After he met Janet, he began to tell us what a wonderful girl he had met.
When he brought her up to meet us in 2010, we knew he was smitten with her and he was a changed man.
And so, as the romance developed, I began to see other aspects of his philosophy of life. He became a planner and a dreamer. Every purchase, every step he took was now most important to his ultimate goal to marry, have children, support the family unit.
A few weeks before his death he and Janet had visited us at the lake and talked about having the wedding there. They were also planning to upgrade the house in Long Beach he had purchased a couple of years earlier, improve the garden so they could have all their friends for a reception after they married. Picture a small wedding at the lake, with the two families and a couple of friends, then, a few weeks later, a reception for all their friends. I had no idea how many friends they had!
I had no idea that hundreds of people would gather one last time to make that garden dream come true!
Now, the wedding date had not been set yet. Janet was in school (is in school). He had promised her family that they would wait. In the meantime, he and Janet planned an upgrade of the garden and he borrowed his father's big rototiller to get started in the back garden. The two of them had already renovated the front garden, and I have pictures of the two of them doing the hard work of digging and planting.
That first garden they planted together cemented their friendships.
That last garden honored his memory and dreams beautifully.
Thanks to all his friends who made that dream come true. And many, many thanks to Janet, for believing in him, for loving him, for honoring his memory so beautifully.