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Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Thu May 21, 2015 8:55 pm
by weisssoccermom
I've been having a difficult time trying to figure out the words to write in this post...which is why this has taken me so long to post. Belle's 'celebration of life' was a few weeks ago....April 25th....and I have to be honest, I was terrified to attend. It was supposed to rain, I didn't know if I could make it through without crying and I just wasn't sure what to expect. I also had planned to visit my parent's home (both are deceased) which is located about 5 miles from Belle's house. The day was going to be a highly emotional day all around. In addition, Battleground/Brush Prairie was a good 2.5 hours from my home so I had a lot of time to reflect on what was going to transpire. It didn't help that I had hurt my hip a few days earlier and the drive was brutal but I made it there and back ok.

Belle's ceremony was beautiful.....people cried and laughed and remembered what a wonderful person our dear Belle was. There was music, some 'speeches' and a small video about Belle, her life, her likes, her friends but most importantly her family. A few people got up and spoke and I deeply regret that I didn't have the courage to do so. My memories of Belle aren't about her advocacy or about her devotion to CRC. Rather my memories are about a lovely woman (Belle used the word lovely all the time when describing things) who was all about her kids and her family. I remember Belle in the snow in Leavenworth, precariously perched taking pictures of her kids as they slid down the hill....all the while having a smile on her face. I remember the first time I met Belle when she came to pick hubby and me up at the train station in Leavenworth....would I know her, would we like each other (even though we had talked on the phone for years!) and I remember her smile, her welcoming hug and her comment "I didn't think you were a blonde"...btw, I am not...have light highlights but definitely not a blonde! Belle was all about her kids....and dang did she love them to the max. We had a great time in Seattle... Belle, Amber (her daughter) and I. The huge smile on her face as we watched the Nutcracker will always be a part of me. I especially remember, though, the last time we vacationed together....Leavenworth, 2013.....when Carolyn (another member here), Belle and I shared an evening in the condo talking about cancer, treatments, etc. and our conversation turned to tears and laughter. Belle went on to write about that evening in one of her blogs (http://colonclub.com/was-it-worth-it/).

Towards the end of the day, a day that was supposed to rain but instead remained sunny, after we had celebrated Belle's life with tears, stories and some lighthearted tales, we walked to the back of the property...to Belle's garden, and watched as her husband, her son and daughter and very close friends, dug a hole and planted a tree.....a tree to honor Belle. They then spread some of Belle's ashes around the tree.....now Belle will help that tree grow....she can help nurture it and will always be 'present' in that garden....close to her family....the one part of Belle's life that she held higher.....that was more important than anything else in her life.

Yes, this was a special day. I visited my parents home and the new owners allowed me to see the house...a house that I had not been inside of for 14 years. There were a few things about the house that were still my Mom and Dad's (they had the house built for them so picked out all the cabinets, flooring, etc.). The rhodies were still there, although much larger. My dad's sundial was still sitting in his garden....yep, this was my parent's house.....and it was a fitting way to complete that day. You see, when I went to Belle's house, I looked at the 'program' and realized that Belle passed away on my dad's birthday and here I was, culminating that day at my mom/dad's house. I am very glad that I went that day....because that day, all around a very difficult and sad day.....personally meant a lot to me.

The pictures in the following link are just a few snapshots from that day.....pictures of the centerpieces, Belle's garden, a table dedicated to Belle's advocacy and pictures of her family. I also took a picture of the program (you will likely have to enlarge it ) for all to read. As I was hobbling around and using a cane that day, I wasn't able to take pictures so would like to thank both Anita and Steve (SaveMy Archie) who shared some of their photos with me so that I could post them here. Finally, a few weeks ago, I decided to ask this man I had met at the local Farmer's Market to make a birdhouse in Belle's honor. I recently picked it up and you will see a picture of it as well. I am not sure if I will drive down or just send it to the family.....but I know that Belle would love to have some birds make a home in a birdhouse, dedicated to her.....close by in her own garden.

Belle....you are a hero to all of us. To me, though, you were a wonderful friend and I will always miss you.
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B1wgbiLAM2Ssfk5MOHZRSUxVMEJmVFdfdzRzY01tUnlJWGgtWUVGcUk5MDdvWjllT1BTTmc&usp=sharing

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Thu May 21, 2015 9:30 pm
by michelle c
Thank you so much for sharing this with us - it was lovely written. What a beautiful day in Belle's honor. She will be sadly missed - my heart goes out to her family - her husband and her beautiful children.

Sounds like it was an emotional day for you - with your parents as well.

What a lovely idea to have a birdhouse made - her family will love it - it's beautiful. I definitely think that you should deliver it in person - her family would appreciate your very kind and thoughtful gesture and I'm sure it would mean so very much to them to have you deliver it in person too.

Thanks again for sharing - what a beautiful story. So very sad that Belle has gone but she will live on in the hearts of those who loved her ❤️❤️❤️

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Thu May 21, 2015 9:41 pm
by CRguy
Thank you for sharing that Jaynee ... especially
" Belle....you are a hero to all of us. To me, though, you were a wonderful friend and I will always miss you. "

Belle did touch everyone she met and will always be a friend to us all....
and will be missed by all ... always.

BELLE Strong !

Harmony
CR

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Thu May 21, 2015 9:52 pm
by Maddielolo
So glad you shared all that... Thank you

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Thu May 21, 2015 10:09 pm
by Ajane
Thank you for sharing, Jaynee. It seems to me in many ways this was quite cathartic for you. So glad you got to go.

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Thu May 21, 2015 10:17 pm
by weisssoccermom
Just making sure that you are able to view the pictures. Are you able to open them?

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Thu May 21, 2015 10:19 pm
by JudeD59
Thanks so much for sharing. That couldn't have been easy. Although I joined too late to get to know Belle, I've read her wonderful blog posts and enjoyed her warmth and wisdom.

Judy

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Thu May 21, 2015 10:43 pm
by CRguy
weisssoccermom wrote:Just making sure that you are able to view the pictures. Are you able to open them?

Yup.

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 3:16 am
by bitchslapped
Weisssoccermom, I have an appreciation for the time & effort it takes to put together a post like that...sorting one's thoughts, putting the right words together. Enjoyed it very much, touching...thank you. The birdhouse is a wonderful testament to the friendship the two of you shared & a bright spot for her yard/garden & for her family. It is bright, yet earthy & unique which seems quite fitting. I hope this gift of friendship in her memory brings some measure of comfort to her family & to you . It would for me.
Best Wishes

BS

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 9:15 am
by Delinda2
Thank you for sharing. Belle strong.

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 9:38 am
by pollo65
Thank you so much for sharing isn't it funny how time slips away?
Pollo65

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 9:42 am
by DarknessEmbraced
So beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing! I wish I could have met Belle! Her legacy will live on! :D

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 9:59 am
by BrownBagger
Steve was kind enough to send me a copy of the program. Then, last week, he stayed with us for one night while he was back in NY--attending his PhD. graduation! He told me all about the memorial. I'm so glad so many of Belle's friends were able to attend.

She was a truly remarkable woman, universally admired and respected on this board, as I'm sure was the case in all other aspects of her life.

We cherish the memories as we move on...

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 10:19 am
by exaussie
Thank you for this post. Very beautifully worded and the pictures were really touching. Belle truly put a face on cancer, it happens to real people with real families and who have real hopes and dreams.

Re: Belle's Celebration of Life Ceremony

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 10:23 am
by ams5796
Thank you for sharing this day with us, Jaynee. I think of Belle often. I think of her family and I hope that they're doing well. Belle was so special and touched so many of us.


Ann