2019 Life Logs, Day 33: In Memory of Ed
Date: Saturday, February 2, 2019
Weather: Sunny and Warmer; High 30, Low 25 degrees F (in Nyack)
Location: At Home with Lynne Kirwin, Nyack, NY
This morning I drove from the Cape to Nyack, New York, to attend the memorial service for Ed Kirwin. Mark and I got to know Ed and Lynne as we sailed across the Indian Ocean together. We met in Malaysia and spent time together in Thailand before taking off for our Indian Ocean adventure. Ed and Lynne’s boat, Constance, and our Windbird were so perfectly matched in terms of speed that we couldn’t lose each other if we tried! Just as our boats became ‘buddies’, so did we. We sailed to India for a six week stay, down to the Maldives, on to Chagos where we spent two months, then to Madagascar for four months, and finally on to South Africa. The words people used today when talking about Ed at the memorial service described him as we all knew him—always a smile, always a gentleman, always kind, caring, and supportive. He loved to share his stories of the 17 years that he and Lynne spent sailing around the world and used those story telling opportunities to help people see the beauty in people around the world. When Ed found out he had cancer in the spring of 2015, he and Lynne left Constance on land in southern Georgia and moved to Nyack, New York, close to family and new friends they would make. Lynne starting volunteering with the Soup Angels at a local church who serve two meals a week to the homeless and needy. Ed helped out when he could, especially at the street fairs where he was very effective in getting donations to fund the Soup Angels. He and Lynne volunteered at the local library, sorting books for the annual book sale. They became an integral part of the community and Lynne wanted to have Ed’s memorial in the church community room where the Soup Angel’s serve the homeless. The Soup Angel volunteers offered to host and it was a beautiful affair in just the right atmosphere to honor Ed’s life. The large room was the perfect size for those who gathered and was artfully decorated by the Soup Angels and the tables were laden with all sorts of yummy nibbles. There were photos of Ed, and family and friends spoke about the goodness Ed brought to this world. As people mingled and talked, Ed’s favorite music played in the background, and as if perfectly cued by Ed, his very favorite came near the end of the afternoon. The song was “Time to Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli. Lynne had held up so beautifully all afternoon, but this song that Ed had requested brought a few tears. Ed’s gentle presence in the world will be sorely missed by all of us. Later in the evening, Lynne took all of the family members and a few friends out to dinner. It was a huge group and we ate, drank, and mingled all evening. I especially enjoyed getting to know Lynne’s nephew, Jeremy, who flew in from Michigan. Lynne will have a gathering there in warmer weather, but Jeremy felt especially close to his Uncle Ed and came to represent Lynne’s family. The entire day and evening was a perfect celebration of the life of Edward John Kirwin.