A Beautiful Send Off

Any regular readers of this blog know my Aunt Joy’s story of The Walls in Your House Will Sing. How she was chumped in her first marriage and then remarried Matt in midlife — her high school sweetheart who was also once chumped. (His wife ran off with the town priest.)

They had 38 beautiful years together, the last 14 of which Matt had dementia and my aunt was his caregiver. Matt passed away last February.  But this last weekend we got to celebrate his life. We all gathered at Matt’s most favorite place in the whole world, his family cottage on Seneca Lake in upstate New York. A big turnout of friends, family and neighbors showed up to drink beer, hangout on the lake, and tell stories.

We should all be so loved and remembered so well.

It might be churlish of me (I blame my alter ego Chump Lady), but it did occur to me that neither of their exes would be remembered this way.

On the face of it, Matt wasn’t an extraordinary person. He was an insurance salesman. Not out of any burning passion for insurance, but because it was the family business and Matt was a family man. His son Jamie told a story about how when Matt got out of the Army in the 60s, he was offered a job in Washington, D.C. for $10K a year. He parlayed that offer against the one from his uncle working in Elmira, New York for $6K a year. His uncle said, “I hear those Washington summers are really hot and humid.”

Matt took the job closest to Seneca Lake.

His hometown gig meant more time for his children, big extended family, and later seven grandchildren. More time for model railroads, the Rotary Club, wet springer spaniels, boat rides and cold beer.

He had his priorities right. When he and my aunt reconnected, Matt was a single father of two teenagers. (The ex and the priest decamped for a tropical island, as I recall.) My aunt had been a single mother of two daughters for years. Both of them the Show Up parents.

The showing up paid dividends. All those kids spoke at Matt’s celebration. Everyone choked up. Okay, I cried when my cousin Hil said that Matt — her step-dad — showed her what it was to be a father. What it was to be a husband who loved his wife. What it meant in her life to see that kind of commitment modeled to her.

Jamie put it beautifully — there’s an “on paper” life and there is “the real story” life. On paper, Matt had suffered tragedies. His father died when he was just 16. His wife walked out on him. He spent his last 14 years suffering from dementia.

But the real story was that carrying on his father’s business meant a deeper investment in his family. Being chumped led him to “the love of his life” — my aunt. (Not a dry eye there.) There’s no dementia silver lining, but because Matt prioritized his family and friends over all those years — all those summers on the beach, all those campfires, all those wet dogs — he accumulated an abundance of good will and great stories.

Matt was the cool uncle who tried to impart life advice to his teenage nieces. Warning them that boys want sex, he quickly became mortified. So the advice was blurted out as “Be cool… cool it…” This then became a family motto: Be Cool It.

The nieces, now in their 60s, showed up wearing “Be. Cool. It.” t-shirts.

How did my Aunt Joy hold up? I think it was a hard day for her, honestly. The walls in her house feel Matt’s absence. The walls in the cottage have bicentennial wallpaper. It’s the most Matt thing ever. When I walked in that dining room, I wondered where Matt was. And immediately felt a great wave of sadness.

Aunt Joy is getting new walls soon. This winter she’s moving into senior living. After 14 years of caregiving, she recently took a cruise to Alaska. My cousin showed me a picture of Joy riding an ATV. There was a mention of zip lining. She’s 82.

Be Cool It.

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Spoonriver
Spoonriver
9 months ago

So sorry for your family’s loss. This was a lovely post.

Hcard
Hcard
9 months ago

I chose to never partner again. But I love hearing, true love stories. Everyone just want to feel loved in their lives. Ok, not narcissistic, they want everyone to adore them

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
9 months ago

❤️🕯️⭐

MichelleShocked
MichelleShocked
9 months ago

Tracy, I’m so sorry for yours and your family’s loss of such a lovely man. Please tell Aunt Joy that she means the world to Chump Nation. She continues to inspire us all.

