Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Buffalo, New York

Today we are headed to Buffalo, New York. Once upon a time, a long time ago, I lived here. My father was good friends with a man named David Riemer, during that time.

When I was only six years old, our family moved to Marion, Virginia and Dave and his family followed. Many of you have read about my lifelong friendship with Dave and Ginger's son, Donnie, who passed away a few years ago, from cancer.

Today, our return to Buffalo is to attend Dave's funeral; he has also passed away due to cancer, leaving his wife Ginger (my other mother), their daughter and two granddaughter's behind.
Joe and I are so grateful we are able to attend the celebration of Dave's life and to be with the family to share hugs, tears, laughter and many memories. I will certainly miss our Euchre games where Ginger and I were teammates, against Joe and Dave; sometimes we won, sometimes we lost, but we always had a great time!

Luckily, we were all able to get rooms at the same place, and we arrived in time to order pizzas, drink some wine, and visit with the family, as well as Donna, Donnie's widow, who remains dear to my heart.

Just sitting and reminiscing does wonders for the soul and I am so grateful to be able to be here.
There will be a funeral service and then we will attend "Uncle Charlie's" Annual Chowder Fest, an annual event that was near and dear to Dave's heart. A pretty great send-off if I do say so myself.

Service and Chowder Fest

Going to Dave's funeral service is an honor, and I am grateful to be able to attend, although going to a funeral service is not something I find easy. Ginger and I both feel like locking ourselves in the bathroom until it is over!

And whatever you do, don't be nice to me, or I shall turn into a blithering blob. Looking at the photos almost put me over the edge, and once the service began, the waterworks turned on.

While I wholeheartedly believe that Dave is no longer in pain, and this is a good thing, I have a horribly difficult saying "Good Bye". My mind wanders to all of those near and dear to my heart and I feel as though I cannot breathe, and want to run from the church.

Of course, I stay put and know that if Ginger is strong enough to sit through the service, then I must be strong, too. I have Faith, I Believe, but that does not make saying Good Bye any easier.

Once the service is over, I am able to breathe again; we walk through the little cemetery next to the church and see where all of the Riemers are buried. I find that incredibly special, as nowadays, so many people are scattered far from their origins and often cremated as opposed to being buried.
Being buried with your ancestors seems to give a bit more importance to death in some way. I will have to think about that a bit more when I have time.

After our little walk, we headed to the Chowder Fest. Holy Moly! I bet there were at least 200 people there with a plethora of potluck dishes, roasted corn and the infamous "chowder" which is a bit like vegetable soup; I believe that the chowder stirrer said that it was 70 gallons, being cooked in a huge vat, over a wood fire.


Enough Chowder?

All in all, it was a great send-off for a very dear friend; Dave will be fondly remembered and would have loved his send-off.

Ginger, you did GOOD!

Love you!

Every single day is a gift; be sure to use it wisely.

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  1. My deepest sympathy at the loss of your friend. While we find great joy one day in going home, being left behind with an absence is never easy. But it is the finest, I believe, tribute to love for another. A hurting heart means we loved deeply with it. Michele, you are always a champion of life and perseverance, and each are demonstrated so beautifully in your writings and exampled in how you live. My love and prayers are always with you and Joe.

    1. What kind words, and you understand me perfectly! A hurting heart means that it is a loving heart and the person meant the world to you.
      Thank you for reading and understanding and your kind words.


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