Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Joan Casey Update #25: Our Wedding @ SPC

This is a 8-minute video clip that highlights our wedding on June 17, 1990

What a Happy Day our wedding was!
And, what a happy marriage it produced.
The Celebration of Joan's Life at the Sausalito Presbyterian Church on May 21 recalled the earlier event and infused its happiness into people's hearts all over again!
It certainly lifted my spirits to recall, experience again, and anticipate such infectious joy in the future.
And, I know Joan was very happy!
Just take my word for it...

A trip to the Sausalito Church website will provide another chance to view the above clip, plus more pictures taken and posted by our friends afterwards - which was also amazing!
Enjoy this as I have.
I expect to show it at the final Memorial for Joan - at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship on Saturday, June 4 at 2 PM.
Come one, come all to remember Joan's irrepressible persona...
Recorded music and light refreshments to follow.
An AD in the Herald will repeat this invitation more widely, starting this Sunday and running for 3 days...

Joan Casey Update #24: On Clowns

Joan - before John
Joan as Lily
Lily & Big Red - A Clown Couple

Joan meets Corpulent Critter (Big Red has grown really big!
Critters as Ushers @ Joan & John's Wedding

Friday, May 20, 2016

Joan Casey Update #23: Celebration of Life Video

Ms Joan Casey

I arrived in San Francisco yesterday and came straight to Joan's house with our friend Ilya.
The house was immaculate and I can imagine Joan exclaiming it was so wonderful. The weather was bright but windy, giving motion to trees and clouds outside the kitchen windows.

Joan's oldest Cousin, Clifford McCormick and Juanita, his wife of over 67 years, arrived before 6 PM after driving up from Palm Springs in one day.

Our friend Fedor came soon after with bags of groceries to cook his famous 'weapon', a potato dish with other veggies, herbs, etc. 
It smelled wonderful and tasted even better! 

He also made a great salad with cabbage, lemon and pomegranate seeds which complimented the 'weapon' very well. 
And, he made a terrific mushroom dish with beef that rounded out the meal. 

Of course, a little wine was also in order, followed by cookies and chocolate.

This welcoming dinner ended up including 8 people, plus a neighbor who dropped in. 
Missus Joan would have been proud - and very happy!

Afterwards, we watched our Wedding Ceremony on DVD/TV - all 90 minutes of it, with just a few fast-forwards. 

A good time was had by all, especially under the circumstances under which we had gathered. 
A really good sleep followed.

This morning, Rev George McLaird came by to meet with me and ended up talking with Cliff, Juanita, Ilya and me for almost 2 hours! 
He had brought a printed program that looks just great.

So, tomorrow is the day we travel to Sausalito for Joan's Celebration of Life. 
Joan with some Lad in Dingle, Ireland
I expect a pretty good crowd to exchange pleasant memories in good fellowship - another thing much valued by Joan.

Our friend, Robin Sinclair - who sang at our wedding - produced a short clip of our wedding from the original tape which will be added to the website at Sausalito Presbyterian Church.
John with some Irish Lass

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Joan Casey Update #22: A Rose 4 U

Mt Baker - Photo by Friend who also took 'Mountain Bliss'

Mountain Bliss
I'm now getting ready to visit San Francisco again, this time to participate in Joan's Celebration of Life at the Sausalito Presbyterian Church. 
That is expected to be a big event, just as she might like. 
The Program looks great, as does the Video of our Wedding, the Music selected, and the Speakers.

But, the main thing Joan liked were the People! 
Many will be there, missing a few who have also passed away.
Yes, the occasion will be as joyous as possible, even without Joan's delightful presence!

My son, Tom, sent me a picture of a Rose from Joan's Memorial Service in Yonkers.
This is for you, Wee Lambie...

A Rose for Joan

Monday, May 16, 2016

Joan Casey Update #21: A 400-Word Speech +/-

View from our deck
After Joan and I were married by Reverend George McLaird on June 17, 1990 at SPC, I made the small mistake of introducing her as my wife, Joan. 
She quickly informed me that she was Joan [COMMA] my wife! 
I ever forgot that again...

Joan was unique among anyone I ever met. 
She seemed to operate at a faster, higher, and more motivated pace in her life. 
I saw this as good, and immediately was drawn to her - as fortunately, she was to me. 
We connected on many levels, and still do.

Joan was/is a true seeker for the meaning of life. 
The Dalai Lama's simple definition of Buddhism as a school of thought was "loving-kindness"
That resonated, and was all Joan needed to begin her vigorous exploration of Buddhism!

Buddhism is based upon the Three Jewels; Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
Buddha means enlightenment. 

Dharma means the path one chooses to achieve enlightenment. 

Sangha means the people one chooses to associate with during their search.

Joan also found all three elements at SPC; inspiration, opportunity to turn inspiration into good works, and wonderful people who helped and were with her along the way!

To Joan, the number 3 had significance: The Three Jewels; Body, Speech and Mind; and the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Other numbers were also significant: 05/16/1941,  01/14/1984, and 06/17/1990. (Her Birthday; the Day we met; the Day we married).

As I flew home today from Joan's Memorial in Yonkers, NY - her home town - it occurred to me that she may still prefer those numbers, all with the years left out.

I also suspected she may have become reborn as I was thinking about it! 

I hope she was, so she could continue her loving-kindness from a new, broader and even more beneficial perspective!

Maybe as a 
Dakini or even a Bodhisattva?  
Why not?

That would be very good, and I'm certain she would love her new Role in the Greater Scheme of Things!

I will always love Joan, as her Spirit will live into Eternity. 

The singing group, Alabama, created lyrics, which said "She's close enough to perfect for me".

