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Old November 15th, 2010, 10:18 AM
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Good Morning CruiseMates!

I walked in my house about midnight. Greeted by two little four legged furballs. Which made me smile as my thoughts turned toward Todd. I was happy that Todd will not have to walk into an empty house after a long day the funeral home for Fran's visitation as his furry children would be waiting there for him and would happily greet him as he walked through the door.

Let's see where do I begin? I love, love, love Todd's family. His nieces are angels. His Sister, Brother and Sister in law were so supportive and were just so wonderful and accepting. I am so fortunate to have got to meet all of them. I so enjoyed getting to know them all of them.

Todd's town of Greeneville, TN is breathtaking this time of year. It is still adorned with brilliant fall foliage and is full of lovely accepting friendly people. I got up yesterday morning and went to a church near my hotel, and by the end of the service, I was on a first name basis with the majority of the congregation. I cannot wait to return under happier circumstances.

I had a nice visit with Todd and Adelaide prior to the visitation at Todd's house and then around 1 p.m. we made our way to the funeral home. Around 2:00 the visitation started and people came to pay their respects.

Todd did amazingly well. I can tell you that the one thing he kept saying to me is how much he appreciates his CruiseMates and how much strength he has gotten from each of you during these difficult times. Your support has meant the world to him. I do know he will post later when he is up to it.

I went around with Todd before people started to arrive and we looked at all of the flowers, reading the cards and he would tell me the story of each person who sent flowers and how they had come to know each person. One arrangement I looked at and it needed no explanation. Todd pointed at it and we both got teary eyed and smiled.


These flowers were sent by Luanne and her family. The flowers were beautiful, but paled in comparison to the love and support they symbolized.

I know this will be one of the most challenging times of Todd's life but I am confident that he will make it through. I am encouraged that he is beginning to look beyond today and is starting to make plans for the future and embrace the changes in his life. I know it is scary to have the rug pulled out from under you after 39 years of marriage but Todd is an amazing man and he is doing really well. I feel this is because he is surrounded by a supportive family and great friends like each of you.

I am so proud to be a part of this amazing network of wonderful people. You all represent the true meaning of the word "mate" in CruiseMate!
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Old November 15th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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Thanks for keeping us informed, I was wondering how things were but didn't want to ask.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 10:51 AM
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So glad you got home safe and sound. I'm sure that Todd appreciated your making the trip south and being the ambassador for all of us mates who could not go. THANK YOU for doing that. The flowers were beautiful and I am sure Todd appreciated them very much. His stories had to be so interesting. Good to hear that Todd is doing ok right now. His feline friends will help but it is going to be a real change for him in the future.
I have to agree with your comment about how wonderful folks in our CM network are. I am just so happy that I found this site years ago and feel I have made many new friends thanks to it.
Again THANKS for the update. Take a little time today to rest up as I know how those long road trips can wear you down.

Sue
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Old November 15th, 2010, 10:59 AM
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Thank you for being with Todd in his time of need ,Beenie .
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Old November 15th, 2010, 11:26 AM
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Beenie, thanks so much for keeping us updated. The future will be difficult for Todd, I am sure. I think Donna put it the best: He is experiencing the most difficult experiences in life, the loss of a loved one.

Six years ago, CruiseMates helped me through a serious illness my husband suffered (and his brother also with West Nile Disease at the same time). The Cruise of the Century provided an opportunity to meet a lot of them three years ago. Time goes fast!

Thanks again!

Judy
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Old November 15th, 2010, 11:28 AM
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Beenie, the world needs more people like you.

Thank for keeping us informed.

TM
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Old November 15th, 2010, 11:34 AM
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Beenie thank you so much for being there----and for the updates too---
So many memories flood my mind--and remembering how much my CruiseMates friends helped me through the difficult times--

Cheers and hugs--
Prayers and postive thoughts to all
April
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Old November 15th, 2010, 02:18 PM
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Beenie Weenie, you represent the "best" in people and the "best" in cruisemates. You were there for Todd and his family in "their time of need". Yes, Todd will have to adjust to losing his "beloved Fran" but with the support of family, friends, and his fellow cruisemates, it will make this adjustment so much easier. Todd is loved by all who know him personally, and through our fantastic "cruisemates" family. May Todd continue to "sail the seas" with those that know and love him.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 03:55 PM
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Beenie, That was so wonderful of you to go down there for Todd when he needed the support of friends. Your updates and pictures are apreciated very much.
CruiseMates does have many wonderful caring people in its members.
In 2007 When I decided to pack up and move from NH to Florida alone they were there for me. Offering advice, mapping routes and even offering a place to stay. I had heard so many stories of the Central Florida Cruisers gathering for dinner and having so much fun. I wanted to be part of that and now I am. I look forward to meeting more CruiseMates in December. This really is a great bunch of people.
Beenie, Thank you for all you do. You are the spirit of CruiseMates.

Laura
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Old November 15th, 2010, 04:46 PM
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BW I am so glad you were able to be there. I wanted to go as well, but had already told Jim I would come on this trip with him.

Thank you for taking a picture of the flowers. When you order over the phone, you never know what they will turn out to be.

All of you were so good to me when Joe died, but Todd was my rock. He sent me the most wonderful e-mails, and it was not until my computer crashed, and I lost them, that I didn't read one at least once a day.

Todd called me last night, and what a lot of you don't know is Todd is very funny. We were both crying, and laughing though the tears. He said in a little boy voice, "I had a drink a few minutes ago, do you think that is okay?" " I think I will have another later" He was so funny saying it.

Todd's life will not be easy in the coming months, and my prayer is that he will find his way in this world, because he truely feels like the rug was pulled from him, but I can tell you that Todd sounds very strong, and I have faith that he will find his new normal. It won't be easy, but BW and I are here for him, as well as all of you.

He has promised to call me when all have gone home, and he faces being alone. I told him I would walk through it with him, and and we could do it together. There might be another drink or two in his future, and what the hell, I might have one with him.

God Bless Todd, and all of you!!!!!
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Old November 15th, 2010, 06:03 PM
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Hi Beenie and Luanne....

I am sure Todd will read this soon, but I really want to thank you both personally.

Todd has contributed a lot to CruiseMates beyond just the message boards, he has written articles and given me perspective in emails on different topics as well.

I was just getting the news about Fran when I had my own family crisis hit me last week, so I got pulled in another direction. I really want to thank both of you for being there for my friend and I hope he thinks of all of us when he sees the flowers and when he met with Beenie, and if he does then I am extremely grateful to both of you.

Todd - I dealt with my own fair share of life changes this last week. I know nothing makes up for the loss of a mate, but if you choose to make any changes in your life now then I hope they are for the best for you.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 06:24 PM
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Luanne, The flowers are just beautiful. That was a thoughtful thing to send them for Todd and his family.

Laura
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Old November 15th, 2010, 10:31 PM
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Over the course of my years here, I have seen people at their best, when things get tough. The spirit and friendship here is a blessing. Beenie, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I continue to pray, that Todd's humor and grace will guide him...and give him strength.
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