I mentioned in my chalkboard post that there was a little story behind this graphic. And since I’m still in storytelling mode (and not wanting to work on the class I’m teaching tomorrow *ahem*) why don’t you join me for a cuppa joe.
I drink lots of coffee. I call it a Starbucks knock-off. Tons of flavored creamer (caramel, thank you very much) and one of those little pink packets. By the time I’m finished I don’t think you can call it “Joe”. Maybe Josephine. Or Jody.
Where was I? Oh yeah – the marlin & hearts. They aren’t my creation. As a matter of fact, I don’t know who came up with the idea. But I can tell you the first time I saw them.
Marlon, my husband, died on 5/14 at 5:14, which was a Monday. Our nephew got married on 5/19. Yes, five days later. Crazy, huh? But Marlon adored Thomas and never, ever would’ve wanted to put a damper on his wedding. So off we went to Berkeley for all the festivities.
Friday night was rehearsal, of course. I wasn’t too sure how Santino would do as ringbearer. More on that some other time. (Can you say ‘stole the show’?) The rehearsal dinner was at a wonderful japanese restaurant and everyone was obviously in full-out celebratory mode. Except me, of course. It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life – my heart bursting with joy for Thomas and . . . my heart just bursting.
I kept telling myself keep it together, keep it together.
At one point my brother-in-law and niece both came over to my table. Ron lifted his sleeve and Alisha, her top (in private), to reveal matching tattoos.
Yeah. That whole keep it together thing? Out the window. But it was okay. I’m not into tattoos myself, and neither was Marlon, but I know how he would’ve felt, seeing his sister’s husband and his brother’s daughter honoring him in this way.
I can see the smile on his face right now.
After the wedding weekend we were faced with Marlon’s memorial service. Not a fun thing. I don’t recommend it. Don’t put it on your Bucket List. But it did keep my busy.
I was determined to write and design the memorial program instead of turning it over to the funeral home. People kept telling me to “let it go”, as if it was too much stress. Nope. No way. I’ve been doing graphics and layout since I was 19 and I wasn’t about to stop now.
I struggled with some of the writing, like his obituary. But once I had the order of service and the 23rd psalm, it was easy to lay it all out. A photo of Marlon on the front – simple. But I needed something else . . . . Something that was . . . . Marlon.
A cross? huh-uh. Some doves? nah. Flourishes and scrolls. no way. What? I couldn’t very well put a football on there, even though coaching was his life. But then, so was fishing.
A fish. A marlin! That’s it!
But all I had was a fuzzy photo of Ron’s arm. And I needed to get the program to the printer in, like, four hours. Now what?
I reached out to one of my blogger besties. If you’re not a blogger, there’s absolutely no way to explain how close you become to people you’ve never met in real life. But if you are a blogger, you know. No further explanation needed.
So I emailed Brittany, sent her Ron’s fuzzy arm (I mean, a photo of his arm!), told her I knew it was short notice and no worries if she couldn’t do it, but if there was any way possible, could she turn this into a jpeg graphic for me.
Within a couple of hours this showed up in my gmail. This one, plus one with color, plus one without shading.
Perfection because it represented Marlon. Perfection because it honored Ron and Alisha. Perfection because my bestie, Pretty Handy Girl, designed it. Perfection because it is precisely what Marlon would’ve liked.
Traditional? Maybe not. But Marlon & I aren’t your traditional couple.
All I know is every time I look at it I think of Marlon. And Ron. And Alisha. And Santino. And a very, very dear friend whose generosity, and talent, knows no bounds.
My heart is bursting again. And it feels oh-so good.