Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Our Celebration of Lucy's life

Good evening,

Jack Stack mentioned to me as he and his brother Jerry were leaving that he would expect an "update" on Monday---I allowed that judging by the past it seemed to be a good possibility.

Lucy Thompson (nee Nerney) left behind three loving children, Clare, Johnny and Kevin. The celebration was at Clare's house, on the water in San Rafael. The weather was perfect, with a slight breeze, and wispy clouds. We walked inside the house, said howdy, grabbed food, walked out onto the back porch and watched the ducks. As I am always hungry there was more than one walk to the food table. As it was a pot-luck we brought my ladies Spinach Dip (capitalized, as it is Lynnette's Spinach Dip), and Jennifer provided a fruit salad (I referred to it as compote, and Jennifer said that she did not believe that compoteing of fruit would be a good thing).

Jeff, Jim, Mike (Nerney's all) were there as well as Mike's wife Mary Alice. Mary Alice is one of those people that everybody likes, and when you first greet her it's like you are one of her closest friends, no matter how much time has passed. Nancy, and her daughter Norah, and her husband were there, as well as Nancy's son Terry. Terry and his son used the community pool, and came to the party late, as his son was not willing to go for a dip, but rather a marathon.

There was barbecued chicken, potato salad, other types of salad, and after awhile the lasagna came out. I spotted the lasagna and made sure that I would not show up for the last table spoon full. Later on, much later on, the spaghetti was put out and I had made the fatal mistake of already being full. I noticed others relish it so I assume it tasted as good as it looked. There was an apple pie, which again I had allowed no room for, and was again miffed, knickered off, and upset.

As we entered the house the photo album table was just prior to the living room, and kitchen. I looked through a couple of them, and happened on Jerry Stack's collection. I had not seen these photos before, and there were the three brothers, their sister, and their mom, all together. Jack/Jerry/Jimmy and Joanie, and mom Pat. Pat was the first born of the Nerney children and Jack Stack mentioned that it's not every day the nephew is older than his aunt. Jack knows the right way to say things and he put it that he was 80, and that Nancy would be having a rather momentous birthday later this year.

Jack lead off the sharing side of the celebration and gave us some of the history of Lucy in the Nerney family from of old, and Nancy talked about sharing a room with her older sister. When Lucy was about 20, and Nancy about 9, she would watch Lucy as she brushed her beautiful strawberry blonde hair and hum, melodiously, as she went about with her business. Nancy liked to watch and listen as her beautiful older sister put on her make-up. We talked of the home on Baden in SF, and of the walking down three levels to get to the site of the street car/bus, and of how when Lucy would go to catch that bus the corner store coffee shop owner would hand Lucy her cup. Jack mentioned that there were no Starbuck's in those days, and Peet's wasn't even thought of as yet.

Jack talked of the eventful sea voyage when James Clare and Margaret Helena (Nana) traveled from the East Coast (New York) and nana was over 8 months pregnant; the voyage made Nana seasick and the pregnancy was a difficult one, and then Lucy was born on dry land, in Los Gatos, Ca. Clare told us of her mother's knowledge of, and love for, St. Augustine, and that even though she was not a regular attendee at Catholic Mass that she slept with a rosary under her pillow. Someone mentioned that we all had Nana's example, and that she and her husband said prayers at their bedside, on their knees every night, and when there was a church nearby they attended. Laura (Allen's oldest daughter) talked of the time that she was searching for spiritual guidance and Lucy provided her with an attentive ear, and a warm heart to discuss things with.

In the albums of photographs my father appeared, and Lucy, and all of his brothers and sisters, and parents. We all discussed things large and small, and enjoyed each other. My cousins were my friends when we were young, and they have stayed as such in my heart. We do not meet often, and they are sometimes sad occasions, but today was not one of those, as most are not. Lucy was a Christian, and her parents went before her to be in the Lord's presence. Nana lived to 104, and died the next day. Her funeral, life's celebration in Santa Cruz was full of laugher, and there were no tears. Why cry when one of the Queen's of this world passes on and you know without a doubt that God, any God, but especially the Christian God has welcomed her and the need to cry is gone.

It was a fun day, an interesting day, and an informative day. As Jack said, I am predictable. As I said to Jack when he left, have a safe journey home and it was good to visit with him. It was good to visit with all of them. Lynnette made spinach dip, Jennifer the salad and Mary Ann and I smiled, and ate what there was. I drove, and that was my contribution; that and the ladies that came, and smiled and talked.

Until the next reunion, for whatever purpose, have fun, and thanks again for being my family,

Love and hugs, Larry

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