MamaMeh
MamaMeh
9 months ago

Oh gosh. Here in Australia, tears streaming down my cheeks for this story of real, loving, committed humans. Not glitter, not glitz, just the things that really matter. (And I’m a hard, cynical chump!) That’s special and thank you, Tracy, for sharing. Reminds me to keep the faith. “On paper” and then “the real story”. Never a truer word.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
9 months ago

The greatest legacy is having people remember you fondly. You can’t buy that kind of legacy. It’s achieved, as CL writes, when you’ve “accumulated an abundance of good will and great stories.” You have to be safe and trustworthy for people to feel this way about you. You have to have good character. You have to truly care about others.

When you lack character and caring, there’s no amount of money that can buy a legacy…or prompt your nieces to print tee shirts.

I aspire to be like Matt. #priceless

Best wishes to Aunt Joy!

p.s. “It might be churlish of me (I blame my alter ego Chump Lady), but it did occur to me that neither of their exes would be remembered this way.” Call me churlish, too. I think the same about my own ex.

portia
portia
9 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

We don’t know Matt and Joy, but we can admire the way they lived their life from afar. I don’t think anyone misses my Ex’s either; all they did in life was take from others. Character and caring are what we should aspire to! CL always reminds us what is really important in life!

SecondSelf
SecondSelf
9 months ago
Reply to  portia

About a year after my divorce was final I visited my sister and her kids. At the end of our visit, my nephew told my sister, I don’t think anyone missed Uncle FW. And he was right. It doesn’t take long for folks to realize they aren’t missing much when the FWs bow out.

I Count
I Count
9 months ago

I want to be this. People showing up when I die because I chose to be the safe and sane one. Much love to your family and Aunt Joy. Rest In Power Matt.

Tornup
Tornup
9 months ago

I needed this today. To know that there are people with priorities in the right place and put family above all else. What a wonderful post. I’m so sorry for your loss, but having him in all your lives will remain a stability for you all as a family

Sue W
Sue W
9 months ago

Condolences to your family. Matt lived a well-loved and blessed life. Thank you for sharing him with us. Best wishes to Aunt Joy in her new home. 💜

Kara
Kara
9 months ago

This makes me think of my dad. He passed away this January.

He was in and out of the hospital for three-ish weeks. Spent the last week in the hospital. For those weeks, the stream of visitors kept coming. Old coworkers, family friends who remembered him, family from his side I hadn’t ever met, but they met me with open arms saying “We are family!” Even an old friend I hadn’t seen in years (my mom had alienated them over a misunderstanding she refused to apologize for…) who had been keeping in touch with my dad.

My dad spent his last Sunday alive watching the 49’ers game with my uncle (my uncle had managed to jimmy the hospital tv to get the game.)

My boyfriend I had only been with for 8 months at the time dropped everything with a day’s notice to fly home with me to meet him in the final three days of his life. (My dad beckoned him to the bedside and said “Marry her or I’ll haunt the f*ck out of you.”)

The hospital staff were amazed at all the visitors, and they bent the visitor limit rule for him. They said he could have as many as he wanted, as long as they didn’t hang out in the hallway.

This is the way I want to be remembered. Like my dad. He was surrounded by family and old friends in his final days.

20th Century Chump
20th Century Chump
9 months ago
Reply to  Kara

Sorry for your loss–you dad sounds like he was a wonderful man. And however things have gone between you and your boyfriend in the past 8 months, it speaks well of him him to drop everything to be with you on that trip home.

Kara
Kara
9 months ago

We’re still together and have talked about how we picture a wedding and when we will get married.

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
9 months ago
Reply to  Kara

Your dad saying “Marry her or I’ll haunt the fuck out of you” Priceless 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
9 months ago
Reply to  Kara

I’m sorry for your loss as well. That’s a really lovely story and he clearly lives in everyone’s heart.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 months ago

Your Aunt Joy is so aptly named. And how wonderful that you add to your Uncle Matt’s legacy of love, caring and “Be. Cool. It” by sharing his story here.

