Today I attended the memorial service for Kumi. She was an amazing and adventurous soul - wife, mom, artist, cook, party giver, bank vice president, world traveler, school board president, university board member, peace corps volunteer at 65, and what a grandmother! Each of her five grandchildren received the gift of a lifetime on his/her tenth birthday: a trip of their choosing - anywhere in the world with grandma. Wow!
The service was lovely, beginning with each grandchild lighting a candle. Her very closest friends and family spoke and we all watched a montage of her life. Two incredible pianists, young relatives, filled the room with Beethoven, Liszt, and Bach. Kumi,of course, had planned the entire service - everything down to the color of the flowers and the food to be served after. I'm pretty sure she designed the program and picked the photos for the cover. It was easy to know that she was very much present.
Words from her memoir:
"I do not feel afraid. I live with no fear lurking around my psyche. I am aware and awake to the beauty of each moment. My orientation each day is to know what would give me pleasure that day and to choose to do it. It is to enjoy whatever it is that I am physically able to do that day. I don't find myself wishing I could be doing something else. I am genuinely living a good life, living it fully and living it in gratitude. I feel as though I am living in a state of grace, in a place I characterize as heaven. To die having consiciously experienced LIFE is a gift beyond measure. I believe this was the gift of my cancer.
Years ago I spent lots of time at Kumi's beach house. It was filled with art from around the world, shelves and shelves of books, music, food, friends and Kumi. We figured out how to make sweetpeas grow on string frames. I haven't tried to grow sweetpeas in a long, long time. This year I will. It will be my pleasure.
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