Thursday, June 14, 2012
farewell, dear brother

Below is what I wrote for Gordon's Memorial Celebration....Held, on Saturday, June 9th, in Connecticut......I couldn't be there because of my 'health issues'.....but, I wanted to say a few words about him---from my view---as his younger sister; his friend; and as a person who deeply deeply admired and loved him....he was a unique and special man, who happened to also be my dear brother.


I so wish I could be there ‘in person’ today, to share a few thoughts and memories of my dear brother Gordon---Very often known as “Gorga” in the family. When our nephew Michael, our sister Robin’s oldest son was just starting to talk---he couldn't say Gordon and it came out as “Gorga”, and that name stuck…..I still have two messages on my Voice Mail from last week where Gordon said….”Nay-Balls”, (don’t ask), it’s your brother ‘Gorga’….He was two years older than me and he was always my protector when we were little children….I’m not sure what he was protecting me from, but, I think it was our parents…. Gordon always loved the Sea….He always had some kind of a little boat, from the time he was very very young. He actually built a little boat when he was just a boy---Popular Mechanics had directions on how to do this and the only material he had to work with was a large cardboard box. He built the boat and put it into Biscayne Bay, and of course, it sank, though not immediately----but the point is---He built it! Jumping ahead a bit, when we were in our 20’s, I have very fond and vivid memories of going out on his then, 18 foot Runabout---We’d take off from the Marina in Port Washington and go out on Long Island Sound….Then down the East River and around the bottom of Manhattan, and then up the Hudson….The waters at the bottom of Manhattan were pretty treacherous---there were always big boats there and we had to navigate those waters in this tiny little boat, in spite of the ‘wake’ of those big boats---it could be very scary….Sometimes we called Gordon ‘Captain Queeg’---he could get very bossy when there was some imminent danger---but it was always out of concern for his passengers….Gordon loved music and could play just about any instrument you might name—he loved playing the piano all of his life, and continued playing almost until the day he died. When we were in Junior High and High School, he played the Trumpet in Orchestra and in The Band….He could make an instrument out of just about anything, too---just like he built that Cardboard Boat….He was so very very smart---Genius level smart!When we were kids, he made up two words…..One was, ‘Golivashay’---this was a language that he invented---it was mostly gibberish but he called it, ‘Golivashay’…..The other wonderful word he made up was ‘Moloquium’…’Moloquium’ was an elixir that he would put into small bottles that supposedly could clean the rust off of your Bicycle and possibly your insides, too…….As a kid, Gordon was always inventing things and building things---and that continued for all of his life….I’m sure other people will talk about his amazing accomplishments in his chosen profession, and they were many. And they may talk about the deep and long friendships and relationships he maintained throughout his whole life---and they were many, as well—but to me, the most amazing accomplishment of Gordon’s whole life, was surviving the wrath of our father. That Gordon not only survived that----and it was a ferocious wrath where Gordon was concerned---he actually flourished, in spite of it, which is a testament to how strong Gordon truly was. In these last seven weeks of his life---he showed such strength in facing the reality of this terrible illness that overtook him like an avalanche. He didn’t like it one bit---who would? But he faced it and the decisions he made were beyond brave, in my view. I always knew that Gordon loved me---always. And I hope he always knew that I loved him too…..Through good times and bad times---the love was always there…and it is what makes his death so hard----I will miss that love, more than I can say. I will miss you dear sweet brother---I already do---I will miss our long wonderful phone conversations about so many things---conversations that were always rich in content and often quite hilarious, too….. Dear Dear Gordon---you enriched my life in so many ways---you saved me from God knows what real and imagined terrors, as a child and as a young adult, too---you were always loving and caring and supportive.….Rest In Peace, my sweet brother…..You fought so hard throughout your life, now you deserve to have a truly wonderful pain-free Peaceful Rest. And as you would always say, dear “Gorga”, I say to you now: “Bless”.

More To Come..........

Note: To all of you who have visited and left me messages; your incredible loving support during this very hard time in my life means everything to me, and I thank you, thank you, thank you, with all of my heart.......

had this to say:

My dearest Naomi, he is never gone coz he will always remain in your heart. You take care and I hope you will gain strength, big hugs to you.

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 3:17:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wonderful tribute and introduction to such a caring brother. No one quite looks after us like our big brothers do and he obviously did.
Your pain is so raw now but I pray for the time when thinking of him no longer brings the pain of loss, but a warm smile of rememberance.
Warm hugs coming your way.

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 5:34:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

All that you say here is beautiful and much holds true for even me and my brother... thankfully we do have memories and so in small ways he will always be with you. Things he said, and thing you did with and for each other...

