The day had come. The room was filled with people for my brother-in-law jim’s memorial. He wanted everyone who loved him to have a big ole party in his honor. To laugh a lot, tell stories, dance, drink and remember the good times with Jim and everyone did just that. The dinner party at the hall was filled with way over a hundred people who not only loved Jim but, adored him. The entire family was there accept for Mike who couldn’t make it. Jeff got up and shared wonderful moments of his life with Jim and had everyone laughing and crying. The afternoon was full of that, laughing and crying. But I have to say it was mostly laughing with all of those Doucettes. They never miss an opportunity for a punch line and neither do I. They love to laugh and they love to party. So in Jim’s name the party continued at his house.
The music blasted and the dining room was filled with dancing. Other Jim stories filled the air. The ones you couldn’t tell in front of the kids earlier.
I could feel Jim’s presence. I could see him sitting in his favorite chair with the biggest smile on his face. His wife Donna and I shared some beautiful time together as only one widow to another can do, and then we broke into dance together.
The house was also filled with my nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews. And Django, Marcus’s little boy that Jeff and I have enjoyed from birth to almost two on Face Book. but had never met. What a beautiful boy he is in person. Filled with love and a smile for everyone. It was the kind of gathering that my family used to have with kids of all ages running around and enjoying themselves in spite of the reason we were all brought together.
We had a promise of waking up to a snow filled morning. I was kind of excited about that but alas that didn’t happen. It was easy for me to think of taking pictures in the snow. After all I would be on my way home to sunny California. They would be left shoveling and freezing. Although this cold weather that I had been experiencing didn’t even seem to bother these Milwaukee’ns. I was bundled up in my daughter Sydni’s skee jacket, gloves and warm boots and most of them had a light jacket and tennies. “You get used to it.” Everyone would tell me. “Not me.” Would be my reply. What can I tell you. I just don’t like the cold. Never have. Even as a kid in the Bronx at three years old standing in the snow, wrapped in the warmest snow suit, I dreamt of warmer places and was the happiest kid in the neighborhood when my family decided to move to California. And I’m just that happy to get home now.