It's quite overwhelming to try to remember everything and find pictures since there are so many from so many different people.
Emily and I were too devastated and unsure of ourselves when we lost Mike, so we opted for cremation (his wishes) and planned to have some sort of service later on.
He had left specific instructions that he didn't want a funeral but just a small group of people who cared about him to get together with no fanfare. His main request was that his friend Keith Johnson "say a few words."
It was pretty ambitious of us, but the first place we thought about was St George's where he spent so many happy hours on the beach fishing. It's about as far away from Washington as you can get and also inconvenient for most people to get to.
But we persisted and checked into things and prayed a lot and talked to people, and this is what we came up with.
A week in May at St George's with as many folks as we could gather who loved him and wanted this special time.
After picking the date, next came the daunting task of finding a place big enough to house us all. Emily and Ryan did this by themselves and ended up with an excellent choice. A house in the Plantation area near the Sea Turtle where we went the last couple of times.
It only slept 8-10 people, but we went on faith that we could get everyone who came in. It ended up that some folks stayed in hotels nearby and other took their motor homes, so it couldn't have been more perfect.
The fact that our friends from Guatemala were talking about going made it that much more exciting. Mike would never had thought it possible to get them there and have us all meet and share so much love and fun. I know we made the right decision and I can't think of anything he would have chosen that would have made him happier.
This will take me days - but first the house. It ended up being perfect for us. The kitchen might have been a little bigger since we had our own personal chefs from Guatemala, and they kept the food coming - but we all bumbled around in there and made do.
This big red able was almost big enough for us all to sit down at once - but there were always people sitting there eating, drinking coffee, playing cards, or just sitting and talking.
I'll have specifics and recipes later on, but the stars of the show this first day were the caramel and coconut cakes from Dean's Cake House and Sherry's butternut whoopie pies.
It's confusing to have hundreds of pictures in so many different places, but I'm going to do my best to sort them out and document this happy time.
Just some pictures of the house and beach that various people took, and I'll work on a little more tomorrow.
Most days we had were nice and sunny, but even on the stormy ones, we had such a good time. I can't imagine it being better.