The Gala

May 19th, 2011

Before Nelson’s death, one of his rowing partners, the director of the Denver Health Foundation, invited us to their annual gala, which was to feature Lionel Richie.  At that time, Nelson decided that he didn’t have the energy to accept the invitation; his friend then asked Camille, in his honor, to accompany The SC to this special event.  Because the gala took place only 17 days after Nelson’s passing, we were hesitant to be a part of a large celebration.  However, we knew that Nelson wanted us to attend, so we put our outfits together in his memory, took photos of each other in the familiar area at the foot of the stairs and ‘Danced on the Ceiling – All Night Long.’  We discovered that honoring Nelson’s request and dancing in feathers, satin and lace was helpful in dealing with our intense feelings of loss.  We are grieving our way, knowing that it would make him proud.  And in the process, I see Nelson’s smile in our daughter’s radiant face.

26 Responses to “The Gala”

  1. Pam @over50feeling40

    Camille is gorgeous! You both look so fabulous…Nelson would be smiling at you both!! What a great tribute to him for both of you to attend.

  2. Jean

    You can feel Nelson shining through in these pictures, a beautiful tribute!!

  3. RobinDenning

    Ah, so lovely! You both look fabulous and glowing, with some sadness in the eyes. So glad you went!
    I LOVE the dresses both of you chose. Exquisite. Your hat is perfection.

  4. SizzleandZoom

    I’m glad you shared this with us. You both look gorgeous! Nelson would be proud. The hat you are wearing is perfection. I love it.

  5. WendyB

    You both look gorgeous. Camille is a stunner. I’m glad you did it. What wouldn’t Nelson have loved about this??


    Nelso is so proud of you both, I am sure; and so am I. You are a true example to many people.
    What a beautiful daughter you have.
    Much love, my dear friend

  7. Vix

    I’m so glad that you went, Nelson would be immensely proud of his beautiful daughter and wife. You both look stunning. xxx

  8. Barbara Angele

    Oh wow, both of you sparkle with a light from within. Your sharing your story is an inspiration to all who see your glowing faces…to see that his light shines through the two of you is a blessing to all of us.

  9. Debbi

    You both look so beautiful and radiant. From everything you told us about Nelson, I believe he lived life to the fullest. I believe he would be very proud of you for living and honoring him. Thank you for sharing your lovely photos and beautiful words with us.

  10. Emily Kingston

    You ladies look gorgeous! Love the hat/headband!
    Gray Matter Ghost

  11. BeckyC.

    Beautiful women and radiant with love. I’m sure that Nelson is proud of you both!

  12. Paula

    Judith, you and Camille look beautiful! I’m glad you two danced the night away…It’s important to remember we all grieve in our own way… I think Nelson would want you and Camille to continue to enjoy your lives… You two are my family and I think of you daily… You’re in my thoughts and prayers…Much love Paula

  13. carolyn

    Nelson NEVER would have wanted you to cry! The last thing that brilliant light of a man wanted was sadness for his beautiful ladies! Dance in honor of him, of each other and of us. It is what life is about. So glad you went, keep going, love, C

  14. Willa

    I’m glad that this event was so meaningful for you, and you both look lovely. I especially like the SC’s gloves. I love opera lengh gloves for the drama and for their elegance, and I wear them often. These add a special dash and a bit of extra dignity to the SC’s look.

  15. Rebecca

    What a lovely tribute to Nelson – seeing his favorite ladies looking so radiant and beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing this event with us. I think of you and Camille often these days.

  16. janine

    I second all who call you both “radiant.” ABSOLUTELY TRUE! And there is something so deeply moving and courageous about being able to find joy in these early, challenging days of loss. Brava to you & Camille! You both look absolutely stunning and like you are enjoying the evening. I’m sure Nelson’s spirit was singing at the sight of the two of you — much love,

  17. Shelley

    You two look gorgeous! It’s important to be able to celebrate Nelson as much as grieve his loss, and you were certainly celebrating his wonderful spirit in your lovely finery and beautiful smiles.

  18. Lonnie

    I can’t believe I am the 18th comment. Late to comment on an important date. You both look stunning! Perfect attire choices. It is never inappropriate to celebrate life in respectful, heartfilled manor. We are reminded, all to often, how fleeting, yet indelible, it is.

  19. Margaret

    I didn’t know your dear Nelson, but I can only imagine that this is how he would want his girls to grieve–in elegant celebration of his life. You honor him and his memory so appropriately in this way!
    Camille is a stunner, as you always are. Nelson is smiling on you both.
    So much love from Arabia!

  20. Rose

    You look so incredibly beautiful, the pair of you. What a wonderful tribute to a man whose life was so filled with generousity of spirit and love. Let no one say you shouldn’t be just as you are, whatever course your grief takes. Much love from England.

  21. puncturedbicycle

    Marvellous. Well done to you both.

  22. Judi

    You both look radiant and beautiful. I know Nelson would be happy and proud.

  23. Paula

    You both look so gorgeous; Nelson would be very glad. Love, Paula

  24. Veshoevius

    I am very late catching up on blogs but would like to say that I am so sorry to hear of your loss with Nelson’s passing and extend my deepest sympathies to you and your daughter. What a beautiful young woman she is. You both look stunning and you were right to go.

  25. Terri

    Oh, you both look beautiful! And how wonderful that you went after all.

  26. Urban Crone

    Life is for the living… seems obvious, yet when caught in a pool of sorrow… can seem impossible. Your courageous spirit rose to the occasion… to be alive… and it took all you had. That’s a day well lived…

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