I've been meaning to post something this week, but my second bout with the flu in one month's time has prevented me from doing so.
Almost a week ago, a bright light in the extended Richard family was extinguished. Auntie Marge Fudge, my dear departed Mom's youngest and only surviving sister, passed away last Monday morning. It's hard to describe the impact this one woman had on so many lives, especially my own and that of my family's.
She opened up a world of travel to hundreds, if not thousands of people, including my Mom and Dad. As one of the owners of Liberty World Travel, she planned trips, vacations and cruises to far away and exotic locations, always searching for places she hadn't been before.
When Thomas Talbot Lodge in Billerica was looking for a way to raise money, Auntie channeled her inner Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland and cried, "Let's put on a show!" From it's humble beginnings on the Lodge stage, to ever-increasing productions filling the seats at Marshall Middle School, Auntie wrote, directed and occasionally performed in classic shows reminding everyone of the Golden Age of Hollywood and Broadway. Many of our performers were reluctant to get up on stage (unlike myself, my brother, Doug, and our good friend Paul Mancuso who needed no such encouragement), but Auntie cajoled dozens of previously unwilling amateurs to embarrass themselves in front of family and friends for three shows each year for many, many years. My love for classic movies and musicals is due in a large part to my Mom and Auntie Marge.
But her biggest role in my life was as family. Specifically, as my Mom's best friend in the world. No two sisters were ever closer. Starting out by living above us in the two-family home they jointly owned in Tewksbury where I grew up, to never being more than a 15 minute drive from each other, Mom and Auntie were inseparable. Not a day went by when they didn't speak over the phone, one or the other calling just to check in and make sure all was well. Woe be unto myself or Doug if we failed to shut off the phone in the spare bedroom when coming in for a visit after a long day of travel, because Auntie would surely be calling long before we were ready to get up! Not an Easter dinner was spent without Auntie and her family, nor a Thanksgiving or Christmas until we grew older and moved to far away places.
That life-long friendship and sisterhood was shattered a year and a half ago when Mom passed away, but Auntie never failed to speak to Mom every day since then, even if the conversations were now one-way. I don't know if there is a Heaven, but if one exists, I can guarantee you that Mom and Auntie have been reunited with a love that will never die.
Hi! I'm Dave Richard, your host. I hope you enjoy your visit. We'll be talking about current events, politics, the occasional sports (I'm a HUGE New England Patriots fan, so get over it), and some "Get off my lawn!" issues.