Count your blessings.
I say that often and I have always said it often. I have always had so many things to be grateful for.
I used to look at my family with tears of joy in my eyes. Blessed. I still do that, only 3 of us now.
I believe in love for a lifetime. Blessed. I know we had almost 40 years together and that is a lifetime.
I know that family is a beautiful thing. Blessed. My family, all my family, have been my saving grace over the last few weeks.
And friends are a gift. Blessed. All of you who have reached out to the Arbo family-cards, flowers, texts, emails, meals, visits or attendance at a most epic Arbo memorial day. We are so thankful that you are in our lives.
This is my last entry for a while. This blog was intended as a communication tool. It ended up being my nightly sanctuary. I said what I said to reflect on the day. It gave me strength to continue.
I’m home alone for the first time since Arb died. I am sad and lonely and yet I know I am blessed. Arb is at peace and we will find peace and joy ahead. We have this massive collective memory and hope and faith that propel us forward! Count your blessings!
It was a beautiful day, from the early morning run all the way through to the crowd of young people gathered downstairs right now watching Harry Potter. Well actually, it started last night with a big family dinner at La Perla followed by a gathering at Bier Stein. One thing I know for sure is that Guy Arbogast is a well loved man. He loved well and consequently was well loved. He knew how to be a friend and in return has a host of true friends.
The weather was brisk and beautiful when 50 hardy friends gathered for “Arbo’s final loop” Some walked and some jogged at various paces but everybody enjoyed that lighthearted companionship that comes with a good morning run. If he had been here he would have lead the group and the banter. I know he watched over the whole day and enjoyed every minute.
The memorial lap around Hayward Field was touching and a sweet tribute to a fellow who loved a good race around the track.(as long as the race was over a lap) The walk to the Newman Center for the service was a short 5minutes and soon everybody was packed in the church. Father Garry spoke well and effectively to the crowd of mixed beliefs. He was able to bring a message of faith hope and love to all. I can’t begin to say how touching the eulogists were. Kate, Joe and Bryan, all 3 captured many many beautiful Arbo moments with just the right mix of humor and sincerity.
On to the Pub! The beer flowed, the food was delicious and everyone did what we like to do, drink beer and tell stories. It was perfect. My favorite compliment of the day came from a man who said when he died that he wanted a lap around the track followed by mass and then a party at the pub. Yep…we nailed it!
It was so moving to see all of Guy’s and my friends and family gathered in one place in his honor. Friends came from near and far to share this day and I want you all to know how much I appreciate you. It takes an effort to attend a funeral but I believe we are all better for it. The bond we create will make us stronger going forward and I know that we will all cherish every moment a little more.
I am exhausted and emotionally spent. I can’t deny that while it was a beautiful day it also took its toll. Who ever said 300 hugs in one day is a good idea? But I can close my eyes tonight and again say that we got this part right. Cheers everybody!
Kate and I escaped all the stuff we were supposed to be doing and headed over to the coast for the night. We had a perfect getaway at the Channel House in Depot Bay. Lovely room on the water, walks on the beach, good food and wine and lots of good conversation. I wish that words could get us out of where we are, they do help but we are still here.
From there we headed up and over to McMinnville where we met Guy’s immediate family, Dana, Pete and his mom, Sally. We did some wine tasting and had a nice dinner out. We also did lots of debriefing. It does help to go over the events of the last week. But again, we are still here.
We are all looking forward to the celebration that the weekend will be. So many people love the same man I love. I am overwhelmed by all the comments, gestures and support that have poured in since Guy’s death. Thank you all, but we are still here. At least I know we are not alone. I know that many many people feel a emptiness in their lives without his smile, his phone calls, his sense of humor. He was a gift.
Small detail about this weekend, If you are in town and want to find the gathering spot for Friday night then head to the Bier Stein. Some friends are going to try and stake out some space in the back room for all of us around 6 or 6:30. We are having a family dinner then plan to head over around 7. Hope to see you there and hear some good Arbo stories! Also thank you all for volunteering rooms in your homes for visitors. We will only need a few and Kate will contact you if need be.
I stepped away for a day, reflected on my last ten days and the last seven with Arb. I can’t say I would have done things differently, I can’t say I could have been more present. I can say I wish we never had cancer in our lives. I can say I’m glad he wasn’t afraid. I can say I still have a protective layer of shock buffering me from the intense loss we have faced.
Kate is home with me now. We are sorting through 35 years of stuff trying to set up a path for me to go forward. We have made some progress but still a ways to go. We are working on arrangements for a Saturday, hoping to have a wonderful day honoring our love. We went to Beppe and Laurie’s for dinner tonight. Great food and vino. I gave Laurie the shirt and Pj pants that Guy died in and asked her if she would turn them into a pillow. It will bring me comfort.
We are working on a spot for people to gather on Friday night. We are trying to get the back room at the Bier Stein but apparently the can’t reserve it on Friday night. Anyway we will let you know when we figure something out. Meanwhile I am looking forward to seeing many of you on Saturday and I know Guy will be watching and enjoying all the fuss over him.