I am so sorry your heart is so sad.
we have to remember how lucky we were to have our brothers for as long as we did.

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 5:56:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a beautiful tribute, it bought a tear to my eyes. xxx

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:56:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Blessings and comfort to you,dearest Naomi.

One of my favorite thoughts is that the heart grows in broken places.
For all the loss you have suffered, you have a garden heart. A spiritual center that grows lovelier as it passes through this life.

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 8:06:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Yesterday I went back and read your two part tribute to Gordon from September 2010. In all of your writings, the love is so clear and strong. You both were very lucky to have had each other for so long.
I always try to imagine what heaven might be like for different people. From your writings, it is easy to imagine Gordon's heaven: He is out on the sea on a perfect day in the boat of his dreams.

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 9:22:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Those are such beautiful, heart-felt words. It's so hard to lose those closest to us.

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 9:25:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I am so sorry. This is a lovely tribute to your dear brother, who obviously was a heck of a good guy.

I know how hard it is to lose a brother -- almost 20 years after he died, I still think of things that only my brother and I knew about and I miss him.

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 12:51:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I don't know what to say. I am deeply moved by your words.

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 4:20:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

This is such a wonderful tribute. I read it imagining it being read to a group. You touched in on so many of the really important things in life, what people are made of and how they affect you emotionally. I know you will miss him so. I'm glad I got to know a little bit of him via you and your blog. xo

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 4:22:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

So sorry for your loss - your blog about your wonerful brother was so touching!

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 5:18:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Not having brothers myself of any good mention, I can only say: Perfect.

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 6:42:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

so very sorry to hear of your loss dear Naomi. Sending thoughts to you today and everyday....

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 9:33:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Mar
had this to say:

Wonderful tribute, Naomi dear. He will live forever in your heart, treasure those memories. XXX

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 9:49:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Very moving, dear. Well done.

Friday, June 15, 2012 at 5:53:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

..very beautiful and moving...put a lump in my throat......i am very sorry for your loss...zman sends

Friday, June 15, 2012 at 4:45:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Audrey Franks
had this to say:

Oh Nay, what I just read is so so sweet…he will always live on in your heart and I can guarantee you will always feel him near.
Love you,
Audrey xo

Friday, June 15, 2012 at 8:03:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:


What a wonderful relationship you both had and I'm sure all readers of your blog over the years know this. May Gordon now rest in peace and you, my dear, take it easy. xx

Friday, June 15, 2012 at 8:30:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I've come to the conclusion that we see the real strength of a person when they are dying. I've seen it too many times in my life. I've lost so many family members and loved ones to cancer and other illnesses and I have such admiration in the way they cope with it.

What you wrote about Gordon is beautiful. It sounds like he lived and full and exciting life. I'm so sorry for your loss. I have an older brother and I just can't imagine him not being around.

Big hugs to you. (((((((((hug)))))))))

Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 12:31:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi: I haven't been checking blogs for a while and when I read yours this morning I was shocked to read your sad news. My thoughts and sympathies are with you and the rest of your family at this sad time. Seven weeks! WOW. So fast. Cancer is a terrible horrible beastly disease. We desperately need to find the answer. Your dear brother sounds like he was a lovely man. I know you have written about him on your blog before. I'm holding your hand, Naomi.

Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 5:14:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

You were truly blessed to have
Gordon as a brother and your beautiful words honour him and must have brought comfort to the rest of the family.
As someone said - a brother so loved will always be in your heart.
Sending you loving thoughts dear Naomi.

Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 12:45:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Coming by to see you are doing fine my ear friend.

Luv & Hugs

Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 9:42:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

so beautifully written (I wouldn't expect anything less) that I could picture you two as children
I know how much you have lost recently and how much it must hurt
I hope knowing that we all love and respect and admire you helps a bit


Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 4:02:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

(((((HUGS))))) to you, my sweet friend...Nay-Balls, huh? I'm sure there's a good story behind that one! LOL

This is a beautiful tribute to your sweet, strong and loving brother. I love how you shared the early photos and then the one of you two not too long ago. It really shows the nice bond and connection you've had throughout the years.

All my best and much love to you, my dear friend.

Looking forward to chatting with you soon! xo

Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 7:01:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

That was a loving and rich eulogy. It is a great loss to you but also a great gift that you and he had such a wonderful relationship. And not only had it but knew you had it and could appreciate it during your lifetimes. I am sorry for your loss but happy for what you had with him.

Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 3:40:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Dear Naomi, i am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute you have written for your brother. May the memories you have of him bring you some comfort in the time ahead and the tears in your eyes turn to smiles of joy. Please take care of yourself. With love Jan Holly.(Essex)

Monday, June 18, 2012 at 9:07:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

A beautiful and loving tribute to your dear brother. He would be very pleased I'm sure. So glad you have the wonderful memories to cling to. Sending you big hugs and love Naomi. I've thought of you often during this difficult time.

Monday, June 18, 2012 at 10:56:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a loving tribute to your brother. I can empathize on some level with some of the feelings you must be experiencing when I think of the sense of loss I would feel if my much older and only brother departs life before I do. Memories, of which you clearly have many, are to be treasured, but.........

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 1:49:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, I can't begin to know how you feel - I know I would be devastated. I always wanted a brother, and reading this brought tears to my eyes, for the one I never had - as well as yours. I guess the only silver lining is that he didn't suffer long.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 5:57:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, Our condolences for the loss of your brother.

It is a lovely and heartfelt tribute for a special person.

Our thoughts are with you. E+J.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 1:54:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

From Laura,

Dear Naomi,
I am so sorry for your loss. A brother is special. Your tribute is beautiful and may your wonderful memories carry you through the sad times. May your happy memories also bring you joy at unexpected moments.
Peace to you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 3:35:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, I have tears in my eyes as I read this -- your words are so eloquent, but that, I believe, is because your thoughts are so pure and your heart is so full of love. I'm so deeply sorry for your loss. I'm glad you could share these thoughts in absentia. I suspect there were few eyes without at least a few tears. Thinking of you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 6:11:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your brother sounds like an amazing man and a brother who loved you greatly. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 8:17:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

I'm just catching up on my blogs and sadly read about your brother's passing. Please know I'm thinking of you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 7:03:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Dear, dear Naomi
I am so sorry to read of your brother's passing. Another loss!
Your love for him is clear in your words and photos.
So so very sorry.

Friday, June 22, 2012 at 6:44:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a warm and beautiful tribute to your dear brother. The exquisite photographs of the two of you as children touch me deeply. Peach dear Naomi.

Fellow Feaginite Sherwood Snyder III

Friday, June 22, 2012 at 6:52:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Randy Las Vegas
had this to say:

Naomi - I was stunned and saddened to hear of Gordon's passing... I am so sorry you have endured so many sad events these last few years. As we get older it seems inevitable that this will happen to us all...but each time it is so difficult to endure. My heart is with you "In warm memory and quiet Celebration of someone very SPECIAL."

Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 10:53:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, I am so sorry to hear about your brother's death. DAMN cancer! Such a hateful thing. I'm glad that you have so many memories of him to reflect back on. Hugs to you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 11:22:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a lovely tribute to your dear brother Gordon. Your moving words and touching and vivid memories about your brother brought tears to my eyes. Gordon looks an amazing man and truly you both had an imense and profound love between you both.
Thinking of you my dear friend.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 3:50:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Just beautiful Naomi. What a truly special bond you shared. It reminds me of my father and his dear sister. They shared long phone calls into the night. It is so sad and I am thinking of you. Xxx

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 1:48:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh my goodness, Naomi, I had no idea you lost your brother... I'm so very sorry. :( My heart hurts for your loss.

Getting older is so very hard when you start to lose the ones you've loved for so long. My grandfather always said that getting old isn't for sissies, I think he might have meant the physical aspect of it, which is just as true, but it does encompass the emotional losses, too.

This year is a hard one for you. Again, I'm so very very sorry for your loss.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 3:11:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

my dear naomi - it is with much sadness that i read this post of the loss of your dear brother - but also with much happiness for you that you had/continue to have such a loving brother who will be with you always in that love - my own [baby] brother was also named gordon and was talented beyond words - in our case, it was i who played protector of him from earliest childhood - from our mother - a sad thing but one which united us in ways not otherwise possible - such as you had with your gordon - in any event, i'm so sorry for your loss, dear friend - and sorry to only now be getting by to leave a few words - it seems that my own health issues of late have diverted nearly all my attentions and i am challenged most days to go beyond that - but - as you say so beautifully - there is that thing called hope and i come here to find even a tiny bud of that magnificent flower of hope blooming - and i thank you and your magnanimous spirit for that! much love - j

Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 8:51:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, I know how much you truly loved your brother. I am SO sorry for you loss. Sending lots of love your way.
your friend,

Friday, June 29, 2012 at 10:04:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful tribute to your brother....I am so very sorry. You've been in my thoughts.

Monday, July 2, 2012 at 8:23:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You have our deepest condolences dear Naomi. You are always in our thoughts. Hugs from the both of us here in Bergen.

Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 11:39:00 PM PDT 

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