and Nana this year. I know how hard it is. Thinking about you and your family. Enjoy each other during this tough time, I am sure that is what he would want you to do!


54 Erin August 19, 2010 at 6:15 am

What a beautiful way to celebrate your grandfather’s life. You can tell how proud he was of you and how proud you are right back at him.


55 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) August 19, 2010 at 6:29 am

Sounds like a great way to remember him! You must have some amazing genes! I am glad it was a good day with lots of friends and family. I hope things go well today too!


56 Chelsey August 19, 2010 at 6:30 am

What a beautiful day.

I am sure Pop would have loved it.

That mac n cheese looks soo good!


57 Janna (Janna's Keeping it Real) August 19, 2010 at 7:01 am

What a wonderful celebration of life! It sounds as though this captured the essence of your Pop in every way!


58 Emily @ Run Emily Run August 19, 2010 at 7:02 am

Looks like a fantastic tribute to your pop. A great celebration of his life. (Your family does bevs really well. Molly Dooker is an excellent wine but it’s hard to track down.)


59 Sarah @ Sarah's Shaping Up August 19, 2010 at 7:05 am

What a great way to remember your pop. Looks like you have an amazing family & support system!


60 Lauren August 19, 2010 at 7:07 am

I’m so sorry for your loss, but it’s great that there is so much celebration going on in honor of him. I am sure he would be so happy and proud!


61 Heather @ Side of Sneakers August 19, 2010 at 7:13 am

Sorry to hear about your Pop- I’m glad you’re able to spend this time with your family :)


62 klm August 19, 2010 at 7:14 am

You have the BEST family!!


63 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 19, 2010 at 7:19 am

Aw that sounds like a great service and a great time with the family! I’m sure your Pops would have loved knowing that you all came together like that for him! :)


64 Amanda August 19, 2010 at 7:21 am

You have such a beautiful and strong family!! Your family is in my prayers


65 Sarah R August 19, 2010 at 7:21 am

I’ve got tears in my eyes reading this post. It sounds like Pop will always be remembered in each of your hearts :)


66 Caitlin August 19, 2010 at 7:24 am

Kath, I am so very sorry for your loss. Just know that he is in an even happier place now.

I love your grandmother’s paintings-so beautiful. Also, I love every picture you take with your Uncle Mel. He does not look 100-wow!


67 Nicole August 19, 2010 at 7:26 am

What a wonderful celebration of your Pop’s life! Thank you for sharing this with us!


68 Ok Chick August 19, 2010 at 7:31 am

Great way to celebrate someone so important to your family. I’m sorry for your loss.


69 Mom August 19, 2010 at 7:32 am

Wonderful post sweetie pie!


70 Jillian August 19, 2010 at 7:41 am

I’m so sorry for your loss. His life obviously impacted your family in a large way, it is great that ya’ll honored him in so many ways.

It is incredible how your Uncle Mel looks so young! I would have never thought he was 100! Good genes are in your family for sure!


71 Kim August 19, 2010 at 7:47 am

So sorry for your loss, but it seems that your family is close & strong and are definitely able to celebrate life and remember the good times. I think anyone looking down would be proud to say that’s their family!


72 Amanda August 19, 2010 at 7:49 am

Beautiful mastiffs! My uncle has two, and they’re absolutely wonderful dogs. They’re huge for sure, but the most gentle giants… they might knock you over on accident, but they’re never aggressive!

I have to say that I really respect how you eat. “No duh, Amanda, this is Kath Eats REAL FOOD.” But seriously. I’ve seen a lot of “health” blogs, but they’re more restrictive than anything else. You keep a nice balance of foods, and nothing is “bad” in the moral sense. I like my green monsters as much as the next blogger, but seeing that you eat fried chicken and mac’n’cheese too has only increased my admiration for you.

Again, I’m sorry that you’ve lost your Pop, but you and your family have had a lovely celebration of his life. He seems to have been a great man, and you were blessed to have each other.


73 Kath August 19, 2010 at 8:34 am

Thanks Amanda! I reflected on the why on this one and realized that what’s most important to me is that food was made with TLC the whole way through – and this meal was!


74 Lindsay in Indy August 19, 2010 at 8:12 am

What a beautiful celebration of his life! I love how close your whole family is…what a blessing to see, especially these days!! Oh, and the Butterfinger picture may be my all time fav pic on KERF! 😉


75 Meagan August 19, 2010 at 8:13 am

Uncle Mel is ADORABLE! Did he make it onto the Smuckers jar? They put your picture on there when you get over 100 supposedly.


76 Kath August 19, 2010 at 8:35 am

Oh my, I must look into this!


77 Colleen August 19, 2010 at 8:16 am

Sniff, sniff. Simply beautiful!


78 Andrea August 19, 2010 at 8:32 am

Go Towson…I live very close to there…well, in Maryland, but still kind of close. I bet your grandfather was looking down and smiling on all of you. What a beautiful way to celebrate his life!


79 Kath August 19, 2010 at 8:35 am

Thank you all so much!


80 Sheri August 19, 2010 at 8:38 am

Looks like you had a wonderful day with your family! What a wonderful way to celebrate his life. I love how you all toasted to him with the whiskey from the year of his birth..very cool!


81 Jenifer August 19, 2010 at 8:53 am

What a beautiful tribute!!!