This picture is from Cinque Mulini. He went back for a visit to one of his favorite race courses in Italy, outside Milano.
With both love and pain in our hearts, we invite you to Guy’s service and celebration of life next Saturday, January 13th in Eugene. We have planned a day full of activities we thought were fitting for a man who lived life so fully (although he would have preferred some nap/tv time in between). Below is a description of everything we have planned as well as information that will help you to plan your stay if you are visiting from out of town. Please join us for as much of this day as you are able.
Saturday, January 13th
We will start the day the way he always did. At 8:00am, we invite everyone to meet at Beppe and Giani’s restaurant, 1646 East 19th Avenue, where we will meet to run “the loop”, rain or shine (just like Arbo). This was the run he organized and ran for nearly every day for 30 years with many of his closest friends. Some of us will run, some of us will walk, and some of us will cut it short but the important thing is we will all start in the same place. Wear your favorite jersey or singlet if you have one!
From 10:30 am to 11:00am, we will have Hayward field opened for us. We invite you to walk a tribute lap or two around Hayward in Honor of Arbo before the service.
At 11:00, we will hold a memorial Service for Guy at the Newman Center, 1850 Emerald St. The Newman Center is essentially across the street from Hayward field, so you should only have to park once. We will be running/walking around Hayward and then walking to the service. If you have not been to the Newman Center, you should be able to easily follow someone over there after you walk.
Celebration of Life
We will head over to Oakshire Public House, 207 Madison St. We all know he would want us to be drinking beer in his honor, so that’s what we will be doing. They are not able to close the place to the public but have reserved half the tables for us and knowing us we will probably take it over. Those tables will be reserved from 12:30pm-4:00pm. There will be a great food truck, Buk Buk, outside and we will also be having a potluck. Please bring a dish to share. Myrna is coordinating the potluck through http://my.lotsahelpinghands.com/community/search (type in Arbogast). We will provide plates and silverware.
We have been calling around to hotels and have had trouble finding availability for the weekend. We have lots of friends who have kindly offered a room or two in their house for people coming from out of town. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you either have a room to offer or are looking for a place to stay. I will coordinate that and put you in touch with each other.
We also suggest airbnb.com if you have a bigger group.
So, I wake up this morning…no husband. It really doesn’t seem real, what we did yesterday, did we really do that? Straighten out my thoughts, well yes we did.
I got up at 6 and drove Pete to the airport. It was sad to see him go. He has been my rock, my counselor, my sounding board and my shoulder to cry on. He understood because it was his brother that we were losing. He stood with me through it all and it wasn’t all pretty. I will forever be indebted to him because he did not shy away from the hard stuff. Thanks Pete.
Kate and Matt and I went to the funeral home and made the arrangements to take care of Guy’s body. I dreaded this but they are good at it and it wasn’t too bad. Check that off the list. Pete was able to confirm with the Newman center that we could have a service next Saturday at 11am. We will meet with the priest on Sunday to confirm the detail of the service. Check.
We were trying to figure out where would be a good spot for a celebration of his life following the service. We did not want a rented hall that would not have suited him. So guess what we decided on. Now think really hard about where Guy’s party should be. Not Beppe’s, not big enough. What did he really love? Yep…beer. His celebration will be at Oakshire. For you out of towners, that is a local pub, and a good one. Kate, Matt and I are very satisfied with that choice. He will look down and smile, probably sipping his own Pilsner from on high. Check
We had our inner circle over for dinner, la familigia. We sat around the table and ate and toasted and ate more and toasted more. Stories flew around, laughter, drinking, tears and two desserts. If he was watching he would have liked it.
Love you all who loved him
Guy stopped his life on earth today at 9:37 am. Pete and I held his hands and told him we loved him and that his family would be ok. His breath slowed and he peacefully went to see his dad and all that the heavenly world has for him. His passing was peaceful and we were honored to share his last moments as we know him.
Our hospice nurse came by right after he died. We washed his body and dressed him in his new Manchester United Jersey, favorite sweat pants and socks, always socks. We covered him with his favorite quilt and his body was at rest. Kate and Matt arrived about an hour later. I met them at the door and we embraced as I shared the news of their dads passing. Both kids spent some time visiting with his body although it creeped them out that his eyes were partially open.
The afternoon was spent making phone calls and arrangements. We are numb. Walking through jello. But I hold in my heart that we did it right. He died in peace, in his own living room, by the fire with U2 playing loudly. He died as he had lived….all out. There was no bullshit and no kidding around.
We have a beautiful dinner brought over by Merrisue but we decided to go out tonight. We will eat her dinner tomorrow. We went to dinner at Mame and made so may toasts to Guy Arbogast followed by after dinner drinks and loud music and dancing in our living room. Guy would approve.
I cant quite see the big picture right now so I will just work on what I can. We are hoping for a service and celebration for him next Saturday although we haven’t confirmed the site yet. More on that tomorrow. Love to all….from the broken-hearted Arbogast clan.