I love the Finger Lakes. I know Keuka better than the others but the whole region is magical. Your uncle certainly made the best choice–family, the lake, wet dogs. Very sorry to learn of your loss but once again inspired by Aunt Joy’s zest for life, which is a model for us all. Uncle Matt is immortal now on the internet! His wisdom and kindness will have international scope and his memory will be a blessing to his family and Chump Nation.

Ginger_Superpowers
Ginger_Superpowers
9 months ago

Bicentennial wallpaper on cottage walls! That’s living the authentic good life.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
9 months ago

I would love to see a picture of bicentennial wallpaper 🤣

Unicornomore
Unicornomore
9 months ago

I love it when things are so dorky that they actually circle back to being cool.

Curlychump
Curlychump
9 months ago
Reply to  Unicornomore

Exactly! Hello… Fanny pack my old 90’s friend!

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
9 months ago
Reply to  Curlychump

And the “kids” wear them around their chests, not their waists 🤣🤣

One Potato Two Potato Three Potato Four
One Potato Two Potato Three Potato Four
9 months ago

I know. It looks strange wearing them on their chests.

SouthernChump
SouthernChump
9 months ago

Big hugs for you, your fam, and Aunt Joy. Not sure if there isn’t anything greater than being the sane, present, “cool”, and healthy person in others lives. Their story is so mighty in so many ways.

learning
learning
9 months ago

One of the the greatest measures of a well lived life is how much you are missed by those who must go on living without you.

Motherchumper99
Motherchumper99
9 months ago

Uncle Matt sounds like a wonderful person. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thinking about your aunt. I’m reading “Being Mortal, Meducine and What Matters in the End” by Atul Gawande. It’s not surprising that what matters to most when death is near is spending time with those we love, our families and friends, in our comfortable and familiar homes. Cheaters will never have those experiences because they discarded their families and communities, don’t bond … they likely die alone, filled with self pity and rage. During wreconsillyation when I was trying to reason with XH (I thought he had a brain tumor) before I went no contact, I asked him if he’d considered his legacy if he persisted in discard of me, our kids, our community… everything we’d built over 25 years. He looked at the ground. Shark eyes. Silent. It was chilling…..fast forward 7 years. Our middle daughter, the one formerly closest to him and AP before AP attacked her in a jealous rage, wanted to celebrate her 24th birthday at a teppenyaki restaurant we’ve gone to for years… XH faked a backache because he was too much of a coward to attend and face AP’s wrath (grown kids refuse to allow her around). So sad. Our only grandson doesn’t know him. His choices, his consequences. I’m glad I don’t live like that. I live like Uncle Matt— decent and kind.

Ozziechump
Ozziechump
9 months ago

Dearest Tracy
This is beautiful and I am so grateful that we all have the opportunity to ‘cool it’ with Matt. Thank you for this wonderful uplifting inspiration. Aunt Joy singlehandedly helped my walls to sing. May Matt rest in the abundance of the love he sowed and the people who received so much from his example. May Aunt Joy take comfort in that legacy
My deep gratitude!

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
9 months ago

Not a dry eye here either. Lovely tribute and testimony. My take away is that we can’t control what happens to us in our lives, but we can control our own character and our own response to it.

This could be a Friday challenge – when you depart – what will be said or remembered about you? What is your legacy? I bet we’d see some amazing feats of mighty and some humble acts of grace.

Rock on Chump Nation – you’ve got this… and Aunt Joy needs a blog 🙂

portia
portia
9 months ago

Life ends, eventually, for us all. What do we remember about the departed? Not material things, but actions, and showing up, being responsible. That is what’s important.

My brother and I are trying to arrange the sale of my mother’s material possessions. We need the $ to fund her new home in assisted living. She has dementia. Instead of being helpful, or understanding, family and neighbors show up at her home (a work site in progress) wanting things. They want to “take it off our hands”. They want to subdivide her property, which would hurt its overall value. They try to make side deals with me or my brother, excluding the rest of the family. They are vultures, wanting to tear the meat off my mother’s still living body. It is disgusting.

