Schlemazel’s Memorial Service

Schlemazel’s memorial service was today. His niece Laura sent me this write up to share with you all:

Schlemazel was memorialized today in the beautiful French Park in Plymouth MN. The weather was ideal, sunny and in the 60’s. Michael and Edith represented the BJ community. In typical fashion there were no green balloons to be had last minute at Cub Foods due to a shortage of time and helium. The only things left were princesses, welcome to boy or girl and one purple monkey with a banana. The only thing I could think of was the universe and Mark conspired to make a monkey of me as our family last name is Gibbons, one last joke. I had intended to put a nice little booklet together of all of the wonderful comments you all made but I’m afraid family obligations made that impossible. I did have the chance to tell his wife about how I read all 200+ comments you all made 2 nights before he died and how he both laughed and cried as I read. He fell asleep that night knowing he was surrounded by love which is all anyone can ask for. Life is short and can end abruptly and unexpectedly so you don’t get the chance to say goodbye. I am grateful I got to share this community with him and got to say farewell in the best way possible given the circumstances. I am grateful that you all gave us that gift. If you would like to set a meet up sometime in the future. I promise to find a green balloon! — Laura Too

Open thread!

35 replies
  1. 1
    tybee says:

    he is missed.

  2. 2
    Davis X. Machina says:


  3. 3
    Ruckus says:

    I’m glad you got to be with Mark at the end and I’m glad the family did the memorial today. It’s always good that we say good bye in a way that the family, and the person would have wanted. When dad passed I was sitting in bed with him, holding him. It was a good way to say good bye. With my sister we had a Quaker circle, with family, friends and a lot of her art there. You don’t really want to say good bye but that’s not really an option so we make the best of it we can.

  4. 4
    Spanky says:

    Thank you so much, Laura Too, for being the conduit between he and us, including this report.

    Yes, he is missed. And think of how much he’s missing!

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Lapassionara says:

    Thank you. Good byes are never easy. We are grateful that you communicated our appreciation for him to his family.

  7. 7
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Thanks for that, Laura Too.

  8. 8
    Mary G says:

    His hearing the comments is such a gift, Laura Too. I am so glad you were able to do that. We do miss him.

    ETA: Thanks also to Adam.

  9. 9
    Ohio Mom says:

    I appreciate hearing this bit about Schlemazel’s memorial service. Thanks for sharing it.

    And glad to hear we Juicers were represented.

  10. 10
    oatler. says:

    Rest In Peace, Schlemazel.

  11. 11
    KSinMA says:

    May his memory be a blessing.

  12. 12
    rikyrah says:

    That was beautiful.
    He is missed😢😢😢

  13. 13
    trollhattan says:

    Bless you, Laura, and your caring family. Good people all, those here and those now missed.

  14. 14
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    May he rest in peace. Let there be a table waiting in the great beyond with green balloons, complete with commentariat who have left us, along with Tunch (and other animal friends).

  15. 15
    Skepticat says:

    Thank you, Laura, for showing us the epitome of a good end and for making it happen. You gave him and us an immeasurably valuable gift. I especially appreciate all you did, as I’m going through a stressful time, and I know how kind words, warm thoughts, humor, and the assorted offbeat remark can ease pain.

  16. 16
    Laura Too says:

    I thank you all! It has been a long exhausting week but I will read and respond tomorrow night. We are humbled by the outpouring of love. And yes, one thing about our family is that the table can always be expanded by adding an extra leaf and you can stretch any dish to feed all unexpected guests. It was supposed to be Mark’s memorial but his sister in law died on her way up here on the drive from California. So we added her friends and family. There was still a ton of food left at the end. Again, I so appreciate being wrapped in the cloak of your love. Big thanks to both Adam and John for all they have done. Good night everyone.

  17. 17
    cain says:

    It’s so amazing how this blog affects all of us even those who pass away. Our memes are even celebrated at our reader’s funeral.
    Thanks Laura for being the conduit and letting us know. I hope he starts the party until we can all show up.

  18. 18
    Yutsano says:

    Baruch Dayan Emet. May Mark find the next existence gentle.