Little Joanie Casey; 

Lily of the Pink Spirit, 
Lambit: J-KC; 
my Dear Dee!

A very small part of you is now reunited with your Father, Mother and Brother, under the Casey Headstone at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Valhalla, NY.

Just like you said when you first saw the Home we bought together, "What do I have to do to live here?" 

Easy answer!
Just "keep beaming your radiant Dee-ness" through your bright eyes and wonderful smile!
Padmasambhava Thanka hanging in our home

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Joan Casey Update #20: Yonkers Memorial

Tom & John @ Rory Dolan's
Kathy Casey & Patsy McCann @ Rory Dolan's
Joan's Memorial Celebration of Life at Flynn's Memorial Home was done well, including Fr Michael Connelly, a Franciscan Priest. He had prepared by reading about Joan in this blog and in talking over the phone. He read from Saint Francis of Assisi, recognized Joan's Buddhist beliefs and Christian upbringing, said a moving prayer and recognized several people who had vivid memories of Joan.

I had selected music to play on my computer and said a few words about my dear Joanie.
About 2 dozen were in attendance, including the following relatives and friends: Me and my son, Tom Watts; Sister-in-Law Kathy Casey & and her friend Karen Sharman; Cousin Barbara Hollander & her husband Ted; Cousin Bob Casey & his wife Kathy; Cousin Brian McCormick & his wife Lynn; Ethel Bridbury, friend of Sister-in-Law Kathy Casey; Catriona Borlan, friend of Sister-in-Law Kathy Casey; Cousin Eileen Morison; Cousin Kathleen Wallace; Cousin John Wallace & wife Carolyn.

There were 2 nice pictures of Joan displayed, 4 Flower arrangements, and 3 artifacts I wanted interred with Joan's cremains; a Necklace made by her Teacher, which she wore as she passed away, a Tele with relic she often wore, and a piece of GIDDY's [her favorite Cat] - collar. 
Printed Prayer Cards were also available. Those attending were invited to take a red rose in remembrance of Joan.

Afterward, the group was invited back to Kathy Casey's home -1 block from where Joan grew up - for a reception and viewing of Joan's Wedding DVD. Later, a smaller group met for dinner at Rory Dolan's, a local Irish Restaurant & Bar.

The following day, Sunday May 15, Kathy took us to Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla, NY, where we viewed where Joan's final resting place the Casey Burial Plot, where her name will be added. Now, on to the next Memorial - at the Sausalito Presbyterian Church - on Saturday May 21 at 1 PM. All are invited...

Tom, John & Kathy @ Casey Headstone

Friday, May 13, 2016

Joan Casey Update #19: Rarest of the Rare!

Dancing in Arizona
All Rainbow Bodies Are Welcome to Our Home

During our early relationship, I found myself at a career crossroads, having to seek help from a professional Career Councilor in an effort to seek a new job.
This was the first time anything like this had happened to me, but I determined it was needed.
The guy was quite helpful and proved a relief from the do-it-yourself approach of using the book ‘What Color is Your Parachute’.

As part of the counseling, a Myers-Briggs Personality Type test was given, and because Joan & I were a couple, we both took the test, individually.
The results were interesting to say the least; showing that we were very similar, sharing the indicators N (intuitive), F (feeling) and J (judgmental).
Only the first indicator showed a difference; Joan was an Introvert and I was an Extrovert.
Go figure!
Joan was about as outgoing a person as I have met, while I an somewhat reserved most of the time.

But the difference between an I and a E can be big, I’s represent about 25% of those tested, while E’s account for 75%. The types just view things from a different perspective, both necessary and important. 

Joan reacted to these findings with joy and amazement, because she found answers to questions about herself that she had often wondered about.
The MBPT test revealed to her things that explained why she had always felt a little different from most people, almost a misfit at times.
At last, she felt satisfied with this explanation.
After all the years when she worried, now she didn’t have to.
What a relief that was to her!
She actually became proud of her uniqueness, literally as the rarest of the rare Personality Type; only 1% of those tested were INFJ’s.

As it turned out, my type -ENFJ- is the second most rare, at about 4%. Together, we made a rare couple, that shared rarities!
This was a memory that we never forgot, because it helped both of us better understand ourselves. 

Green Tara Thanka

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Joan Casey Update #18: Photos from Mt Tamalpais 1998

Joan on Mt Tam 1998
Mount Tamalpais in Marin County is a very popular hiking destination, especially in the Bay Area.
There are good reasons for this; it's close to SF and the Golden Gate Bridge; there a variety of trails traversing several types of terrain; there are world-class views! At the summit -a little over 2500 feet- one can see panoramic views of San Francisco & beyond, East Bay cities and skyline, the Bay itself; the GG Bridge & surrounds, Point Reyes National Seashore, and the Pacific Ocean. Trails range from coastal, to steep, to ridge lines, to wooded areas, to creeks with waterfalls. It is a uniquely beautiful area, and it hosts many hikes every day of the week. No wonder it is so popular!
John & Joan on Mt Tam 1998
This day, we took good friends from east of Sacramento up to explore a few trails and views, despite the blustery weather. One of Joan's oldest friends, Maryanne Beckford, with whom she came to California in 1965 - that's right - and her husband Joe with us to see what we could see, which was plenty!
Joe Beckford & Joan on Mt Tam 1998
Joan posed with Joe, while Maryanne took the picture. Both Maryanne and Joe came to our wedding in 1990. Those were happy days! Unfortunately, Joe had passed away about a week before Joan did, in April 2016. Maryanne didn't want to tell us while Joan was in the hospital, which was a good thing. Maryanne will attend Joan's Memorial Service at the Sausalito Presbyterian Church on Saturday, May 21 at 1 PM. Bless her, she will say a few words...