My sisters live several states away, and still work. They want me and my brother to “handle” it, not realizing the amount of work involved. My mother became a hoarder her last years in her home. She didn’t maintain the home properly, but she does have some things which were very valuable, to her, in her life. It is sad when the vultures fly in and perch, looking for a good deal they can later sell, or looking for freebies. They don’t show up to help work!

All of this makes me want to start divesting myself of things now. I don’t want my children to be left in my position. I look at my mother’s things, and I remember her hard work, her passions, her dedication to improving life for her children. Against all odds, she was the one who was always “there”, even if she didn’t always have good perspective. She showed up, she cared for us, she fed us, she saw to it we were educated and gave us a strong work ethic. She doesn’t deserve this treatment from her family and former neighbors. They are thinking of their own desire, not my mother’s needs. She needs to be cared for now and that takes money. I am thinking of posting a sign on her door advising all vultures will be shot on sight. I am not good at practicing political politeness.

All I can offer is love your family as hard as you can, start downsizing while you can make the decisions about where the money or objects go, try to make your life vulture proof for the sake of your children. She cared for us; we are caring for her. None of these material things will change that, but they may pay her expenses for the final time she has left. That is all that is important. We are my mother’s living memory now that her memory has been taken from her.

The vultures need to FO, and perch somewhere else.

Fern
Fern
9 months ago
Reply to  portia

That’s a ton of work Portia, the physical as well as the emotional kind of labor. Hats off to you and your brother for “handling it”.

FWIW, I like the “All vultures will be shot on sight” sign. Of course, those types don’t often see themselves in that light but you can always arch your eyebrow and point to the sign if you are wondering how to respond to a request.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
9 months ago
Reply to  portia

I’m sorry you had to experience that. I always find family vulturing shocking. It’s so dishonoring and dishonorable. I had a wealthy, self-made relative whom I really liked and who couldn’t have been less like Logan Roy from Succession but he somehow ended up with adult kids who were right out of the series. That particular type of drama makes me wonder if it’s often just the degree of wealth itself or being born on third base that creates people like that and if every parent wouldn’t be better off making Matt’s choice. Pursuit of success inevitably takes time away from families. It may take a village to raise a child but maybe the “village” in certain enclaves (exclusive and elite in the case of this family) sucks and, if you’re not actively counteracting those influences, your kids end up reflecting their environment more than you. I know this relative was a product of the Great Depression and probably thought the best thing to do for his family was to protect them from poverty for generations. If only the generations appreciated it.

Maybe a few in the latest generation appreciate it. The hostile jockeying, grasping, guarding and vulturing started at the memorial service but I was happy to see that not everyone there was like this. This relative had many true, humble friends and, interestingly, a few of his grandchildren are more like him than his own kids. The grand kids, though a half generation behind me, are the only part of that family I bother to stay in touch with. We talked about the vulturing later and I realized that part of what gave them integrity was having suffered the brunt of their parents’ entitled blindness and being cogent enough to see what went wrong and to choose a different model.

Before this happened, I had no idea how common the vulturing was. After this happened, I found out everyone else I knew had a story like this from their own families. That set off lots of meaningful discussions about what really matters in life.

Orlando
Orlando
9 months ago

I had a stepfather who moved us around so much (he isolated my mom & us kids from our family) that I felt this story on another level. While I feel a keen loss, I’m still always happy to hear of others that had a deep sense of family.

justme
justme
9 months ago

Condolences Tracy. That is what living forever means. That people will remember you and speak well of you after you are gone. Huggs.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
9 months ago

The “Be.Cool.It” t-shirts say it all. How wonderful for this family to have been able to bask in genuine love for so long. I suppose it sounds like a cliche but I suspect one measure of how hard loss of a great love is are the vast numbers of people who go around hardening their souls against and sabotaging that very thing just to avoid that sense of loss. You know, early life relational traumas and attachment disorder, etc.– that’s how the avoidance starts. But then the latter never get the much greater reward of having experienced genuine love.

