Tag Archives: Bereavement

Her Song, “Move On”


Taking Their Leave


I lost a friend today. Not just any friend, but a dynamically important friend.  He actually died in early November, but no one called us, his family, to let us know.  We found out yesterday.  Richard and I have been friends since the early 1970s.  We have been “sistuhs” since coming up in the discos during the era of polyester, thumping bass, and champagne splits at gay bars around Sacramento and San Jose.  I will miss my friend for so many reasons.  Our history is long and always loving.  

What makes this so much more difficult is that the series of losses in the last few years of life-long family/friends closest to me, David, Mark, Joe, Miriam, and now Richard, is increasing. These are people that are my brothers and sisters, whether by birth or love.  I’ve been so graced to have so many to call my dearest friends in life.  Of the friends with whom I’ve stayed consistently close to for more than 35 years, only five remain, Margaret, David, Jeff, Sharon, and Shirley. 

My more recent friends, and by that I mean people with whom I’ve been close for 12 to 20 years or more, like Cathy, Sandy, Jeff K., and others are just as vital to my emotional and spiritual well-being.  These oldest friends, though, are important in a different way, because now that my family of origin, the three others in the Floyd Glica family, are gone, these friends are the only ones with whom I can share our memories nearly as closely as family.  Even my siblings by birth have not known me as long as my oldest friends.

The road grows more challenging without these comrades by my side where I can hear their advice, see their smiles, or hug their warm souls in person. Sometimes, I feel like I will be like my 92-year-old Aunt Mary who talks about being the last one of her friends to remain here to remember.  In my selfishness, I don’t want to be the last one standing.  The pain, I think, would be unbearable.  

I will miss my beloved family and friends forever. 

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Tulips Spring to Life


My father’s favorite flowers were tulips.  Every year he would dig up the three tiers of soil in our hillside front yard and plants hundreds of bulbs.  His heart would never seem quite so full than when he was working toward that day when his tulip garden was resplendent in yellow and orange and red and white.   

He did this into his sixties.  He said he loved the colors and that each one reminded him of the warming season.  I loved to see my father amonst his tulips.   One of the hardest parts of his death was the untended yard the Spring after he was gone, overflowing with ivy and inattention. 

I heard from a friend of my late brother’s recently.  David and his friend, Zack, were really close growing up.  Along with Brian and Nicky, and several others, David had a cadre of buddies with whom he hung out, got into trouble, and, I know, laughed constantly. 

These young fellows would find their way around our mountain village in far-northern California on dirt bikes, skis, on foot, and by car, leaving their mark on every corner of this town of 2,400 people. 

When David died in 2006, I thought these young people would be lost forever to me.  I was saddened by that because it felt as though David’s memory would be diminished by the scattering to the wind of his friends.

Within the last year, I’ve heard from Brian, Nicky, and now Zack.  They have sent photos and memories via electronic mail of their time together.  They have each expressed a loving memory of my brother that has brought comfort and a sense of envelopment to me as the last remaining member of our four-person core family.

Today, I got a message from Zack informing me that he has a newborn baby.  In the same way I felt upon the birth of my first grandchild in 1993, I felt a newness wash over me.  It was intimate and poignant.  With all the loss I’ve experienced in the last ten years, this moment brought me a sense of joyful future. 

I sent my warmest wishes to Zack on his growing family.  Part of those wishes, I think, were because he brought me some emotional tulips, like the ones my father grew.  He showed me, once again, that Spring was here and new life was repeating its pattern.

It also reminded me of my recent visit to see my cousin, Joe, who was in the hospital with cancer.  I had this amazing sense of healing and until today, I wasn’t sure why that was.  Above his bed, on the top of his cabinet, was a vase full of white tulips… and hope.

Spring is all around me right now and I am, for the first time in many years, fully aware of its beauty and power.  This has to be a good sign; a sign not unlike the first hint of excited green stalk poking through the recently cold soil over a tulip bulb.

Alcoholism in a Family


It’s just a few drinks.  What does that matter?

It matters.  It matters a lot.  Before we know it, everything has the light of alcohol cast upon it.

It is easy for us to ignore the signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug use in our families.  We excuse it in a thousand different ways.  We ignore the increasing impact on the lives of our loved ones and us as the consumption of these substances increases.  It’s too hard for us, sometimes, to acknowledge that addiction is a snowball rolling down a hill that eventually will be so huge, there will be no stopping it until it reaches the bottom, crashes against something, and bursts apart.  Often, that crash is permanent, as it was for my brother, David.

