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The Celebration of a Life

On Saturday my mom had a celebration at her home for her passionate, intelligent, macho, intrepid, intractable, loving, Rennaisance-Man-of-a husband, Guido, who passed away last September.

My mom couldn’t face a memorial until now.  

Among his vast array of talents Guido had the habit of personally renovating every house he and my mom ever owned. They lived a lot of their lives surrounded by dust, plaster, scaffolds and cement.  

But the one thing Guido wanted that he never got for their last home was a big old rock in his yard. He never quite got around to getting one. They were too heavy and hard to move.

So my mom got Guido his rock this month.  

It sits in their yard at Hope Ranch in Santa Barbara, overlooking a valley more resplendent than any you could find in Tuscany — another of their favorite places on earth.

My mom’s house and the rock just beyond.

The inscription reads, “Guido my love”

I would love my mom to end this post in her own words.  

From her speech at the celebration of Guido’s life:

“The man I love resisted technology. He ignored the computer, rarely watched TV, refused to have a cell phone and despised atm machines with a white hot passion …

“How I wish he loved technology enough to have left a message on our answering machine, so I could hear his voice one more time.

“I would sit at my desk and press the button on the answering machine over and over, listening to his message, his voice strung along the wires outside my window with the view of hills and mountains beyond, thinking how even in the farthest future, in the most distant universe, I will recognize his voice anywhere, so distinctive, refracted like light from some small, uncharted star.”

I love you mom. This was a beautiful celebration of a life.

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  1. Jacky pasko
    Jacky pasko 18 April, 2012, 09:53


    What a great tribute to Guido and your Mom. It’s such a beautiful and touching story. Thanks for sharing it?

    Reply this comment
  2. Jamie
    Jamie 18 April, 2012, 11:03

    After hearing what your mom said about Guido I even love the man, and I haven’t met him.

    What a bittersweet story.

    I am so happy they found happiness together, but so sad it was cut short.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 18 April, 2012, 12:01

      It’s been a really humbling process for me. I had all these ideas about their marriage and I now realize you can never really understand other people’s relationships.

      Reply this comment
  3. Megan
    Megan 18 April, 2012, 11:17

    What a beautiful tribute. I’m glad your mother found that kind of love. May we all be so blessed.

    Reply this comment
  4. Martina
    Martina 18 April, 2012, 11:25

    That was lovely … and what a gorgeous yard!!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 18 April, 2012, 12:02

      Martina you make me laugh. Her yard really is beautiful. A slice of heaven.

      Reply this comment
  5. Megan
    Megan 18 April, 2012, 14:55

    That is a beautiful tribute.
    And I ADORE your mother’s house for its yellow exterior!

    Reply this comment
  6. Kelly
    Kelly 18 April, 2012, 15:30

    I see you may have inherited some of your talent with words from your mom. Spellbinding.

    Reply this comment
  7. Jeannine
    Jeannine 18 April, 2012, 18:31

    very sweet –

    Reply this comment
  8. Ciaran
    Ciaran 18 April, 2012, 19:00

    That was lovely. I’m always afraid to erase voice mail btw. Always. xo to you and your mom!

    Reply this comment
  9. Deborah Stambler
    Deborah Stambler 18 April, 2012, 23:04

    Wow. Really lovely. That’s love. And steady as a rock. Thanks.

    Reply this comment
  10. V
    V 19 April, 2012, 06:42

    Aw, that is really sweet. And what a beautiful home!!


    Reply this comment
  11. Caryn B
    Caryn B 19 April, 2012, 07:46

    Your post made me cry…I lost my father last year and my mom and I are still going through the grieving process….what a lovely, beautiful tribute…

    Reply this comment
  12. Carol Diver
    Carol Diver 19 April, 2012, 08:00

    That is so lovely. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 19 April, 2012, 10:29

      Hi Carol — thanks for commenting. I hope all is well with the Diver clan back east. We hope to make a trip soon!

      Reply this comment
  13. Shelby Barone
    Shelby Barone 19 April, 2012, 08:13

    What a beautiful tribute.

    Reply this comment
  14. Vanessa
    Vanessa 22 April, 2012, 16:16

    that was such a lovely post. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply this comment
  15. Eva Smith
    Eva Smith 23 April, 2012, 22:20

    What a wonderful tribute to Guido. So beautiful!

    Reply this comment

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