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Closure and Peace


MaryJo

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I wasn't sure what to do with Dan's ashes after his memorial mass. I scattered some of them along a trail he used to enjoy visiting, some of them were scattered with his mom's ashes at her parents gravesite with some mums. The rest of them, and the bulk of them, I decided to take to Maine were we loved to visit. When we lived in Massachusetts we used to visit Kennebunkport, ME every fall. Oh, what beautiful country! We usually went after peak foiliage season because the rates were lower...ever the accountant was Dan! lol I took Jeff, our friend and Dan's caregiver for two years, as a way of thanking him for everything that he did for both of us. He was and still is such a support for me and he took excellent care of Dan. He is a very dear friend.

 

Dan's accountant mentality rubbed off on me (which is a very good thing!) so we went after peak season. We had absolutely gorgeous weather for this time of year. It was high 50's to low 60's the whole week. The colors were past peak but still beautiful compared to the midwest. The ocean was clear and breathtaking as always. Dan and I moved back to the midwest in 1990 but I still miss the smell and sound of the Atlantic ocean. Jeff had never been to the east coast. To the typical American midwesterner, taking a trip normally means going south or west; somehow, most midwesterners don't wander too far east. To see the smile and awe on Jeff's face as he took in the history and this beautiful part of the USA was a thrill to me. Knowing that he was seeing and doing things that he normally would not do was uplifting for me. He saw Plymouth rock, the oldest cemetery in the USA, the first Baptist church in the USA, sailboats on the ocean, freightliners, and so many more things. He was like a kid most of the time, biggest grin on his face!

 

When Dan and I went to Kennebunkport we'd always climb out onto the rocks and just sit and soak up the sights and smells. Picking at the tidal pools looking for rocks and little ocean critters. Climbing the rocks was much more difficult for me now that it was 20+ years ago! Jeff was so patient, climbed ahead of me, helped me up and down the craggy large rocks. Assuring me that it wouldn't hurt me if my shoes got a little wet in a tidal pool about 1/2 second before I slipped into the tidal pool and got my jeans and my shoes a LOT wet! I haven't laughed so hard in a long, long time. Dan's ashes were scattered in a place he loved so much, along the rocky coast of Maine. It brought a feeling of closure to me, knowing that he was in a place he loved so dearly.

 

It was a beautiful, bittersweet trip for me. I feel at peace. I loved every minute of it, but leaving was sad. Now I'm home with my sweet little puppy Quincy, whom I missed sooo much. Life goes on, the good, the bad, and the mundane. I have learned to thank God for every minute of this life, for the life I had with Dan and for the life I will have in the future.

 

I pray for courage and strength for all of you my good, caring, supportive caregiver and stroke survivor friends. You have been like family to me for such a long time. Love and hugs to all.

 

Mary Jo

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Mary Jo, I think you did the right thing with Dan's remains. It meant a lot to you and I'm sure Dan would approve. The Eastern area you spoke of sounds beautiful and I hope to travel there some day. Larry and I have been to the Cape area and Plymouth and it is one of my favorite trips.

 

Now I know why you are a Red Sox fan living in Indiana. : )

 

Take care.

 

Julie

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What a beautiful description of a bittersweet trip. Laughter and sadness need to be part of such an experience. It sounds like a wonderful way to thank Jeff as well--let him see a different side of the man he cared for. I often want to help those who only know Lauren post stroke to see him as I knew him before. People loved my husband and his generous spirit.

 

Thank you so much for continuing to check in and let us know how you are. I think of you often. ~~Donna

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Hi Mary Jo,You don't know me, but I wanted to say that your post was beautiful. The discription of your travels made me feel like I was there too. Thank you for that.I'll be thinking of you as your journey continues,Cinder

 

Thank you Cinder, I'm glad you enjoyed my post. I don't know your status, but I'll be thinking of you also...we're all on a journey, some are just different than others. Hugs.

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Asha, I could feel Dan smiling and with me the whole week, I think that's why I feel so at peace.

 

Nancy, Hugs to you too honey, hang in there.

 

Julie, IMO, New England is truly God's country.

 

Donna, I've always thought it sad that people who knew Dan post stroke never knew that the meaness is not how he was pre-stroke. He was a good, caring, kind man.

 

I think of all of you often. I do continue to be a lurker, but I will check in occasionally! Hugs to all.

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MaryJo, thank you for your wonderful post. What a great idea, Dan has a smile on his face. I have never thought about travelling to Maine, now it is on my list.

 

You take care

 

God bless

 

Yvonne

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MaryJo I'm just now finding and reading this. It sounds like you made the perfect trip and memorial to your Dan. I'm glad Jeff was able to go also, he has been there all along, like the true friend he was. I'm sure you will continue to feel the peace of knowing it was all done in a beautiful way that was all about Dan's joys and places you both loved. Bless you.

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