David was forty-five-years-old when he died.  He was a father of two and grandfather of two beautiful little girls. 

David had been drinking since his teens.  The first time I ever saw him drunk was in 1974 when he was thirteen-years-old.  He had stayed at a friend’s house and they had gone to a party in the forest surrounding our small, mountain hometown.  There was ample alcohol there.  He came home the next morning and passed out. 

Teresa and David Glica, Mother and Son

After he had become an adult, his drinking didn’t prevent him from going to work, graduating from trade school, and eventually achieving a great deal of success in his work as an electrician.  No one spoke about his alcoholism in any significant way until his wife left him and took his children.  They lost the house, his job, their boat, and everything else he had worked so hard for.  He now had several DUI’s he’d collected along the way, as well.  Most importantly, he lost his family.

It’s not as though he didn’t love his family.  He did very much.  It was that his addiction was too great.

He had come to Dunsmuir to stay at our mother’s house as she was dying from pancreatic cancer.  David hadn’t been drinking to excess during that time.  He was drinking enough to keep the withdrawl symptoms at bay, but the closer Mom got to her death, the more he drank.  

After she died in November 2005, my daughters and I left, after having spent two months caring for Mom.  David had inherited the house and chose to stay there.  He didn’t pay the bills, though.  He wouldn’t answer the phone, while it was on.  It was winter and eventually, the house got very cold after he didn’t pay the gas bill.  He developed frostbite.  Between the alcohol and the freezing weather, he was growing more ill.

In the early morning of March 9, 2006, he was walking to the gas station at the corner to get some beer.  He collapsed and had a seizure.  After a very messy rescue, he was transported to the hospital where they were warming him up from the frostbite.  He was doing very well.  As his veins began expanding, however, a blood clot was released, it went into his lungs, stopped the blood flow to his heart, and he died instantly. 

This deeply loved father, grandfather, brother, and friend, was gone.  We had lost my mother on November 23, 2005 and David on March 9, 2006.  One was unavoidable.  The other was not.

There was a political battle being waged in the newspaper over my brother’s death regarding the response by the police and fire and rescue departments.  His death was dragged through the newspapers for months afterward.  It was very painful. 

All this start with just a few beers.  It was those few beers… times thousands… that  killed my brother. 

Contact Above the Influence for information about how to identify addiction, find treatment, and deal with the consequences of these addictions.  This call won’t wait another day.  This call could save you, your loved one, or someone you’ve never met.

For great websites presented directly to you, go to:  http://alphainventions.com/

When There Are No Words


There are times when there are no words that make us feel better.  There are only the feelings of grief and sadness that seem to permeate everything else.  We can talk about them, we can pray about them, we can ignore them, we can cover them up, but they simply seem to stay. 

The feelings will pass.  They always do… eventually… so, we just have to be patient until they do.

Today is just that sort of day.  

In the words of Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

When the Time Comes to Say, “Good-bye”


Radiant SunsetThere is a certain amount of grieving a person can do in a healthy way for someone who has died.  After awhile, it becomes obsessive.  After awhile, it becomes self-propogating.  After awhile, it becomes selfish.

I’ve done as much as I can to remember my parents, my brother, and so many others who have gone before me.  Many have been gone for years; some for decades.  At this point in my life, I believe it is time to say, “Good-bye.”   Those I love took my love with them when they departed their earthly vessels.  They knew, each and every one of them, how important they were to me because I not only told them, but I made sure to love them through my actions.   I may not have a lot to be proud of, but that is one thing I do have to my credit.

I know that the people I love know it without question.

So, in a personal message to my closest sojourners, I honor you in a brand new way, at least those of you who have been gone more than two or three years.  The rest of you will understand if I need more time.  I release you into the Universe to continue your journey; you whom have made such a significant contribution to the man I am today.  I must now discontinue calling you into my consciousness so that you may move on unencumbered by my need to hold you so desperately close.  I promise to keep you alive in my heart, but understand that your role in my life is as a footprint from the past.  I have no right to continually call you back into my present.  I am now solely responsible for the lessons you’ve taught me.

So, in the same way we give a roll call to military servicemen and women, or our brothers and sisters who’ve died of AIDS or a tragic accident or natural disaster, this is my roll call of my closest people I’ve loved since the day of my birth on July 17, 1959, who have since moved on.

I miss you and will love you always, but I no longer need your constant presence in my spirit.  I am ready to walk on through the storm, readied by the love you’ve given, and the independence you’ve modeled and taught.  I offer my spirit in faith and trust to my God alone.

