Hi, I am Meryl Wassner, Gary’s sister-in-law. As you can imagine, with Gary being Marti’s life partner for 30 years, we have spent much time together, experiencing all of the life cycle events, many holiday celebrations, sporting events, and family milestones. On the livingdonorlove home page, I am standing between Ben, Gary’s step-son, and Marti herself as we celebrated Bret’s graduation from the University of Illinois. There was no prouder father than Gary on that memorable day, standing with his son, at his own alma mater!
This past week I have been reflecting on a very special experience that Gary and I shared over 20 years ago that revealed a side of Gary which caught me by surprise and made me smile…and still does.
Marti and Gary would invite me to dinner every year on my birthday. Marti would prepare my favorite meal and ask what I wanted to do to celebrate. This particular year, the Omni-Max theatre was showing the feature about the Grand Canyon… in full blown three-D, which was a brand new innovation at the time. (I know, I am showing my age!)
Immediately after a scrumptious meal, just Gary and I headed into the city for our big night. We had both been told that both the three D and the alignment of the seats (90 degrees, straight up) in the theatre made the experience of watching VERY close to the real thing. Well, we had NO IDEA what was coming….
Within five minutes of the lights going down, the sound of the thundering rapids of the south rim surrounding us and the rocking of our canoe from side to side had us both screaming and laughing at the top of our lungs. We each spontaneously grab for each other’s hand to prevent one another from falling into the rapids! So much fun!
It seems Gary is still riding the waves, at times being taken into rough waters without being certain of the outcome. Well, we are here to say that he will NEVER be alone in the canoe.
Much love, Meryl