82 Caitlyn @ A Spoonful of Life August 19, 2010 at 8:56 am

You pop sounded like a wonderful man with a full life!


83 Camille August 19, 2010 at 9:04 am

This post made me tear up a bit.
What a beautiful service. This is exactly what I would hope a service would be like for me: a celebration of life.


84 Heather August 19, 2010 at 9:17 am

what a nice tribute. SOunds wonderful.
your sister is raising her left hand in that pic lol!
love the big dogs. His teeth crack me up!


85 Beth @ DiningAndDishing August 19, 2010 at 9:18 am

What a lovely way to celebrate a life. I love that funerals no longer have to be formal, sad affairs. They should be a reflection of how much happiness that person brought into the lives of so many!


86 Lauren @ 40Apples August 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

Another sweet, touching post. Thank you for sharing your celebration of Pop’s life with us. I’m raising my tea in a toast to him right now :)


87 Sami August 19, 2010 at 10:02 am

RIP POP♥ he would be so proud of you, kath!


88 mindy @ just a one girl revolution. August 19, 2010 at 10:12 am

Wonderful tribute to whom I certain was a wonderful man. You and your family are in my prayers. I lost my grandpa in December, so I can relate.

P.S. Your family looks like a fun bunch.


89 Erica August 19, 2010 at 10:21 am

What a beautiful way to remember your Pop. I’m so sorry for your loss, and have no doubt that he lives through you and will continue to live on through all these generations of wonderful family. I think the family and friends that gathered is the REAL legacy of his life…and a true testament to how much he is loved and how much he will be missed. You post brings back memories of when I lost my own Papa 14 years ago last week…I miss him so much. There is truly nothing like a grandparent; they love you unconditionally and extravagantly, and there is nothing like the secure feeling you get from a Papa (or a Nana!). Thank you for the memories you have brought back for me, and enjoy savoring the memories of Pop. <3


90 Liz @ lizrunsdc August 19, 2010 at 10:32 am

Such a beautiful post and an amazing way to celebrate someone’s life.


91 R @ Learning As I Chop August 19, 2010 at 10:38 am

100?! Wowza! He looks amazing


92 Runeatrepeat August 19, 2010 at 10:42 am

I’m really sorry for your loss, but love the way you celebrated his life. It all looked beautiful.


93 Cat August 19, 2010 at 10:42 am

Is your sister wearing two different flip flops in the pic of you all in the mall…? If so, that is AWESOME and SO something I would do….


94 Sarah B August 19, 2010 at 11:34 am

What a lovely way to honor and celebrate your Pop! I think you illustrated a very personal and difficult time very beautifully!


95 Liz C. August 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm

What a beautiful way to celebrate life.


96 Suzanne August 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Your post brought tears to my eyes. What a sweet, sweet tribute to your grandfather.


97 Monica August 19, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Sounds like you have such a lovely, supportive family! Glad that you were all there for each other and were able to celebrate his life together!


98 Tanya @ Life with the Kummerow August 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm

What a wonderful celebration of his life!


99 Courtney August 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Beautiful post!! And I love your Uncle Mel. He is so cute!! And looks amazing to be 100. 100!! Wow!


100 TheHealthyApron August 19, 2010 at 3:08 pm

What a great memorial service. When you got to the pics of the toast, I definitely got teary. Rest in peace “Pop”


101 Mom August 19, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Thank you all for the kind words about losing my dad, Kath’s Pop. I think Kath got some of her energy from him!


102 Andrea August 19, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Looks like it was a beautiful celebration of his life!


103 Maria B August 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm

You must have an amazing family, the celebration was very touching.


104 amethyst August 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm

You have a lovely family, Kath… Your grandfather looked like a remarkable, wonderful man – he had a great innings, too! Best wishes, A :)


105 Angela (ohsheglows) August 19, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Pop sounds like he was a great person and lived his life well. So nice that you could celebrate his life with family. I remember when you gave him the sweatshirt back when you blogged about it. So nice that it now has so much meaning to you in return. Sending you and your family positive thoughts.


106 [email protected] August 19, 2010 at 7:38 pm

What amazing tributes to your pop! It is SO hard to lose a grandpa, but I found it so healing to celebrate such long, productive lives and it looks like that’s exactly what you and your family did.


107 Gree August 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Wow Kath, that post made me totally teary, I am sure your Pop would have appreciated such a celebration of his life. You are truly fortunate to have such a close and lovely family, it’s truly wonderful that you all are able to come together at a time when you all need support.


108 Katherine August 19, 2010 at 10:05 pm

What a wonderful way to celebrate his life. He sounds like he lived a long life full of blessings. I’m glad our family was able to get together and celebrate the man that he was.


109 Tamizn August 21, 2010 at 11:44 am

Ooooooo my aunt is american and I tried some butterfingers that she bought back and wow yummy I love them! x x


110 Kim Stagg August 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm


Thank you thank you thank you for writing this blog. My father passed away on the 10th from lung cancer—he was 66 years old. Reading this blog helped me to sit back and think about the special things my dad has accomplished. Your Pop seemed like an amazing man. Thank you for sharing…


111 Bianca @A Healthy Gourmet Lifestyle October 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Reading this post reminded me of my grampa. He passed January of 2009, and his 70th birthday is coming up next week (a week from today actually). It’s amazing how beautiful life is, and that your family celebrated his life so beautifully in his memory.


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