My hope was that many people would come to see Linda and Nancy and I personally in the following weeks. We could have a closer, more intimate conversation in a smaller group than could be possible in a large gathering. Also, the visits would be spread out, keeping us from sinking into grief as people went on with their lives. My hopes have been totally surpassed already.
Today, Rudy's sisters, Linda and Nancy, were helping me around the house. Our niece Kelly was helping, too. She has stayed with me the last two nights and kept me from dwelling on more sadness than I can take right now. My parents were in and out all day, too. I'm so glad all of them were with me to be part of the visits today.
Luis and his family stopped by. Luis worked for Rudy for almost 7 years. Rudy said Luis was the son he never had. Luis told all of us Rudy was like a father to him. He shared one kind story after another. I wish we'd had a tape recorder running because what Luis said was better than any eulogy I've ever heard. He had us in tears (with kleenex being passed all around) and he made us laugh. Rudy was no saint and he was very persnickety about wanting things done correctly (that means HIS way, of course). Rudy shared everything he knew about the glass business with Luis. He had faith in him. He was grooming him to take over when he retired. When Rudy got sick, that process was put on high speed. He handed the company over to Luis, knowing full well Luis was ready. He told all his contacts that Luis was the man they needed to use if they wanted things done well. Everyone knew that Rudy didn't throw compliments around lightly, so Luis is now their go-to glass man. Rudy was very proud. Luis said the things he learned from Rudy went beyond business. He told us so many things Rudy had said over the years about faith and family and life. It's hard to choose a favorite, but I did write one of the Rudy quotes down -
"The simpler you live your life,
the better off you'll be
at the end of the day."
Luis, you and your family will always be part of our family. We love you so much!
As if that visit weren't enough, Camille and her wonderful father, Mr. Wheat stopped by. Camille has known Rudy since first grade. They lived close together in school and now they live around the corner from us. I think every boy in school, including Rudy, had a crush on Camille and I was never jealous about it because I thought she was fabulous, too. It sure was good to see her and I'm particularly glad they were there to meet Luis.
These personal visits were wonderful. I have a number of people who will be visiting me next week and know of many people who will be coming to see me in the weeks after the get-together. I'm looking forward to them all. I feel certain I've made the right decision and I know Rudy was smiling today.