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Friday, April 4, 2014

Fly High, Judi

My cousin Judi died today. She was only 58. It feels so stark and strange to write those words. She's been battling cancer for a while; here's the post I wrote February 28, SENDING WORD BOUQUET TO HOSPITAL.

When Dad was dying, Judi took time out of her busy life as a nurse and mother of three to call me. I remember stepping away from his bed and talking to her in the quiet family lounge at the hospital. She cared. She was always a rock for her sister, Lin, too. She had a special bond with Lin's son, Joey, who is autistic. You could just see it and sense it in one visit to Lin's house.

And when Figgy was born, Judi called me to talk. She mailed a package to us with a green velvet dress and a soft little pink bear wearing a bib that said Gerber; the bear was wrapped in a pink blanket. We called it Figgy's Gerber Baby, and she slept with it by her side for hundreds of nights.

At my own mother's wake in 1981, young nurse Judi had my friends laughing. She liked to crack jokes. She was funny, like her dad, my Uncle Aldo. I can still hear her laughter in Frech's Funeral Home. It lifted the heavy blanket.

She leaves behind a wonderful husband, Mike, and three loving children, two of whom have weddings planned for this year. She also leaves her mother, my good Aunt Edith, and a little dog who adored Judi no end, and vice versa. And I'm sure she leaves indelible memories with the ill patients she crossed paths with.

Fly high, Judi. I'm crying as I write that, because really, where are you flying to? I hope and pray you will hover near your children and Mike, and don't forget Lin!!! You can't forget Lin!!! Flap your wings noisily so she hears her little sister.

We will listen for your laughter in the call of the songbirds. Be safe around the stars; don't singe your glitter-dusted feathers, because their light is pretty hot.

Love, your cousin, Alice


  1. Alice, This was beautiful to read. Hugs, Heidi

  2. Oh, Alice, I am so very sorry for your loss, and, of coure, for Linda's, too. I'm sending prayers and healing thoughts your way. Much love xoxo

  3. This is such a beautiful surprise, Alice. I am reading it through the watery lens of tears, much how I am seeing everything lately. Like our father, family meant so much to Judi. She loved you and Sis. I am glad that you have these special memories of my best friend. Love, Lin

  4. I'm so very very sorry for your loss and sorrow, and Lin's as well.


  5. Heidi, Kim and Nan...thank you. I will miss my dear cousin but it's Lin who will feel the biggest hole in her heart, as she and her sister were very's seas are so rough alice

  6. I'm so sorry for your loss, Alice, and for Judi's family, too.