A cheerful Saturday morning to everyone, for us our travels are behind us but the memories still fresh. Many a laugh, many a story told, many a tear shed, and a hand full of odd-jobs accomplished. After all was done and the family collected ourselves it was sister-in-law Jolene who expressed it best:

”This was the First “Celebration of Life” event I attended that was a “Celebration”.” ~ Jolene Cody-Pastoor

Interment Celebration – It was Derek, who at age 14 came forward as the eldest son. Providing comfort to his mom and his Opa; such a strong young man.

Kirstin, whose life has now taken a new and much more difficult turn, read her personal letter to Vince. As the years go by her caring and heartfelt words will take on additional meaning, especially to both Derek and Kellen. For it was in her words of affection for their dad which let them know just what a loving father it was who brought them this far – how lucky they have been to have had him in their lives. And, whose guidance will still give direction to them as they mature.

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The Celebration of Vince’s life – was just a he had wanted it. Kirstin followed his directions to a ‘T’. If a picture was to be displayed Vince wanted it to be one of him crossing the finish line; she had a life-sized cutout made of that very moment and displayed it with his racing bike along with the race-bibs and medals.

Barbeque was offered, much barbeque. All prepared by his favorite barbeque restaurant; The County Line.

Live music was provided by Samantha Lee and the Family Tree and it was perfect, exactly what Vince would have expected from an Austin based live performance.

And it was that from across the country came an incredible assembly of family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and training partners which made it a complete celebration. Even having his oncologist, Dr. Helmer, spending his Saturday afternoon with us and letting us know just how special Vince had been as a patient all demonstrates what a treasure of a person Vince had been to all of us. No speeches, little brooding, just much sharing of our individual deep appreciation for having had Vince be a part of our lives.

Vince, I believe that somehow, and in some way, you watched the event and with a big smile turned to your grandma Gigi to say; “this is Yuuuge!

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Finis & Thanksgiving Dinner – Since Kirstin had pre-planned to have Vince’s family over for Thanksgiving Dinner we did not want to barge in. With a group of ten of us it wouldn’t be that difficult to find a restaurant to celebrate Thanksgiving; or would it?

After eight calls to likely places I threw in the towel. It was Marcia who made note of a very long table in our Inn’s breakfast area; “yes we were free to use it.”

Nearby grocery stores were open morning hours, and so, off we stormed; Shrimp, Sushi, Sarachi Brussels Sprouts and other veggies, luncheon meats, Rosemary Sourdough Bread, wine, deserts, and so it went. All together it quickly became a real FEAST, a real Thanksgiving feast – even Norman Rockwell would have been proud to paint this gathering.

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Make it a great week.

Cheers.

Dirk

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