I love you family.  I miss you and am so very grateful for the time you’ve spent with me.  Thank you from the deepest recesses of my heart.

Love,

James

In Memoriam

 Teódolo “Ted” Arroyo Escobedo

Michoacán, MX – May 3, 1903 to August 21, 1963 – San Jose, CA

Grandfather

 Lorenzo “Lawrence” Herrera Leal

Almaden, CA – August 10, 1881 to April 14, 1964 – San Jose, CA

Great-Great Grandpa Lawrence

Luisa “Luy” Gutierrez Cano

Hidalgo de Parral, MX – May 22, 1892 to June 25, 1964 – Santa Clara, CA

Tia Luy

Stanislaus “Stanley” Glica

Słuczinski, PO – June 20, 1893 to October 6, 1964 – North Tonawanda, NY

Dziadzia

Francisco Gregorio “Frank” Cano Macias

Salamanca, SP October 6, 1896 to February 27, 1967 – Santa Clara, CA

Tio Frank

Robert Michael Chavez

CA December 28, 1961 to May 2, 1968– Rota, SP

Bobby

Emma Quintero Gutierrez

Weed, CA October 28, 1924 to April 17, 1970 – San Jose, CA

Aunt Emma

Francesco C. “Frank” Catalano

Mazzarrá Sant’Andrea, IT April 30, 1893 to March 9, 1971 – Weed, CA

Nonno Catalano

Martín Gutierrez Pavia

Hidalgo de Parral, MX January 30, 1988 to June 18, 1971 – Santa Clara, CA

Tio Martín

Lucille Marie Michels

MN July 3, 1914 to June 8, 1973 – McCloud, CA

Lu

John Albert Chávez

Santa Clara, CA January 26, 1958 to September 8, 1974 – Greenfield, CA

Cousin Johnny

Michael James Ian Glica

Dunsmuir, CA – December 19, 1974 to December 19, 1974 – Dunsmuir, CA

Son

Beatrice Anne Cano O’Connell

Santa Clara, CA – October 22, 1925 to August 27, 1975 – San Jose, CA

Aunt Bea

Maria Teresa Tallerico Catalano

Italy – November 6, 1897 to August 7, 1978 – McCloud, CA

Nonna Catalano

Robert Bruce Hoffhine, Sr.

San Francisco, CA – September 8, 1934 to June 26, 1979 – Singapore

Bob

Pietro J. “Pete” Baldi

McCloud, CA – November 4, 1915 to June 2, 1981 – McCloud, CA

Uncle Pete

Dolores “Lola” Zuñiga de Gonzalez Gutierrez

Sonora, MX – November 28, 1891 to July 30, 1982 – Nevada City. CA

Tia Lola

 Barbara Jeanne Jenkins

Sacramento, CA – 23 September, 1965 to October 10, 1982 – Sacramento. CA

David’s Cousin Barbara Jeanne

Mary Louise Cano Bowers

Santa Clara, CA – August 7, 1923 to September 8, 1983 – Medford, OR

Aunt Mary

Matthew Earl Michels

 MN – February 10, 1916 to August 23, 1986 – McCloud, CA

Matt

Patricia Lynn Hocking Merva

Sacramento, CA – July 25, 1952 to December 23, 1987 – Sacramento, CA

Patty

Theresa Gomez de Garcia

Casas Grandes, Chi, MX – October 15, 1902 to November 26, 1988 – Sacramento, CA

Grandma Garcia

Gertrude Elizabeth “Bette” Herrera Arroyo

San Jose, CA – November 24, 1939 to August 12, 1990 – San Jose, CA

Mom

Maria Secundina Gutierrez Arroyo

Aguascalientes, MX – July 1, 1906 to April 26, 1991 – San Jose, CA

Abuelita o Mami Arroyo

Frank M. Pachla

North Tonawanda, NY – July 29, 1919 to May 13, 1992 – North Tonawanda, NY

Uncle Frank

Giovanni Patrìzio “John” D’Anna

Tunis, TS, – April 11, 1903 to June 8, 1992 – Santa Cruz, CA

Great-Grandfather Johnny

Lois Elizabeth Silvas Herrera

Contra Costa, CA – December 11, 1921 to June 13, 1994 – San Jose, CA

Auntie Lois

Ralph Conrad Herrera, Sr.

