just wanted to update everyone on how the party went.
it was FANTASTIC! better than I could have ever imagined. Rami really showed such courage and style. It was the biggest inspiration to everyone.
We started off the party by showing the DVD presentation I made and Rami narrated with a microphone. Then she told us about her life, how things led her to certain places at certain times, and how she felt she was guided to this point in her life. She was graceful, stylish, and only teared up a few times (as compared to the guest who were crying on and off throughout the day). She was gracious and loving, and she warmly accepted people's love and gratitude without any reservation or embarrassment.
Our friend Bonnie sang the song "Time In a Bottle" and then lightened things up with a folky song (that we were given a sheet to sing along too). "I'm just an old lump of coal, but I'm gonna be a diamond some day..." which was sweet and meaningful because our group is called Diamond Way Buddhism. Then we all sang "Happy Trails" which was VERY emotional for everyone. Then her friend Debbie played "Misty" on the flute. She said she was playing "Misty" because thats how she felt. After that we broke for food. Which was lovely catered by Central Market.
Rami got back on the mike shortly after and said "Okay, everyone, I think its time we started celebrating again." She was just fantastic!
We regrouped and this time it was our turn to take turns at the mike.
People came from all different time frames in her life. Her second husband flew all the way from Hawaii on short notice and talked about their relationship and how they were really on journeys of self discovery when they were married and how that benefitted them. One of her son's friends from Chicago was there to tearfully tell the story about how Rami gave her a safe home in highschool when her life was crumbling around her. Rami stood up to the mike and told everyone how proud she was of Allison and was glad she could be there for her and we had a round of applause for her because she was completing law school this semester. Countless people from california were there to tell about how Rami healed their bodies through her Somatic movement body work. They talked about learning that they were able to do more than they ever could. It was clear that they thought so much of that time and how when they were proud of themselves, Rami was proud of them. People shared about her grace and her ability to enjoy life. Many of us knew her as being a woman with cancer. She had it for 2 years which is when many of the buddhist group knew her. She was praised for how she LIVED with the disease. How her strength, and warmth, and dedication was so admired by all. It was an amazing day of teaching for everyone involved.
After the sharing of memories, her boyfriend played a song on his trumpet for her. Then her son and her boyfriend played the blues together. After that, her son James talked about how music has played such an important role in his life. Her son is very much an individual. In every family photo from a very young age, he was always dressed in the wild clothes, double breasted suits, funky glasses, etc. In highschool he was a total nonconformist, who actually drove a hearse as his car for 3 years. Rami was his number one supporter. He told the story about how highschool was a very bad environment for him. That he had differences with many of the staff and students there. He ran for class president making wild promises about spending the money on beer rather than silly programs, etc. Very very out there. He said that at the end of his junior year, he was just miserable at the thought of another year in that environment. And Rami said "why don't you just quit and get your GED and start college now?" and James said "you can do that?!" And it was just such a relief to get out of that environment. He said that most people talk about supportive mothers. When he wanted to learn to play guitar, she didnt just support him, she GOT A GUITAR AND TOOK LESSONS WITH HIM!
He talked about how he has really learned in his life that the meaning of life lies in relating to other people. and he said "That came from you mom. Everything I know about life and love. That came from you, Mom." Then he played two songs (one Duke Ellington and one from SUN RA). It was such an incredible tribute.
After that, we all got a balloon with her name on it. then we let them go in the front yard. It was so totally beautiful. Then we came inside and presented her with a tibetan blessing bundle which was a conglomeration of notes and wishes from everyone at the party, along with small objects of meaning.
It was such a wonderful day. Her brother told me that he thought he would be totally sad after the party and that he wasnt. He was feeling so happy and full of love..
I can't recommend anything more highly. It was wonderful. Here is a link to the photos from the day:http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=o441jj9...x&x=0&y=2kdd50
Thanks for all the love and support!