Sunday, July 26, 2009

Deanna's Obituary

Deanna (Dee) Lee Martin, 38, of Bradford, Ma died Thursday July 23, 2009 at the home of her mother in Auburn NH after a courageous eight year battle with leukemia. She was born January 21, 1971 in Lowell, MA. Dee graduated from Timberlane HS in 1990. She was a volunteer for the past several years for the Haverhill Meals on Wheels, serving as a driver, delivering meals to shut-ins. She was an active member of the Danville Baptist Church who loved camping and spending time with her family. Dee was a very special woman whose positive attitude and faith were an inspiration for all who met her.
She leaves her daughter, Danielle Gagnon, age 11 of Bradford, MA, her mother, Michele Mudge and her husband, David of Auburn, NH, her father, Steven Martin of Lowell, MA, her siblings, Rick LaFleur of NY, NY, Kimberly Hankey of Salem, NH, Anne Marie Gorter of Nooksack Wash, Laura Standing of Newton, NH, her stepsister Kandi Fabri of Quincy, MA, several nieces and nephews, Danielle's father and Dee's partner of 14 years, Jim Gagnon, and his daughter Sarah Gagnonof Bradford, MA.
The calling hours will be held Friday July 31st from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Peabody Funeral Home and Crematorium, 15 Birch St., Derry. The funeral services will be held Saturday August 1 at 2p.m. in the Danville Baptist Church, 226 Main St, Danville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Danielle M. Gagnon Educational Fund; C/O any New Hampshire St. Mary's Bank.

One year, before Mother's Day, we took this photo from Michele (Rick's Mom). In order of birth, you see Kim, Rick, Laura and Deanna. The original photo was water damaged from a house fire they'd had in Danville when Rick was young. We brought it to Eagle Photo in Portsmouth where it was restored with another photo for a mere $60. Michele loved her Mother's day gift. This photo reminds me of how much younger Dee was than Rick, and that she was his baby sister.

This was taken during the first year I was dating Rick, and getting to know his family. Deanna was sweet and shy, with her beautiful little daughter Danielle whom she encouraged to play with her Uncle Rick. Deanna was always helping out her Mom and keeping a close eye on Danielle to be sure she was behaving. When Dee was ready to relax, she opened a lite beer and caught up with Laura first, and then all the rest of us. Dee and Laura were practically inseparable.

Rick and I bought our house in Portsmouth in December of 2001, and had a big party January 2002. Everyone had a great time but I didn't take any photos unfortunately. Weeks later Deanna was brought to the hospital and diagnosed with Leukemia. This photo was taken Father's Day that year, after chemo, radiation - all the treatments she had. I remember cutting her hair in the hospital in Boston after it started falling out. I love this picture because Danielle looks so innocent and happy that her mom was home.

Merry Christmas - Rick and I decided to have an adult cocktail party for Christmas - this was the weekend before Christmas. Dee was sweet to wear the Reindeer horns I got for all the girls. Laura pretty much refused. That's ok - we had fun :)

One day Deanna talked about how much she liked lobster. Rick decided he wanted to have a lobster bake in the back yard (even though he doesn't like lobster or any seafood at all). The last week of July the price of lobsters drops as the soft shells come in, so it makes the party very affordable. We did the lobster bake a few years in a row. Who ever came each year had fun, enjoyed the company and the lobsters.

I love this photo of Dee - it was taken at our wedding. I cropped this from one of the family shots - Rick was being silly and Dee was trying to keep a straight face :) It was such a fun day of dancing and celebrating :)

Michele took this photo at our wedding - Laura, Steve and Dee. Steve is Laura and Dee's father.

Another Christmas cocktail party - Dee and Laura in front of the Christmas tree - Dee's hair grew back red and gorgeous ;)

This is Christmas Eve 2007 - We all got together at Michele's as we usually did. Rick and I liked to come early since we were practically guaranteed an early quiet visit with Dave and Michele, as well as with Deanna and Danielle. The pre-party party :)

Summer 2008 I had my gall bladder out, and Deanna came and visited me in the hospital. When I got out, I spent a few days entertaining Jillian, my brother's daughter. Jillian and Danielle had great fun together, and it was awesome to have Deanna to help when I wasn't able to run around. We went to the beach a few times. She and I both wore funny hats to keep the sun off. Fortunately for me, I had the camera :)

Deanna - I know without a doubt you are in heaven now - I feel blessed that I got a chance to enjoy you while you were here. You will be missed.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bus Trips To Boston

I haven't been blogging lately. Mostly I like to capture happy times so I can go back and read them on days when I'm not feeling so happy.

This month has been tough. I was pretty sick for a week at the beginning of the month, and Deanna went into the hospital. You would think that at a world renound hospital like Tuffs Medical Center they would be able to figure out what was wrong and treat it. But no. They don't know, and they have tried everything, and there is nothing left to try.

Deanna is going home with her parents today in an ambulance. She will get hospice care there. The hospice people have sent a hospital bed to Michele's house. The oxygen was delivered last week.

We are all in a state of denial. She isn't even 40 - she's much too young to die. Her 11 year old daughter will miss her terribly. We all will.

The doctors don't give any kind of timeline. It could be weeks, months or even years. It didn't look like it would be years when we saw her over the weekend. She is very very sick, and there isn't a damn thing we can do about it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bobby Flay in MidTown East

I was walking back from the Bed Bath and Beyond superstore on 61st and 1st, and on the way back I was looking for a place for lunch, peering into the restaurants on the way home for a comfortable place to sit. I saw Bobby Flay sitting in the window of Energy Kitchen around 57th and 2nd. It looked like he was interviewing someone - there was no food in front of him, and he was not eating. Very deep in conversation :) Hopefully the young dude he was talking to was up to snuff :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Michael Jackson Memorial in Times Square

This is the ABC monitor in Times Square. The closed caption on this picture says "I think that he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived."

The tone in Time Square was somber - it was weird watching the screen without sound, especially since music was the primary focus of his entertainment. I wish they'd had some kind of audio. Some folks had their pocket radios tuned into the ABC or Fox station to listen to what was going on.

This is in front of the Fox News screen. Notice the people who brought lawn chairs. There were lots of chairs in and around Times Square - people were there for the duration of the memorial.

A Duck Tour bus came by, and put "ABC" on their loud speakers. The people in the open area danced in the bus, and people in Times Square cheered and started singing along.

A British news station asked me for an interview. I declined as I didn't have my TV makeup on. I took a picture of the next victim.

The New Years Eve ball was at half mast, lit and rotating colors - very pretty.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday, Rick!

I was so sick on Rick's birthday that he brought home subway subs for dinner that night. I felt bad for him when I went to bed early. Today, for the first time in a week, I left the apartment. I went to the Grand Central Market and picked out a carrot cake at Zaro's. I asked them to write on it, and they did in green lettering -"Happy Birthday My Sweet Love". Rick thought maybe I forgot his name.
Last night I ordered from Fresh Direct everything to make his favorite meal, almost a duplicate from last year. It was nice to have it all delivered. I would have made the cake too, but I didn't want to push it. I will have to make one in the not too distant future though :)
About a month ago I ordered tickets for the Giants v Patriots game on Sunday, 9/20 at 1:00 at Giant's Stadium in Rutherford, NJ. Rick has been sadly missing Patriots games since our move here, and really wanted to see them live. We'll be at the 50 yard line. Unfortunately, the tickets haven't actually arrived yet, so I didn't have anything to wrap, but I think he will very much enjoy this gift :)
Happy belated birthday, my sweet love xxooxox