San Jose, CA – May 2, 1920 to July 21, 1996 – San Jose, CA

Papa

Angel Arroyo

Riverside, CA – February 19, 1926 to May 6, 1998 – San Jose, CA

Uncle Angel or Uncle Dad

Sister Emmeline Helen Glica, F.S.S.J.

North Tonawanda, NY – May 26, 1918 to February 14, 1999 – North Tonawanda, NY

Ciocia Emmeline

Miesoslaw Joseph “Matthew” Glica

North Tonawanda, NY – December 14, 1915 to February 15, 1999 – Port Angeles, WA

Uncle Matt

Richard Kenneth “Bud” Maddalena

Sierraville, CA -March 23, 1938 to May 11, 1999 – Sacramento, CA

Bud

Florian Joseph “Floyd” Glica

North Tonawanda, NY – September 21, 1920 to July 31, 1999 – Dunsmuir, CA

Dad

Alfredo “Fred” “Sam” Gonzalez

Santa Clara, CA – November 24, 1926 to March 10, 2000 – Santa Cruz, CA

Uncle Fred

Lorraine Julia King D’Anna Herrera

San Jose, CA – May 23, 1923 to December 8, 2000 – San Jose, CA

Gam

Jerome L. “Jerry” Herrera

Almaden, CA – January 8, 1923 to August 26, 2001 – San Jose, CA

Uncle Jerry

Rosalind Rogers Hoffhine

Oregon – June 30, 1908 to October 26, 2003 – San Francisco, CA

Granny Hoffhine

Alberto José Navarro

Brooklyn, NY – June 4, 1954 to November 25, 2004 – Sacramento, CA

Berto

Ralph Conrad Herrera, Jr.

San Jose, CA – July 4, 1942 to July 23, 2004 – San Jose, CA

Uncle Ralph

Spot Glica

Dunsmuir, CA – May 5, 1991 to September 8, 2005 – Dunsmuir, CA

Spot

Maria Teresa Chávez Glica

Santa Clara, CA – August 15, 1922 to November 23, 2005 – Dunsmuir, CA

Ma

David Floyd Glica

Woodland, CA – January 18, 1961 to March 9, 2006 – Dunsmuir, CA

Dave or Dewey

Bootsy Hernandez

Sacramento, CA – March 15, 1989 to June 18, 2006 – Sacramento, CA

Boots Doggy-Dog

Concepción Arroyo Santos

Riverside, CA – November 27, 1923 to August 16, 2006 – San Jose, CA

Aunt Concha

Georgette “Poppy” D’Anna Milazzo Gourley D’Anna Dye

San Jose, CA – March 29, 1923 to September 15, 2006 – San Jose, CA

Aunt Georgette

Richard L. Glica

Everett, WA – July 29, 1941 to February 19, 2007 – Port Angeles, WA

Rik

Carla Mary Köster Daw Jacobson

San Francisco, CA – November 7, 1936 to May 19, 2007– Sacramento, CA

Mother-in-law-dearest

Sophia Hoffhine

Sacramento, CA – May 5, 2004 to May 25, 2007– Sacramento, CA

Sophia

Luis Garcia

Sacramento, CA – October 11, 1924 to July 3, 2007 – Sacramento, CA

Uncle Louie

Maria Josefina Arroyo Vasquez

Riverside, CA – March 25, 1927 to September 13, 2007 – San Jose, CA

Aunt Josie

Marie Eustace Herrera Aiello Esparza

Almaden, CA – March 29, 1911 to February 19, 2008 – San Jose, CA

Aunt Marie

Marco Antonio Esparza

San Jose, CA – October 13, 1962 to May 3, 2008 – San Antonio, TX

Markie

Frances H. Glica Pachla

North Tonawanda, NY – December 17, 1922 to December 7, 2008 – Amherst, NY

Aunt Frances

Rindy Eileen Sumners

Sacramento, CA – September 30, 1987 to August 26, 2009 – Sacramento, CA

Rindella

Pilar Alderete Saenz

El Paso, TX – September 30, 1931 to February 20, 2010 – Sacramento, CA

 Pilar

Joseph Manuel Chavez

Santa Clara, CA– March 24, 1960 to May 27, 2010 – Santa Clara, CA

Cousin Joe 

Eugenio “Gene” Herrera

New Almaden, CA– April 11, 1907 to September 25, 2010 – Daly City, CA

Uncle Gene 

Eva Garcia Hoffhine

Sacramento, CA– October 17, 1937 to April 16, 2011 – Sacramento, CA

Mom

Mari Teresa Zanotto Zieour

Dunsmuir, CA– November 10, 1959 to December 10, 2011 – Loomis, CA

Mari

Miriam Navarro-Thoms

Brooklyn, NY – December 22, 1950 to January 18, 2012 – Sacramento, CA

Miriam

______________________

Updated:  January 29, 2012

As Spirits Fly

As Spirits Fly

Almost Done, and Then…


P1050839Intimate moments come along that are forced upon us, like memorials, burials,and endings of all sorts, in which we have absolutely no desire in participating because of their tragic significance.   Of course, we have no choice.  They are necessary parts of our lives that we either face or ignore.  Ignoring them, of course, leads to its own festering consequences.  Facing them can feel so much worse, though.

