Trudy’s garden and yard had to be immaculate, after all, she’s the president of the Bakersfield Green Thumb Garden Club. She worked hard to make it happen, hung in there on days when she didn’t feel up to par. With Trudy’s eye and guidance, and partner Sylvia and sister Rebecca doing the heavy lifting and physically intensive jobs, the setting shone picture-perfect.
|Sylvia, Rebecca, and Trudy|
Trudy sent out the word, and we all came -- family members, lifelong pals, new friends, motorcycle buddies, and garden club friends. Some traveled from as far away as Arizona and Los Angeles, Aguanga, Littlerock, Sacramento, and Redding, California. Folks from all over town where Trudy has become dear also showed up. The gals from the Speedway convenience store down the street and Joe from the Bulk Yard were on hand.
An informal open house-style party, characterized by laughter and stories of Trudy and her antics brought us all together. Ever gracious, though tiring as the day progressed, Trudy took time to visit with each person. And, yes, it was emotional, but that’s to be expected. We care deeply.
Sylvia had spent many hours lovingly creating a slide show that showcased the important areas of Trudy’s life. To everyone’s delight, it ran constantly throughout both afternoons.
Sunday morning, friend Chelli, who had driven in from Arizona the afternoon before, rose with a mission in mind. Her early morning shopping trip resulted in a bountiful array of scrapbooking materials and a small photo printer. As people arrived at the house later that day, she took pictures of them with Trudy. The guests then created a scrapbook page that displayed the photo and their message for Trudy. Participating in this way initiated a wonderful memory for each one of us while creating the epitome of a memory book for Trudy and Sylvia.
An Awake Party. Not a wake. That’s what Trudy wanted. It gave us a chance to pay our respects to her and to let her know how important she is to us, how much we love her. It’s a priceless gift each of us can hold in our hearts, a gift for which I am beyond grateful.