Michael & Danielle’s 2010 Newsletter
This was a year of significant transitions in our lives. In February my father passed away at the age of 87. All of his surviving children (myself, Dan, Sharon, Maureen, John), and our mother gathered for the memorial in Las Vegas. We were joined by several of our cousins (Pete Smith, Mary Ellen Hendrickson, Mike & Steve Reed), and extended family members: my wife, Danielle; Dan's wife Nhing and their children Ronald and Jennifer, Sharon's daughter Dana, and our sister Jeanne's children Chelsea and Charles.
The ceremony at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetary, outside of Las Vegas, was with full military honors. When the honor guard fired their rifles, the sudden shock seemed to punctuate the close of my father's time on earth. I spoke briefly at the ceremony, recalling a memorable story he had told me 12 years earlier.
Later that evening we gathered together at one of our rooms at the hotel. A bottle of Glenlivet single malt scotch whiskey appeared (Dad's favorite spirit) and we had an impromptu Irish "wake". Dad was known for his jokes and story-telling, and several of us recalled some favorite mis-adventures (true, as far as we know) that he would sometimes tell about his youth: "Disturbing the Peace" and "Outhouse Revenge".
He was complex man that I never really got to know. I do believe that he loved and cared about us.
At the other end of the spectrum was the August wedding of Danielle's son, Colin, to Jaclyn Talbert. Jaclyn's father is a pastor at WestGate church in San Jose, so her father both gave away the bride and conducted the wedding ceremony! It was wonderful, with the church beautifully decorated by the couple and their friends for the occasion. With no money for a honeymoon, family and friends all pitched in to put together a one week vacation for the newlyweds in Kaua'i. Sharon and Kent donated their timeshare condo in Princeville.
Then, almost magically (!), a few months later came the arrival of our first grandchild. Aria Evans was born on October 29th. We were fortunate to be there only minutes after she was born to greet her into the world. She is so adorable and we've been blessed to be able to spend so much time with her and her fabulous parents, Colin and Jaclyn. We've had numerous opportunities to babysit our grand-daughter and she is such a delight! Yes, I help out - after all, I did have six younger brothers and sisters!