  19. 19
    Zinsky says:

    What a lovely story and a very nice ending to a life. Not many people get to go out of this world knowing that many people are thinking of them. Balloon Juice is a very special blog. Peace to all…

  20. 20
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @cain:Rest in peace. I feel so grateful to be a part of this pack of jackals. There is a depth to our connections. I’m not always looking for solace, but I always seem to find some here.

  21. 21

    Thank you so much for sharing, he is and will be missed.

    And so sorry to hear about Mark’s sister-in-law.

    Also, having had to organize a celebration of life for my mother last year, I know how those last-minute hiccups can be. Do take care of yourself as well.

  22. 22
    CaseyL says:

    There are times I wish I could curl up and snuggle in this blog, because the love is so very strong. Today is one of those times.

    Thank you so, so much, Laura Too, for allowing us to be part of our friend Schlemazel’s memorial service; and for letting his RL family know how much his BJ family loves and misses him.

  23. 23
    Debbie(Aussie) says:

    Mark & EF were the first to speak(?) to me when I found the courage to comment. I miss them both so much.
    Laura too, thank you for being a go-between for the jackalatariat. Love and hugs to you and your family. XDeb

  24. 24
    frosty says:

    Thank you Laura Too for sharing this with us and for reading all our comments to Mark. It means a lot.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Kattails says:

    @Skepticat: Hey. So sorry to hear that you are going through a stressful time. A big hug to you. Let us know what you need.

  27. 27
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    I really miss talking to Schemazel and efgoldman too. I believe they were among the first to talk to me as well

  28. 28
    West of the Rockies says:

    Thank you for sharing, Laura Too. The acts of kindness and caring here on this blog are always so touching. I’m glad to be part of this cyber community.

  29. 29
    Debbie(Aussie) says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: they were very welcoming:(

  30. 30

    Thank you Laura.

    May Gaia bless your lands, your loves, and your lives.

  31. 31
    Miss Bianca says:

    Awww… there’s a little tear in my eye just reading this!

  32. 32
    Kathleen says:

    Thank you, Laura Too. I miss him so much.

  33. 33
    Laura Too says:

    I miss him so much as well! That is why I find so much comfort here. I can here his voice in a lot of the comments, you are all so witty. It is so nice to find a community that makes me think. Mark never really treated my cousins and I like kids (okay, sometimes we were pests and he was a bit bugged) and when we moved up north in MN we lost touch for a while. He had a family and moved and in the days of AT&T you had to have $$$ to call long distance. He moved back and I got to spend more time with him but we really became friends in the last 15 years or so. My cousin told a story yesterday I had completely forgotten. Mark & a date wanted to go to a drive in but he was babysitting 4 of us. Kids cost full price because they had cartoons until dark so he put my sister & I under blankets on the floor with my cousins sitting in the back seat so he only had to pay for two. Good times. And his son explained some of the things they said at the crematorium which explained the tic when the young woman heard our last name. She remembered them well, maybe because when they were asked if they wanted a receipt they asked what the return policy is. My Uncle, when given the handled bag with his wife in it said to me “she always did leave me holding the bag”. We deal with tragedy with humor and some find it offensive. I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by such quick thinking people. I always think of things like that 2 hours later. Thank you all for the kindness shared through this uncharted journey. It has been a long week. I am taking care of myself, eating well, trying to get enough sleep and acupuncture for the stress relief. It keeps the sinus infection at bay from crying so much. We had our roof replaced and the dogs couldn’t be in the backyard because the gates were open so I got to walk them 3-4 times a day so I have been getting enough exercise. And today is the first day of peace since last Monday since they finished last night. We can now do one more round of mold mitigation and start construction on our bedroom. I can’t wait to sleep in a real bed again!

  34. 34
    AndoChronic says:

    Wish I could have made it. Edith is my wife and Schlemazel apparently lived close by. Our son Tommy made it too, the kid with the buses! Hopefully he turns out to be a Balloon Juicer as well.

  35. 35
    Laura Too says:

    @AndoChronic: Tommy is soooooo adorable! It was so nice to have them both there. I do wish they could have stayed for the memorializing, but I got that it was nap time. He looked like such a sleepy little guy. I owe him a balloon. If I had my wits about me I’d have given him the one I was holding but I’m afraid I was a bit shell shocked and wasn’t on top of things. Edith is a sweetheart, I really look forward to doing a meetup soon.

Comments are closed.