Friday, June 13, 2014
Dede died Thursday night in his own home. The cancer diagnosis had come just a week ago. It was so sudden and we are all stunned. Here he is with Ayla at Noah's sister Mercy's wedding about seven years ago. I am sad. Everyone is in California and I'm in Brevard and I want to be with everyone. I want to be there and have a drink with Noah and all my by-marriage brothers and sisters. Dede treated me like his own granddaughter, calling me sweetheart and kissing me on the cheek. He always wanted everyone to have a great time, and he was a great time. The last time I saw him was that December night at the old school Italian restaurant, Mama Cozza's, and Mama Cozza's is where he wants everyone to gather to celebrate his life. No funeral desired. I keep thinking of Zach and Susie's wedding. We were all piled, too many of us, into an elevator in a high rise on the Vegas strip. Late evening. They'd just gotten married and we were coming back from pre-dinner cocktails and the air was wild. We were riding the elevator down to the lobby when it stopped on the wrong floor. The doors parted and there was Dede and his wife, Shirley. Together we all raised our cocktails, sloshing vodka to the floor, and started chanting, like it was rehearsed: "Dede, Dede, Dede!" Dede laughed and threw up his arms. "Free drinks for everyone!" he cried. We were uproarious. That was Dede. I'm so very sad.