Mourning Charlotte, celebrating life

Between work and personal obligations, this has been a super-busy week. But the past 24 hours have been a particularly interesting contrast between life and death events, so to speak.

Yesterday was the visitation for my friend Charlotte and today was the funeral. It’s a knife in the heart to think that Charlotte is really, truly gone — the reality of that hasn’t really sunk in yet, to tell the truth. But the visitation and funeral were much less grim than I anticipated. It was a joy to see all the photos of Charlotte through the years and to read her writings, and there also were lots of former Gazette staffers at both events, so that also made me glad to be there. One highlight of the funeral was a tribute written by her husband and read by a friend; it really captured Charlotte’s spirit.

In between going to Charlotte-related events yesterday and today, I also went to a retirement reception and the Kalamazoo Relay for Life.

The former was a reminder that not all ending are sad; Pat Coles-Chalmers should have a delightful time in retirement.  The Relay for Life event is one I hadn’t planned to attend at all, but K-Central assembled a team and Kathryn went there tonight and then called and said I needed to come, too. It was interesting, because my kids have pretty much ignored the cancer issue in recent months, but tonight Kathryn had me sign my name on the Survivor Wall and created a luminary in my name and took my picture next to a  sign that promoted by oncologist. It was very sweet, and it was inspirational, too, to see all these teenagers pitching in for a good cause. (It also was interesting because K-C was the only high school represented.)

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One Response to “Mourning Charlotte, celebrating life”

  1. Aunt Jo Says:

    6-05-2010
    whooo! NO more CHEMO!
    What a milestone you just made.
    You are one tough “cookie”, Julie.
    God bless you.
    love, A. Jo

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