Holly is hurting, but she has many sources of hugs. The networks she and Don built have produced incredible words and gifts of condolences from an international base of buddies.
Since she had Don cremated, she has much flexibility in when and where she'll hold his memorial service. The crematorium has a chapel, but I suggested even before he died, that the chapel and all the rest of the building would not be enough to hold the immense outpouring of friends and family wanting to help celebrate the life that Don shared with them.
Holly has worked as executive chef for the Georgia governor's mansion for over two decades. Her current boss has offered her the mansion as the place for her husband's memorial. Talk about being sent off in style!
Even by Atlanta standards this promises to be quite the event. Now, to the work of planning and preparing for the series of programs: transportation and lodging for people coming into town, service program, and after-party planning.
We've blocked a total of sixty hotel rooms in two separate hotels. I don't think that will be enough, but who knows how to gauge numbers for an event such as this? Don loved red beans and rice, so our meal menu started with that and we're now anticipating a full Cajun menu, but with no bottom feeders (catfish, crabs, or shrimp because Don didn't like them)and no "bugs" (Don's name for the raisins usually found in New Orleans-style bread pudding).
Don was New York Italian with all the zest for life that brings with it. I don't know how to say it in Italian, but in New Orleans we say, "Laissez les bon temps rouillez" (Let the good times roll.)