On Friday, August 12, as soon as I got home from work, Steve banished me to my study. I thought he was making dinner (I smelled something cooking), but when he called for me to come down, Chinese food from our favorite take-out place had been delivered. After dinner John (keanubear), Greg, Victor, Mel, and Jim (poohbearjim) came over to play board games and eat cake, which Steve had made earlier (thus the cooking smells). The boys all brought lovely gifts, and Steve gave me several from himself, saying I would get a few each day of the week-long festival. Sort of like Hannukah, even though we are Episcopalians. We played The Partridge Family Game, Mystery Date (I got the dud), and several rounds of the nerve-wracking Catch Phrase, then took turns soaking in the hot tub (it's kind of small) and sitting in the living room chatting and drinking.
The next morning, Jeff (sapphiresf), Gary (fuzzygruf), and Steve (double_ohsteven) came by for brunch and yet another cake. We chatted and swilled coffee, then headed to Palo Alto for Cameron's (handlebear) memorial service. It was very moving--a regular Episcopal Rite I Order for Burial of the Dead, but with so many friends and family present, and the Gay Men's Chorus as the choir. I was very aware of Cameron's presence. Scott (nanocub), Cameron's partner, was strong and composed, and I could tell he was comforted by the presence of so many of Cameron's loved ones. After the Eucharist, there was a reception in the parish hall, with momentos of Cameron, including a large display of some of his Live Journal posts, and more music from the chorus, as well as a number of moving eulogies. Cameron will always be with us, in our hearts and on that day when we meet again.
Today at noon Steve and I headed over to Stern Grove for the free concert in the newly-refurbished amphitheater. We sat under our own redwood. The musicians were the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Beausoleil, from New Orleans. Steve packed a lovely picnic lunch (muffaleta sandwiches in honor of the Cajun music), and we ate, danced, listen to the music and hugged and kissed a few trees.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Stay tuned....