There are few individuals on this earth who have had such an incredibly positive impact on our lives as did Judy. My heartfelt condolences go to Vic, Mike, Carrie and to all of Judy's immediate and extended family regarding Judy's untimely passing; may she rest in peace.
Carrie, I'll help you out with a few more descriptive adjectives of your Mom: warm, happy, bubbly, sweet, loving, affectionate, wonderful, genuinely nice, open and accepting. Your Mom defined all of these attributes - and then some.
For years (and regardless of my non-religious "free agency"), your Mom always made me feel like a true family member, and I treasure the fond memories of our times at 44 Cone Street, Manchester - the parties, family gatherings, pre-Manchester Road Race pasta-fests, post-Manchester Road Race get-togethers, etc. I have my 50th Manchester Road Race t-shirt and 50th Manchester Road Race sweatshirt prominently displayed in the sports memorabilia / work-out area of my basement, which will now hold an even more special meaning.
On a somewhat related side-note, it's amazing how our lives, and sometimes afterlives, cross paths. I had been unaware that Vic and Judy had become Mystic residents and that Judy volunteered at the Mystic & Noank Library. My brother, Rich, owned and operated Mystic Rigging, in Noank, until his (also) untimely passing (49 years young) a few years back (as one of a few ongoing tributes to Rich's memory, I installed his hand-carved Mystic Rigging sign in my shed, located where I regularly see it upon entering). Knowing Judy, she's probably already met Rich and given him one of her classic, back-cracking hugs!
As similarly said to my family upon my brother Rich's passing, we should view Judy's passing for what it clearly is: very, very sad and much too young. But with respect to Judy's memory and her always cheerful disposition, we should cherish the fact that we were lucky enough to have known her and to have shared her presence for so long. I'm sure that Judy would much prefer that we soon move on from our sadness and continue with an ongoing celebration of her life. What better way to remember Judy and to honor her memory?
As such, I'll leave you with the following fond memory of Judy:
As some may recall, we celebrated Judy's November 27 birthday upon completion of the Manchester Road Race, held annually on Thanksgiving Day. One particular year (many moons ago), a call was placed to the local Carvel Ice Cream shop - apparently owned and operated by non-English speaking, Chinese immigrants - for an ice cream cake to celebrate Judy's birthday.
To also honor the Thanksgiving holiday and to acknowledge the Manchester Road Race participants in attendance, it was requested that the ice cream cake read:
Happy Birthday Judy
and include underneath a turkey with sneakers.
Upon opening the box to cut Judy's cake, the inscription read:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDY
TURKEY WITH SNEAKERS