We didn't have much money back then so we spent a ton of time at my husband's childhood home, especially in the summer. We would sit out by the pool long after it was dark and hear the stories of their youthful escapades and there were many! We would jokingly call it the Quincy Riviera and now in retrospect, I realize how accurate that was. It was a magical time in our lives when we were still relatively free of responsibilities but free to dream of what our life would be when we had finally had those responsibilities. Often during these gatherings, my husband would sneak off to his computer just inside the house and play with designs for "our dream house". We would laugh and carry on and gently poke fun at him. And once when I went inside to check on him, he even told me, "Oh, just go and play with your friends."
As we got more responsibilities (read: children), our nights at the pool waxed and waned. But when we did manage to have an opportunity to spend time with Gerry and Dick the same sense of family and festivity always remained. Every time that I saw her until the very last time, she would give me a big hug and whisper in my ear, "Love you." I would always say it back but how I wish I had known that the last time would be the last time. If I had, I would have told exactly how much she meant to me and what a special part she played in my life. She was, and always will be, a major part of the fabric of my life.