Deaths

My Eulogy for Wendy Vosper (Rzepkowski)

Mon, 17 October 2011

It’s been a few days now since I’ve returned from South Carolina to remember my Aunt Wendy who died of breast cancer on October 9, 2011 at the age of 46. When I went to her wake, my Dad asked if I would say a few words at her funeral because he simply could not speak about his sister through the grief. I considered it for a moment, then said “Of course”…knowing not at all what I would say at 1pm the next day. I woke up groggy from an emotional night. My wife and kids left me alone in the hotel long enough to scribble my thoughts. I broke down more than once trying to encapsulate my feelings in such a short period of time. Luckily I had a couple of blog posts to work from, and the obvious cajoling from Aunt Wendy’s spirit to guide me through. At the last minute before having to join the funeral procession, we printed the eulogy in the hotel business center. (more…)

Posted in: Deaths, Faith, Family and Friends, Life | 7 Comments »
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R.I.P. Aunt Wendy: I Miss You

Tue, 11 October 2011

On Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 3am, Wendy Sue Vosper lost her battle with Breast Cancer. Since the moment I found out about her situation almost 4 years ago I wished this would never come to pass. Her whole family did the little things to keep her spirits up, and we all awaited her every update on her condition on Carepages.com. In the end, the cancer spread to every place it didn’t belong, and put out the flame on a beautiful person. She was an inspiration long before cancer. (more…)

Posted in: Deaths, Faith, Family and Friends, Life | 5 Comments »
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Catching Up From the Grief

Wed, 02 July 2008

It has been over a week now since my grandfather’s funeral, and I’m getting back into the swing of things before this upcoming holiday weekend. I wanted to post a photo from the event because, as with many families, funerals are like family reunions. It’s also a really good excuse to get dressed up and take a nice picture. So here’s the family:

Rzepkowski Family photo
The Rzepkowski Family in front of the Dunkirk Kosciuszko Club
Back Row (from left): Neal Rzepkowski, Ian Vosper, Duane Mallaber, Kyle Rzepkowski, Michelle Rzepkowski, Terry Rzepkowski, Dick Rzepkowski, Marlene Rzepkowski
Middle Row (from left): Esther Rzepkowski, Taryn Rzepkowski, Wendy Vosper
Front Row (from left): Michael Short, Lindsey Short, Lilyan Short, Mason Rzepkowski, Anna Rzepkowski, Tricia Rzepkowski, Kris Rzepkowski

This same crew is getting together for the 4th of July at my parents’ lake house. It will be nice to see everyone again and continue to heal.

Posted in: Deaths, General, Life | No Comments »
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One Last Tribute to Richard “Lefty” Rzepkowski

Wed, 25 June 2008

I’m just returning to the real life of home, work and responsibilities after 4 days spent mourning the loss of my grandfather. While I’ll remember him forever, I need to write down all that I’m feeling now while the pain is still fresh. I know that time heals, and time helps you forget the difficult emotions that come with losing a close family member. It’s just that right now, I don’t want to forget. Not yet.

Which memories are mine?
I listened all weekend to the fond memories of the generation before me. Grandpa’s boys, his daughter, his wife, his friends, his nieces and nephews. There were so many stories, so many one-liners, so many “lefty-isms” that encapsulated his life and influence. They are stories I’ve heard so many times though, it’s almost as if I were there. As if they were my memories. I had a hard time distilling what I had really been a part of and what was just a part of family lore. I struggled to put a finger on exactly what it was about grandpa that made me cry so hard when I saw his last sickly days 2 weeks ago when he didn’t recognize me. What was it that made it so difficult to see him in that casket?

His legend is great
These are the grandiose legends that you like to tell everyone about your predecessors. When we played volleyball together at family picnics and I thought I knew everything, he showed me the way he had done it as a young man – and he was good! When we fished together and I was having no luck, he could flick his wrist and have a fish. When we went hunting – my dad, my uncle and him, I was the one who could not steady myself for a shot and he would take one shot off hand and get it done. He was known for his creativity; having the patience to carve elaborate duck decoys and Christmas angels out of wood. I know exactly where I got my perseverance in my design career.

Kris and Grandma and Grandpa Rz at college graduation
Kris graduating from UB in 1997, with Grandma and Grandpa Rzepkowski.

His wisdom was greater
It was not his skill that was the best thing about grandpa though. I realize today that his wisdom is what I will miss most. He would always ‘teach a man to fish’ before ever taking an ounce of credit for anything that he himself had done. He was humble – much moreso than I can ever try to be. He spoke more with with his eyes than with his mouth. A wink of his eye was all you needed to know that he loved you.

Grandpa, if you are reading this blog entry from your place in heaven (which I doubt because your computer was ‘a pencil and a pad of paper’) this wink is for you.

Posted in: Deaths, Life | 1 Comment »
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This is my Life as a 37 year old husband and father of two and my Work as Executive Director of Marketing at Bennett International Group in Mconough, GA relocating from home in Rochester, NY.
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