We spent hours cleaning up Joe’s house to make it as welcoming as Joe would require were he physically present to greet his guests. While cleaning, mother gathered together a collection of mementos of his life. We created a poster and table display of pictures and artwork that left a glimpse into the world Joe created around him. Besides family, guests that attended his send off were gathered from professional acquaintances that he made living in Atlanta, working in display arts and renovating houses. An eclectic crowd of folks convened to say their good byes. Joe was adamant that no readings or mention of religion be brought up while honoring his life. His wishes were followed and a civil ceremony conducted. Joe was present in a box of ashes. His wishes concerning his remnants were to have them distributed in Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf waters and his backyard garden.
We were blessed with gorgeous weather. In winter, Atlanta can vary between bitter cold, and pleasant warmth. For this day of celebration the sun shone and temperatures were comfortably mild. To go along with the well-designed surroundings, some of Joe’s friends in the food service business provided elegant food and drink. After lengthy time of socializing and sharing reflections everyone was handed one of the balloons that were filled with helium. Per Joe’s final instructions folks were asked to speak briefly or not then release their balloon as symbolic of letting go of him. Bye the time the last balloon was let go the first one was still visible ascending to the heavens. I think Joe was riding with them.