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In Memory of Gary Hideo Ike (1951-2011)

Gary, my cousin, had been in the hospital since the beginning of September. Preliminary diagnosis was a brain tumor with other complications. While he was in the hosptal, he had a heart attack, followed by a second one a few days later. After running tests, it was determined that at least two of the main vessels were blocked, and there was a trickle getting through a third. He was not a candidate for heart bypass surgery. He did have surgery to implant 3 stents which was much more than could have been expected. The surgery was successful, but he never really woke up.

Patty sent an email around on October 7th, that her brother's journey had ended the previous day at 6pm. She and her mom were doing as well as could be expected - they'd just returned from making arrangements for his memorial service.

Gary was born on June 25, 1951. For a while they lived in a two storey house on Franklin Street in Sacramento. (For the longest time, I kept looking for the stairs to Grandma's room in their one storey house in Yuba City. I knew there had to be stairs somewhere...)

Gary was my artsy cousin. He could draw, paint, write. He loved musicals. I remember reading parts of his play - a Japanese musical version of Alice in Wonderland when I was like 8? 9? The play was performed at the Marysville Buddhist Church and recently, some place in San Jose. (I heard about it at the memorial service). The last time I spent a chunk of time with him was when he, his mom (Auntie Clara), Patty, my mom, G and I went out to NYC to see K graduate from Columbia in 1988. We all stayed at the St. Regis (thanks to his travel agent discount) and saw Les Mis and Into The Woods. I think he saw Jekyll and Hyde too. (don't you want to see a musical based on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? ReallY??)

For Grandma's 80th birthday, he did a beautiful sketch of Grandma. He wanted to burn the edges to make it look "old", so he gave me a lighter, told me to hold it while he burned the edges. It was a metal lighter, and he was trying to be VERY CAREFUL about burning the edges and going VERY SLOWLY. You can guess where that went... The lighter got really hot, I dropped it on the dresser, caught the doily on fire and the burnt part was a little closer to the drawing than he'd planned. Minimal damage to the dresser, but the doily was definitely singed.

As Grandma lived with her oldest son, Gary's dad, we spent much time at their house. He was very patient with us younger cousins. I received a hiragana practice book, and he worked with me on my characters. He also ended up keeping us entertained. We must have played hundreds of games of mah jong and the word game Probe.

He loved all things Disney. He did achieve one of his goals - which was to work at Disneyland. I do not have a copy, but I have been told that there are a few pictures of him in the Fantasyland lederhosen. At one time, he wanted to be one of the sketch artists in the park. I don't know whether he ever achieved that wish.

I hadn't kept in touch with him in the last 20 years or so. He sort of withdrew from the family, didn't come to Thanksgiving or other family gatherings. I think the last time I saw him was at either his brother's funeral or his brother-in-law's.

He could be silly and sometimes moody, but I'll miss him.

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
tammy_g
Nov. 1st, 2011 12:34 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I'm so sorry for your loss. My sympathies to you and all your family.
an_sceal
Nov. 1st, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry about your cousin, Debbie. *hug*
sillermoon
Nov. 1st, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for your loss. This was a nice tribute. *hug*
mbumby
Nov. 24th, 2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
So very sorry to learn of your loss -- and sorry I'm so slow in responding -- I really am this far behind...
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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