Monday, May 26, 2008

John William Hickey — In Memoriam

click here for Full Size image of Nanci delivering her eulogyclick here for Full Size image of Karina delivering her eulogyOn Memorial Day weekend 2008 I laid my brother's ashes into the ground as a gusty strong late-Spring breeze made Johnny's presence known to all of us, family and friends, gathered together at Sandy Lake Cemetery near Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. John William Hickey, born July 28th, 1941, was my only brother — a trusted friend, someone I looked up to for my whole life. A decade my senior, Johnny had a very serious bout of throat cancer in 2000 but recovered, moved from Ontario where he lived most of his life, and retired in New Brunswick Canada with his beloved partner, Lorraine Ault (bottom right). Eulogies during the graveside service were delivered by Nanci (in her blog) and I (Johnny's siblings) and by Johnny's daughter Karina (bottom left and top right). We also had a poetry reading done by Keegan (Johnny's grandson) and a very moving song sung by Amber Phelan (on YouTube, lyrics), Johnny's niece (Nanci's daughter).
click here for Full Size image of Kevin and Karina
Karina (daughter) and Kevin
click here for the YouTube clip of Johnny's Amazing Graceclick here for Full Size image of Nanci and Lorraine
Nanci, and Lorraine (beloved partner)
The YouTube video clip (center icon, above) features our long-time family friend, Don Gordon, playing the euphonium as we all sang the immortal "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound "…

I am grateful for such a genuine, moving, service — a heart-felt tribute to my beloved brother from all of us. I will never forget… when I reached 3' down into the earth to lay away the wooden box Johnny made, containing his ashes; it brought tears to my eyes as I realized this would be my very last goodbye. See my "fond memories of Johnny" blog for pictures from his lifetime, and this Flickr album for snapshots (or SlideShow) from our trip to Canada for his Memorial service.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day — picnic at the Stone Quarry in Rockport

What a fabulous Mother's Day the four of us had at the rock quarry in Rockport yesterday !!!

click here for Full Size image of Lynn and Kevinclick here for Full Size image of eJP, just like the whole sequence of her in the AlbumSee my Flickr album "Mother's Day at Rockport's Halibut Point" for the snapshots (or SlideShow) of the Pammett family outing on a glorious day in May. We had a picnic right on the very edge of the rock quarry followed by a jaunt around the site and we couldn't have picked a better day for it. It was the girls' and my present to "Mom" to pack a sumptuous basket of delectables, and without any agenda other than having a nice, relaxing, day… we were all in a space to enjoy one another's company to the max.

Above, my youngest daughter (eJP) soaring in the warm May breeze. Right is a panorama I made of the rock quarry itself. If you zoom in closely you see a tiny person who scaled down the rocks to be near the water level, exactly like Jilli did, here for Full Size panorama of Rockport Stone Quarry made from 6 snapshotsIt's impossible to do justice to this place with pictures. This and this one show you that the quarry is right beside the ocean though you don't get a sense of how high up it is. The view is breath-taking magnificent !!

Here you see our actual picnic site, about 30' up from the water level. Below (left) is Lynnie standing on the precipice right beside where we ate lunch. This wild one of me — blown in the wind — is from practically the same vantage.
click here for Full Size image of Lynnie taking in the magnificance of it allclick here for Full Size close-up of Jillian Gaye, age 20
Jillian, shown on the right, is one of the few close-ups I got because mostly she was off climbing walls or falling off the picnic space — when she wasn't just flat out relaxing 50' below us.

Alas… these days are so precious. I thank my lucky stars that my family is in a space where doing this kind of "family outing" does constitute a really special Mother's Day — for all of us  !!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mom's Flowering Pear Tree, Spring 2008

Every April I look forward to Mom's Flowering Pear Tree coming to life and filling our yard with her energy. And this year I got a huge dose of it because I spent 2 days this weekend rebuilding the wooden trellis that holds up our Concord grapes. The panoramas below show you the "before" and "after" version of that effort. To see the trellis in both pictures, look to the very far right, about half way down the picture. The left-hand one is "all gray" because it was totally overgrown with stems from last year's grapes. The newly-rebuilt one looks "naked" and you can see the new 2x4s that I used to rebuild the holding structure. Click thru on the panoramas to get a much better view of the beautiful flowers and/or the trellis structure.
click here for Full Size image of this backyard panorama  made from 4 snapshots, showing the old falling-down grape trellisclick here for Full Size image of this backyard panorama, with the new grape trellis, made from 3 snapshots

Mom died of cancer on August 12th in the year 2000. So on her birthday — Nov 5th of that year — I planted this flowering pear tree in her honor. You can see that it's little more than a stick in the ground in these pictures when we planted it. I chose that type of tree primarily because Mom loved flowers and I knew that these beautiful flowers every Spring would remind me of her — especially remind me of visits that she made to see us when we lived in Alabama where "everyone" had these types of ornamental pear trees. See Mom (Jean Audrey Pammett), or in her maiden years.