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Celebrating Monte

When Lori contacted me from California about helping her plan and coordinate her father’s Celebration of Life service, I was honored.  Admittedly, I primarily consider myself a wedding coordinator, even though I named this company Two Peas Events to help all sorts of events come together!  Celebrating love is why I am so passionate about Two Peas, but I had forgotten that there are many ways to celebrate that love.  Lori, her sister Tresa and their mom Yvonne are some of the most genuine and kind people I have ever had the pleasure to work with – and after hearing more about who Monte was and the life he lived, I can see why.

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I met with Tresa and Yvonne at the beautiful Village on the Green, a retirement community where Yvonne and Monte live.  I heard countless stories about Monte’s generosity, love, faith, career, and family.  Yvonne told me about people calling her after her husband passed to share their memories of his unconditionally generous heart; many of which Yvonne never even knew about.  Monte didn’t selflessly give for recognition, but out of love for others.  They told me about his undeniable faith, and love for gospel barbershop quartet music (which I also learned is amazing!!), and passion for helping people as an oral surgeon, and service to our Country in the military, and his skills as a pilot, and all of the volunteer work he did… the list went on and on.  By hearing his story and setting up tables FILLED with memories about Monte, I truly got to reflect on life and what it looks like to live for Jesus.  What will my legacy be?  What kind of life will it be said that I lived?  I myself have experienced loss on a deep level for the first time in my life this year, so it was especially important for me to help this family honor Monte as beautifully as possible.  God has healed my heart through broken-heartedness in this season, and I know He will continue to heal theirs.

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Monte and Yvonne were married 53 years!  He often brought her red roses, so she chose the same for his Celebration of Life ceremony.

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I was able to make some signs for Yvonne from TwoPeasShop that would help honor Monte’s life.  Lori picked this poem above and we displayed pamphlets about Alzheimer’s for guests, as Monte suffered from the disease as he aged.  “To love someone is to see all of their magic and to remind them of it when they have forgotten.”

Tresa’s granddaughter wrote this precious note to her the day Monte passed.  The Kindergarten teacher in me just loves that phonetic spelling! “Don’t worry, you will see him again in Heaven.  I love you.”  Yes they will!

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Lori and Tresa planned for a barbershop quartet to come sing some of Monte’s favorite worship songs to their guests.  I always love the song “It is Well,” but their version brought tears to my eyes!

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One of Monte’s favorite bible verses was 2 Timothy 4:7.  David Castillo graciously took all the photos of the service for their family to remember forever!

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After the service, Orlando from Village on the Green served up ice cream (Monte’s favorite!) for dessert.  I love this photo of Yvonne topping her chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup, or ordering “The Monte” as we called it, as it was her husband’s favorite.

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Thank you Lori and Tresa, for allowing me to be a part of this special day for you.  God used your dad’s story to touch so many, including me!

-Paige