2/23/2013: L’s Birthday…

Today about two dozen friends and I held a 2nd memorial celebration of L’s life–it was fitting that it came on his birthday. He had asked me to be sure and do something here in Florida for those friends who could not come to Wisconsin last May. What a wonderful event it turned out to be. There is a long bridge from mainland Sarasota over to the barrier islands. Every year he was here L took great pride in riding his bike up and over that bridge and back again. The last year he was down here toward the end of the season he came back one day and said, “I made it to the top of the bridge today.” I knew that was the last time he would manage that and sure enough that was the day he stopped riding his bike. So the friends and I walked to the top of the bridge–a long gradual climb and there we had a moment of silence, then dropped orchid and rose petals. Because of the strong wind they petals flew through the air and way out onto the water as they landed. One person said looking down at the water so far below that they looked like a cluster of butterflies and it was true. It was SO beautiful. Afterwards we had lunch at L’s favorite pizza place. I had given the chef there L’s recipe for salmon patties (one of his standard meals when he cooked) and the chef took the recipe and made up appetizer sized patties for us to enjoy. I had also ordered L’s favorite frozen custard sent from Wisconsin for dessert. It was a day of surprises and stories and laughter–a bittersweet day to be sure–but as always with L the emphasis was on the “sweet.”

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