OHFFS
OHFFS
9 months ago

“But then the latter never get the much greater reward of having experienced genuine love.”

Yes, FWs will never have that. They don’t know enough to miss it consciously, but it shows in how they chase high after high, trying to fill the terrible emptiness. Sucks to be them.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
9 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

OHFFS– Wow, apt way of putting it: “chasing high after high to fill the terrible emptiness.” And the void grows the more highs they chase, too.

After D-Day when I was still madly untangling, I thought of a comparison between “attachment disorder” and an increasingly prevalent type of allergy to all food proteins I read about after my kids developed certain allergies (gluten, soy, most fish and most cow dairy but not beef, chicken or pork, thank God). From my reading, it seems there are different types of “aminoacidopathies” but some people are so allergic they’re forced to take a synthetic amino acid or “SAA” mixtures to stay alive. The problem is that some SAAs may have serious long term adverse health effects, including dysfunctional intestinal permeability that can either cause (irony) “malabsorption” of nutrients or (even more irony) increased gut permeability that allows whole proteins into the blood– one of the very things that may be triggering rising rates of protein allergies to begin with. In short, it would probably be better to metabolize genuine protein but some people just can’t while others voluntarily consume SAAs in dodgy body building powders and potions.

The analogy is a little awkward and wonky but should be obvious: human beings can’t survive in solitary confinement any more than they can survive without protein. But if someone can’t– or won’t– absorb food-derived protein, they turn to toxic substitutes. For the purpose of the comparison, aminoacidopathy= love allergy; SAAs = ersatz, shallow “love.” Some people can only tolerate synthetic forms of interrelating and loveless sex because they’re so damaged and traumatized they can’t metabolize real. The latter don’t necessarily drag dupes into pretend relationships and might not do much harm, at most using fantasy or porn or, say, inflatable sex dolls (or Wilson!) as substitutes. Some are just vain (I guess that suggests they’re somewhat damaged), fall for advertising claims and don’t read the fine print. Both types– those who were genuinely ill to begin with and those who use substitutes out of vanity or stupidity– may end up equally “sick” in the end. Where anyone preferring shallow faux-bonding become abusive is when they foist the fake shit onto others and pretend they’re serving the real deal, thereby risking spreading the “love allergy” to others. Using sex workers is arguably abusive and destructive. Personally I think using commercial porn applies because clicks and fees support an increasingly deadly, exploitative industry.

OHFFS
OHFFS
9 months ago

I couldn’t agree more with every word you said, HOAC. What an apt analogy.

I’m allergic to several proteins myself and so is my daughter (plus a million other things) so I get how difficult it raising kids on a special diet. Have you tried sheep dairy for your kids? It’s the only one my daughter can tolerate. Sheep yogurt is particularly delicious. Luckily for us, we live in an area with local sheep farms. Are they okay with chickpea or lentil pasta? That’s what we use, and it’s quite good. My doctor showed me some research that indicates if you are gluten sensitive, you may also be sensitive to all grains, because they all have proteins that are similar to gliadins, to varying degrees.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
9 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

As far as the difficulty of raising allergic kids, did you originally sign up to get advanced degrees in nutrition, immunology, biochemistry, environmental science, etc., when you were pregnant? Yikes, I sure didn’t. Then suddenly I have subscriptions to every relevant medical journal going and, before the kids learned to cook, I was spending between 23 and 30 hours a week in the kitchen. But we’re used to it now and the awareness has led to excellent health for us all. I suspect we’re starting an informal cult because everyone around us eventually shifted to similar eating habits for various reasons. Special diets used to be such an isolating thing but– for better or worse– not anymore.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
9 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

We have a lot in common! Wondering if you also had very few people in your family with allergies and they suddenly cropped up in the newest gen? I had one uncle who was allergic to fire ants and my grandmother was allergic to poison ivy but otherwise no one even had hay fever going back many generations. Now the kids all have about a dozen different allergies each– sometimes to odd things– lettuce(??), psyllium, garlic, passion fruit, sesame, chicken eggs (not duck eggs), etc., then there’s the chemical intolerances. But they love sheep yogurt and sheep cheese. My daughter will tolerate goat cheese and they all love certified parmisiano reggiano (as you probably know, by law it’s made from the milk of Italian red cows which produce strictly A2 beta casein like sheep/goat milk).

