O Captain My Captain! She died a month ago of Cancer. I’ve written about my friend a few times now: here, here, and here. And so after we celebrated her life this weekend I felt compelled to write one last time…closure if you will. Per her wishes, there was no funeral, no service of any kind. Rather, she wanted a gathering of family and friends to Celebrate Her Life, and that’s exactly what we did.
Simply put, the event was perfect with respect to venue, size, length, catering, and most of all, energy. To set the scene, the family rented out a space in the History Center at Balboa Park, they set out 125 chairs, which proved inadequate, and had my friend’s favorite songs playing…John Lennon, etc. Displayed on the wall was a slide show of pictures, six of which were donated by my wife. There were gorgeous flowers on tabletops. There was one microphone.
Her husband spoke first and told their story…followed by some family and just a couple of friends. Although compelled to speak, I remained silent. With each statement a few patterns emerged when describing my friend…she was a natural born philosopher, professor and teacher of life, both on a professional and personal level. She strove to live with joy, even through 12 long years of Cancer. In fact, each day she would literally say out loud, “I will live with joy,” and she had a tattoo on the inside of her wrist to remind her…it simply said, “Joy.”
Her son had the biggest impact, at least for me. In an elegant yet inexact way, he explained how he and his Mom shared a love for the movie Dead Poet’s Society, you know, the one with Robin Williams. In that movie the English teacher played by Williams inspired his students through poetry and had them do exercises to expand their minds. He taught them the words, Carpe Diem which means seize the day…or put another way by Williams, suck the marrow out of life. At the end of the movie, after a tragic event, Williams is fired from his job and his student’s stand on their chairs in support uttering, “O Captain My Captain,” a phrase from a famous Walt Whitman poem. Expand your minds, live life with passion, express yourself…suck the marrow out of life…very fitting messages to describe my beautiful hyper-intelligent friend’s existence.
At the end of his eulogy, he had the entire room stand up and we all said together…”I will live with joy.” I miss you Christianna.
My Schedule: I have a corporate conference call at 9a and will be on my way to Irvine for meetings. Calls and emails will be returned in-between meetings and when able. If you need help with something urgent, then text me at 619-549-9797.
My Market Watch: Bonds Down – Fixed Pricing Worse & ARMs Unchanged. The 30-year Fannie Mae bond is down -38bps on the day so far after positive economic data was released. My analysis about Syria remains. You can read here and again here..
Pingback: What Will Your Verse Be? | Phil Grossfield's Blog