Welcoming Remarks & “Ave Maria”

Welcoming Remarks by Clarke Adams …

“Good afternoon everyone, I’m Lisa’s husband Clarke.  I would like to start off the service by thanking you all for coming here today to honor and celebrate with us Lisa’s memory and her life.

When we moved here from New York in 2004 it was in search of a place where we could put down roots and raise our children.  Lisa’s illness and the challenges it presented to our family over the past couple of years has really highlighted for me what a special and wonderful community Darien is.

Given Lisa’s love of (and insistence on) proper etiquette and especially the importance of a proper thank you I thought it would be entirely fitting to begin the service by thanking on her behalf everyone who has helped us out and made dealing with her illness immeasurably easier and more bearable.

In particular, I would like to acknowledge the following people

  • To my in laws Dr. Rita, Dr. Larry and Dr. Mark Bonchek (and if you didn’t catch that triple doctor, yes that makes me by far the least educated person in Lisa’s family) who were with me and Lisa up until the very end and were a source of great comfort to her especially during the last week of her life.
  • To my Dad, his wife Patty and my brothers and sisters who have been incredibly supportive.
  • To Dr. Chau Dang (who is here today) who was Lisa’s primary Oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Dang provided wonderful care and thoughtful advice for the last six years and, more importantly, a level of empathy and compassion coupled with a superhuman level of responsiveness that Lisa always cherished.
  • To all my neighbors on Circle road including Theresa Vogt and Stephanie O’Malley who acted as chauffeur and babysitters when lisa couldn’t as well as Barbara and Aldo Chumilero who brought us wonderful food from their restaurant many times over the last  two years.
  • To Sara Goertel who organized a food train that brought meals to our house four to five nights a week for the last year and a half and to the dozens of moms and dads, many of them parents of schoolmates of my children, from all corners of town who took time out of their day to prepare and hand deliver meals to our house. It was an amazing and sustained effort and was (and still is since it’s still ongoing) much appreciated.
  • To Lisa’s many friends who helped her get to and from appointments and who kept her company and gave emotional support and comfort during the many tough times over the years including Justine Stewart, Mardi Durkin, Brenda Whittaker, Lorrie Olsen, Alex Bayha and Cathy Barrett. Her illness was a crucible that tested and actually strengthened her many friendships.
  • To the reverend Dale Rosenberger and the First Congregational Church who have allowed us to use this beautiful space. Although we are not members of the church our boys attended nursery school here and Lisa loved the people here and the place.
  • To my employers and co-workers at Morgan Stanley including Dan Toscano, Jim Bonetti, Costa Darras, Justin Kotzin, Raj Dhanda and Dan Simkowitz who have been totally supportive and understanding and who have often had to shoulder a heavier work load as a result.
  • To all the women and men in the broader online community who have gotten to know Lisa through her writing and through social media. Although the friendships often started out as virtual they were in fact very real and meaningful to her and provided Lisa with a great deal of solace and support.  She cared for you and indeed loved many of you deeply.  The feelings were also clearly mutual…..I have been floored by the outpouring of support and love from the online community of bloggers, writers, journalists and fellow cancer patients.   Thanks to all those who have written beautiful articles remembering Lisa’s life and praising (and sometimes defending) her writing and her work over the years.   Nothing could have made her happier.In particular Katie Rossman (New York Times) Xeni Jardin (Boing Boing), Author Julie Klam, Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon, Elaine Schattner of Forbes, my old high school classmate and friend Blogger Brit Lee, and Zeynep Tufekci of medium.com who all wrote beautiful pieces honoring Lisa’s memory.
  • And finally, and most importantly, to our darling Children Paige, Colin and Tristan who were Lisa’s joy, her life’s work and her greatest accomplishment.  You were mom’s everything and the very last thing she and I spoke about was how proud she was of you and how lucky she was to have been part of your lives and to have shared with you as much as hers a she could.

I know that I can in no way mention everyone who has contributed (there are too many and too little time) so please don’t be offended if I missed you (Lisa surely wouldn’t have) but to everyone who has supported us since.  Thank you again.

I would like to turn the ceremony over to Dale Hague who is the director of music at First Congregational who will perform the Ave Maria.  This song was played at my mom’s memorial service and at various family events during our many years together.  We both always thought it was beautiful and Lisa often said she would like it played at her own memorial.”

Performance of “Ave Maria”
Soloist Daniel Hague accompanied by organist John Hunt

Next in the program for Lisa’s Memorial Service:  Clarke’s Eulogy

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