We stopped all grains and went keto several years ago as another strategy to reduce general inflammation and improve gut flora in the hopes more allergies wouldn’t crop up or to reduce reactivity from existing ones. So far so good, particularly with airborne allergies and neurological allergy symptoms like insomnia (never mind zero cavities for all the kids). The kids are also allergic to lentils and most beans but once in a blue moon we ditch keto and the kids make pizza using chickpea crust, pesto and sheep cheese. It’s fantastic.

Chumpasaurus45
Chumpasaurus45
9 months ago

This post made me take the deepest sigh. Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!
Beautiful lives lived, warms my heart! I love it so much that there are ppl out there that actually deeply value the things that should actually be valued!
I came from a family with that much love too and I still have them, all five siblings and a legacy of love our parents bestowed on us all. We are really close and look out for each other always.
I thought my ex had that with his family too, but I think I imagined it being there because I couldn’t imagine it not being there.
That’s how I want to be remembered some day, as being kind, sane and solid, through all the turbulence that life flips you through. Steady, dependable and will always have your back, my kids know we share that together and it’s so empowering.
Your Aunt Joy could have become bitter, seeing life as unfair for 14 years of dementia care. She chose to see great love and gratitude for all the good years she had with her wonderful guy, Matt, and care for him with great love.
Thanks for sharing these amazing solid folks with us, CL. Aunt Joy, the sparkles of joy that come off of you are going to fall a long long way for a very long long time! Glad you are having fun adventures. Good luck in your new home, I hope you meet some great ppl to enjoy and share time with.
If I wished you only half the goodness you appear to have so generously shared all through your life, it would overflow into your world. A life done right, the richest of treasures!
Hope your memories of Matt warm you and you always know how much you are loved. Wishing you love and peace. God bless you. 🩵

“It’s a little embarrassing that after 45 years of research & study, the best advice I can give people is to be a little kinder to each other.”
Aldous Huxley

Elsie
Elsie
9 months ago

I love their story and how it was celebrated. What a beautiful life!

I initially struggled with weddings and funerals of people who had good marriages, but now I celebrate them for what they are — love, hope, and romance. What should be, if you will.

Thanks for sharing that.

2xchump🚫again
2xchump🚫again
9 months ago

When my second cheaters true character was revealed, my precious step son texted me….thank you for taking care of me for 32 years. I hope I don’t turn out like my dad! Do you think I will? I said, “no Nathan, you will make different choices. You are a good man and father”.
It is true, in my experience, that all funerals maximize the best qualities and minimize the awful. I have only been at two funerals in my entire life of 70 years, where someone blurted out the truth of the cheater or miserable person. Only 2!!! So you don’t hear the real story as you try to speak well of the dead. Never- the- less, all those who know the truth have that truth in their hearts forever and know where that person stood in Integrity and faithfulness. You pass on the worst and the best. I want my walls to sing. I want people to sit at my funeral and laugh and know I was mighty and left the abuse behind me, even late in my life. My walls have been singing like your aunts did and Tracy brings the music to life for me and thousands of others. Thank you for the HOPE of joy even without another partner. It is all peace for me and inner joy. Worth it!

Her Blondeness
Her Blondeness
9 months ago

I’m sorry for your and your family’s loss of Uncle Matt. He sounds like he was a great guy.

