Sunday, December 02, 2007

On Sally's Memorial

Sally's memorial in Amsterdam was yesterday. It was a really nice service. This photo was taken in Queen's Day (April 30) 2006. Sally loved Queen's Day. And even more than Queen's Day, she loved her mother, Dottie, there to the left of me. It's not my favorite picture of me, but it's great of Sally and Dottie.

We're all wearing orange because that's what you do on Queen's Day. The whole city is filled with people wearing orange and drinking beer way to early in the day. And people sell stuff. Sally always had a table with stuff that was hers or other people's in front of her door. We went by her house for all three Queen's Days since I've lived here. I don't know what we'll do next year.

Six people spoke at the memorial, plus the minister. Her "friend" Rob, a good friend who read a letter from Dottie, a representative from her neighborhood, a representative from KPMG (where she'd worked), a representative from InHolland (where she taught) and me, the representative from the choir. My little piece went well. I never get nervous until I'm right there on the podium. My voice was shaky, but I made it through my notes.

What was interesting to me was that almost everyone had the same take on her. A couple of people, including me said, energetic, sparkling, giving, funny, and optimistic. I guess we are who we are, most people anyway. I like to think that with me, what you see is what you get - in any situation. I am as off-the-cuff at work as I am at a party. Same with Sally. What's strange is that we all have people like Sally in our lives, those people who mean so much to us that it just doesn't seem like our hearts are big enough to feel it all. And then they die. And there's no statue or movie or book about their life.

Most people are just remembered by other people, by the lives they touched. I guess that's what's most important. I think that Sally had a pretty good idea of how people felt about her, which makes me happy. I mean, I don't think any of us ever get the full picture, but as much as anybody really understands how much they were loved and admired, I think Sally did.

The music went well during the service, but there was a bit of unfortunate timing with the second song we sang. We sang right after I spoke and it might have been better for me to speak afterwards. Not everyone was as on-track as they could have been. There were tears.

Afterwards, we went out for a couple of beers with colleagues from InHolland at an Irish pub. Sort of a perfect way to remember Sally - drinking beer and laughing with a group of her friends. Then Fred and I had a rather disappointing dinner at a local Italian restaurant.

It's so rainy and cold here today that it's biting out. It's the perfect day to stay in. I think we'll eat whatever we have in the house. I'm not going out. It's winter in Holland.

1 comment:

Leslie Shelor said...

What a lovely celebration of a beautiful person's life!