As some of you know, I write two blogs: one about the goings-on from the Music Department of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu (Another Year of Insanity) and the other about Burbank High School Class of 1968. This will be the first (and maybe the one and only!) time that I will post the very same article to both blogs!
The last few days I have been in contact with a former organ student, Joey Fala, who will be substituting for me in May while I attend the wedding of my youngest brother, Rick (who, by the way, was a Burbank High grad, class of 1980.) My Honolulu friends saw Rick last May when he came with my mother to attend my husband’s “swan song” retirement concert, Bach’s monumental Mass in B Minor, an enormous undertaking in terms of people, musical and financial resources. Rick was our unofficial photographer and took over 500 pictures! If you look closely at the picture above, you can see me sitting at the small positiv organ in the center. The concert was a tremendous success on all accounts, and was the last time I saw my mother.
Rick had been living with my mother for the last nine years following a divorce. She often said to him, “”You will not find a wife until after I die.” He always thought it was a mean saying, and felt that she did not want him to be happy. However, her saying ended up being quite prophetic. On June 29th after getting up and making breakfast, my mother fell in the kitchen and subsequently had a massive stroke, and died that evening.
Rick then spent 12-hour days notifying friends and relatives of her passing and memorial service, and other logistics. By the time he got to Forest Lawn, he was physically and emotionally spent. In the last hour of the viewing, a woman came to sign the guest book. Rick greeted her and showed her where a video of my mother’s life was playing. He didn’t know her name but recognized her from church, but never knew her name. They made small talk, and Rick wrote down her phone number.
After the funeral he spent a few days vacationing at Yellowstone, and upon his return, promptly gave her a call. They saw each other over the next few weeks going to museums, attending classical music concerts, seeing movies, going to Disneyland, and found they had a lot in common. You guessed it — they fell in love and will be married on May 19th! And so Carl and I will be attending their wedding in Burbank, CA that weekend. Rick and his bride will honeymoon first on Maui, then when Carl and I go to the Bachfest in Leipzig, Germany in the first week of June, the newlyweds will stay in our condo.
Isn’t that a great story?! It’s a story of life after death, hope after despair. May they live “happily ever after.”