OHFFS
OHFFS
9 months ago

My condolences on your loss. He sounds wonderful. I hope Aunt Joy will be tenderly cared for the rest of her days. 14 years of caregiving is a lot. My mom (with assistance from me) took care of my dad (neuromuscular disorder) for five years and it took a tremendous toll. I think the stress may have even contributed to her getting cancer. She died three after he did of liver cancer that had metastasized throughout her body.

Seneca Lake is gorgeous. I can see why Matt wanted to live there. ❤ the Finger Lakes.

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
9 months ago

What a wonderful Celebration of Life! You and your family were — and are — truly blessed, and May God continue to bless your Aunt Joy for many more years. Congratulations! You rock CL. Your Eulogy was wonderful.

luckychump
luckychump
9 months ago

The real Hero/Heroine of this story is your Aunt Joy. Care-giving for 14 years is a horrible way to spend your later years. She should be applauded for her selflessness, love and commitment. She earned her angel’s wings. If you think about it, it’s the polar opposite of the description of FWs and their APs.

PrincipledLife
PrincipledLife
9 months ago

It speaks of a life well-lived to be remembered with such love. Thanks for sharing.

Stella
Stella
9 months ago

Thank you for sharing this part of your aunt’s and Matt’s story amid/despite your grief. This story of love and connection makes me feel very full, even with my eyes tearing up. Wishing you and your family comfort and strength as you all adapt to the change and loss.

Sandyfeet
Sandyfeet
9 months ago

Thank you for sharing such a touching story.

Ka-chump
Ka-chump
9 months ago

What a celebration worthy life. Thanks to CL & Aunt Joy for sharing it with CN.

Viktoria
Viktoria
9 months ago

So good to hear about the lives of loving, faithful, mutually giving couples. Thank you for sharing with us.

thelongrun
thelongrun
9 months ago

This makes me think of a Netflix movie I saw a few years ago w/Meryl Streep, James Cromwell, Antonio Banderas, and Gary Oldman. James Cromwell plays Meryl Streep’s senior citizen husband, who dies while taking a pleasure cruise they’re on. It was based on what happened in real life at Lake George awhile ago.

At his character’s funeral, someone is saying that he was a good man, paid his taxes, raised his children well and loved his wife. Wasn’t all about himself, gave to his family and his community, and how those men seem to be disappearing.

It was talking about men because his character was male, but you could apply that to all good, hardworking, loving, caring, honest people. Like Matt. Not flashy in the traditional sense, but solid as a fucking rock.

That’s something I think it’s worthy to aspire to. Not for people to say, oh, they achieved fame, power, or wealth! No, to me I think what’s reasonable and good is to live a fairly wholesome, caring life where you make a difference simply to the people around you, be it family or community who know if you at all can, you’ll be there for them.

In other words a humble life, but a giving life. Where you frequently put other people’s needs above your own. Not always. You shouldn’t only do for others. You have to invest in yourself, too. Otherwise, there’s not very much in the well to give, is there?

So sorry your Aunt Joy has lost her Matt, Tracy. But at least she had a decent partner that loved and cared about her, and she returned that love and took care of him, even when the going got tough. Why? Because maybe she had not just a romantic love for him, but a mature love? I think she must have.

What wonderful examples the two of them are to all of us. To Aunt Joy and Matt! Two solid as the fucking earth people. May we all aspire to be like them. And to find the real love and strength they had for each other in somebody for ourselves.

Goodfriend
Goodfriend
9 months ago

Thank you for sharing this story and celebration. Wishing Aunt Joy and all your family continued comfort from each other and more stories yet to live.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
9 months ago

Chump Lady, I’m sorry for your loss.

Renee62
Renee62
9 months ago

Such a sweet story ❤️
Thank you for sharing it!

Doingme
Doingme
9 months ago

I’ve always been inspired by your stories of Joy and Matt. It’s a true love story of love and commitment. What a great celebration of their lives together and the beautiful legacy he created.

DrChump
DrChump
9 months ago

So very moving. Prayers to You, Joy and the family