Sunday, April 02, 2017

Seattle Celebration of Life

I wasn't quite ready to write about Mom's second Celebration of Life after it ended last weekend. But now I've had a chance to reflect on it.  We had mom's second celebration on Saturday March 25th. I estimate we had about 50 family and friends come by.

What did I learn about mom?

Her Boeing career was so much more than I had imagined. I knew mom was one of those women who didn't let the "man's" world stop her. She fought her way through management with the Good ol' boys. Two of her previous co-workers and employees were there. One I've know pretty well throughout the years. She calls mom, Mama Jo. She has recounted stories of how mom helped guide and motivate her through Boeing and through her own personal life. That was mom. If you let her in, she'd be into everything in your life. Good and bad.

The second gentlemen I knew at arms length. I had met him and his wife a couple of times. I didn't know what mom had done for him. He told me how he was moved up here from Edwards AFB and how Mom was directly responsible for his career growth into management and logistics. He teared up a little when he remembered all the things she taught him about how to be a good manager. He felt he had been very fortunate to have mom show him the way.

She was, no doubt, a career woman. She loved her job and hated her job with equal veracity. We all do. But at the core was a woman who wanted to grow and to bring good people around her to help them grow. I only hope she knows what an impact she had on them.

Other guests that made a surprise appearance are two friends from my childhood. Both live nearby and I'm sad that we don't get together as much as we could. In Lancaster their parents and mine were inseparable. Every weekend we were either at their house, or them at ours. We laughed at how many weekends everyone stayed the night because of too much booze. We recounted stories of Boeing picnics, and the trouble our parents would get into ... such good stories. The best part is we have something on the calendar to get together in April. I really hope we can continue to do just that.

Family showed up too. The sister from Portland and her family came up. My aunt Jean and some of her family came up (always good to see her). She, in fact, is the person responsible for my scrapbooking problem. I wish I had gotten a photo of just her and I so I can write a scrapbook page about her.

I had several friends show up to support me. People who had met mom through the years and who considered her "Mom" too. Some put "Adopted Daughter" on their name tag. That just made me smile.

Overall I had to smile at the love in the room. A deep sadness brought all of us together, but the stories and the happiness that was in the memories made it bearable.