On November 29th 1985, my mom entered into an alliance that today I find myself looking back upon and wishing to retrace the memories day by day. Who would have known then, especially me at age 19, that I would be standing here today recounting a relationship with such a dynamic man that I love very much who happens to be the other end of that union. I know this to be a greater challenge than he had ever assumed before: Suzanne and Shawn, as one package deal, could be more than one could handle! What I did not realize then, and what would continue to move and inspire me 20 years hence, was the gift that he gave to me, my mother, and everyone he touched.
Within every storm lies a calm center. For me, Fred was that calming force. I consider it an honor to have known, loved, and hugged him. I can only hope that the converse is true for him as well.
I'll always remember that Fred brought magic to our dinner table, our parties, and most importantly, he brought magic to our lives. I know that whenever I am faced with challenges in my life-days that never seem to go well, purchasing something without a coupon, and Mom wanting to take me to Midnight Mass at Christmas-I'll be able to proceed with a gift Fred provided so openly. The kind of passion for life, learning, and people we can only hope to mirror in our own lives. His love and the energy he possessed will never be gone, yet present in so many ways.
I thank you Bill, Beth, and Joe for sharing your father with me. This wonderful, exciting man may not be present in body, but his spirit will always be with me. I'm a better person for having known him. Life is a symphony: some people stay for the entire performance, some people come for a short period of time and leave, some people appear early, leave and then reappear, but all make an impression.