This weekend is just that sort of weekend.  The closer it gets, the sadder I become.  It’s a different sadness, though, than when Rindy died.  It’s an approaching finality that I can never change, no matter how hard I pray, how loudly I yell, or how many tears I shed.

I will, as always, use the strength within me to get through it with as much grace and compassion as I possibly can; however, I doubt that many will know the true depth of the grief I am experiencing in that moment.  It is the grief of a teacher, friend, and near-family member. 

Rindy on the day she died.

Rindy on the day she died.

I miss Rindy so much.  I don’t like that life moves forward without her voice, smile,  intelligence, and drive.  The beautiful place Rindy has carved into the realm of Heaven is only there because there now is a terrible void here on Earth.

We’re done with the memorial and the paperwork.  We’ll be done with the concert and burial by Sunday… and, then, we will be forced to continue on our path here without her, with little else to do for Rindy but grieve.  That’s the worst part.

RindyFest 2009! Update


RindyFest 2009 jpgWe are proud to present the details for the upcoming free concert honoring Sacramento musician and friend, Rindy Sumners.  Rindy died on August 26, 2009 as a result of injuries she sustained in an automobile accident on Interstate I-80.

This concert promises to be filled with an eclectic array of performers and an abundance of love for our talented and precious Rindy.

RindyFest 2009!

October 10, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Natomas Charter School North Field

4600 Blackrock Road

Sacramento, CA 95835

For more information, contact: Netty at (916) 595-9342, or James at (916) 201-1168

Performers include:

Man, Oh Man!!                                 

Adrian Bourgeios                               

American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble   

Edward Nelson  

CoverBand  

Too Much Fiction

Memento Mori  

We are fortunate to have this particular ensemble of professional musicians who are willing donate their time and creativity to this important venture and everyone involved is so deeply grateful.  The professional companies and individual who are donating their expertise, resources and manhours for this free concert are growing in number by the day.

There will be a table manned by Rindy’s close friends who will accept individual monetary gifts for the family toward the completion of the CD on which she was so ardently working before her death.  Although they are not affiliated with this concert, we thoroughly support their efforts.   We’ve been made aware that these gifts are not tax-deductible donations to any tax-exempt cause or organization.  They are simply individuals’ generous offer of assistance toward the realization of Rindy’s greatest dream.

We all look forward to seeing you at the concert.  Updates will be forthcoming.

RindyFest 2009!


RindyFest 2009 jpgIt’s official!  RindyFest 2009! is up and running.   Through the generosity of people like Charlie Leo, Executive Director of Natomas Charter School, Ron Dumonchelle of MonkeyGlue Productions, and many others, we are certain that Rindy Sumners, our precious songbird who died so tragically on August 26, 2009 in a horrible car accident, will still find her voice through the production of her CD, on which she was so ardently working.

RindyFest 2009!

Where:  Natomas Charter School North Field, 4600 Blackrock Road, Sacramento, CA 95835

When:  October 10, 2009  5:00 PM

Check in periodically for updates as we progress in our confirmed list of performers! 

James’ Facebook Page

James’ MySpace Page

Always Producing


RindyFest 2009 jpg

There appears to be no possible way for me to escape producing something musical.   Since Rindy’s death at the end of last month, I have been contacted by another of my former students who wishes to produce a concert on Rindy’s behalf.  The decision has been made to call it, “RindyFest 2009!”  It will help defray to costs of producing Rindy’s CD. 

It probably shouldn’t surprise me that they contacted me to help.  I’m old.  People like old people around when there’s work to be done. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to participate, but it does make me smile that the good Lord, in his infinite wisdom, is insisting I continue to do what I’ve been doing for so very many years.   This is a good thing.

So, I’m off again to pursue more information, assistance, and guidance for this project.  It’s going to be a dilly, I can assure you.

Maybe you can help, too?