Dear Friends and Family,
Best wishes for 2003. We are in Phoenix with Jerry’s family for Christmas. It is our first Christmas without him. As most of you know, he died July 24, 2002, four months after the diagnosis of esophageal cancer, which had spread to his liver. It was a splendid battle, fought with dignity, faith, hope and chemotherapy. He was positive throughout, maintaining his sense of humor and buoying our spirits in spite of the difficult side effects.
Jerry turned 60 on July 10, and we celebrated with a large party at our church, where people had the opportunity to tell funny stories about him and tell him they loved him. What a rare gift that was for him to hear their memories and affirmations of the role he played in their lives.
We were supported by the love and presence of friends and family, who were with us at our home in his last days to help us give him a loving send off. Many people came together from near and far, and from different parts of all of our lives to celebrate Jerry’s life at his memorial service on August 31. Those who spoke shared their perspectives on Jerry’s life, and all were able to see the many interests he had, and the many aspects of his enthusiasm for life.
Being a hospice nurse for 14 years helped Nancy, but she didn’t expect to be so shocked by the experience. The loss has affected every area of our lives; our whole world has shifted. We are still trying to regain our equilibrium, but in spite of this, we are carrying on with work and with life.
Nancy took some time off from working at Hospice of Contra Costa, but has returned and is back in the swing of things. The people she works with are very supportive of and loving to her.
Christina is in her seventh year teaching at her alma mater, Mt. Diablo High School. She is enjoying her assignment as the yearbook and journalism teacher. She also teaches world history to freshmen.
Our sense of humor is a gift and keeps our spirits up. We have an even deeper appreciation of our friends and family and send you all our love and wishes for many blessings for 2003.
Nancy and Christina