Wednesday, July 17, 2013

La Casa De Maria Dedication of "The Shalom Garden" In Honor Of Roy Mankovitz

Sunday June 30th Dedication of "The Shalom Garden" at La Casa De Maria In Honor of Roy Mankovitz

*Enjoy the slideshow at the end of this blog and Kathleen's Love Letter To Roy. If you'd like to watch it in full screen, click on the box icon in the lower right side of screen. If the music doesn't come on when you click "play" then refresh your screen and click "play" again.
 **There was a beautiful bluejay which I noticed during the Dedication that flew over and started singing throughout the whole Dedication. I included a photo of it in the slideshow.

The world knew him to be a rocket scientist, lawyer, inventor, health researcher, and author but his family and friends were blessed to know a man who was more than the sum of his parts. He was a charimastic, big-hearted friend, father, and husband full of life and his death took all of his loved ones by total surprise.

I was incredibly blessed to have been invited (thanks to Ray Estrada, Cindy Faith Swain, and Kathleen Barry) to photograph the Dedication of The Shalom Garden at La Casa De Maria to honor Roy Mankovitz's Memory. I have been to many Memorials and Tributes over the years and have never heard more eloquent words spoken in honor of a passed loved ones as I heard on that hot summer day. Many of us were brought to tears as his friends and family shared their memories of Roy over the years. 

It was a fitting tribute for a man so full of life that I can only imagine he must have been proud to see.

It's difficult and downright impossible to process the sudden loss of a loved one. I think that Kathleen Barry (and friend of mine), Roy's wife of 23 years, captured all of the mixture of grief, gratitude, and love we feel with the loss of a soulmate and loved one. She was willing to share the poignant Love Letter she wrote to him recently and read to us all that day.

 In honor of his love of the famed Hawaiian singer Brother Iz, I've used the song "Kamilani" in the slideshow below. Please feel free to share this with any of Roy's friends, family and loved ones. 

"Love Letter to Roy Jack Mankovitz"

June 30, 2013
 Dear Roy,

I love you. I miss you. Where are you? Are you OK?

Perhaps these four short sentences composed of three simple words say enough of how your sudden and unexpected death has affected my life.  There have been 720 sunrises and sunsets since we last saw one another, since I last heard your voice, since you told me you loved me.

Life has been tumultuous, painful, and bleak without the regular and reaffirming presence of

1)  Your love for me,
2)   Your commitment, love and dedication  for your children, grandchildren, and extended family,
3)  Your passion for ideas and knowledge, AND
4)  Your respect and dedication to the few lucky ones you called friend. 

We miss you.  We love you. We want to know where you are. 

Roy in case you don’t remember, this coming August 28th will mark the 25th anniversary of our first meeting.   On that hot summer night in Woodland Hills,  my life changed forevermore.

A quarter of a century leaves me with millions of memories of our wonderful life together.

I recall the many aspects of our life together where we harmonized. 

I also recall those areas where we didn’t harmonize so well.

I savor the sweet remembrances of our loving and fun times with our families and friends in Hawaii, at the Hollywood Bowl, in Tucson, Chicago, Paris, Jerusalem … and most certainly here in Montecito … your last port of call.

I recall the many exciting AHA moments when we had a sneak
preview of one of your or my dreams coming to fruition. 

I hold close to my heart the tender moments when we shared our passions, our worries, and our hopes for our future.

I have thousands of pictures that remind me of our varying hair styles, our evolving body sizes and shapes, our changing styles in clothes, our lovely homes, our phenomenal trips, and our family holidays. 

From all of these memories and photos what I recognize most vividly is the abundance of LOVE and RESPECT that you shared with me, your family, your friends, and your beloved
inventions and ideas.

Roy: You can count on me to love you forever and a day.
Please continue to accompany me in my life as it unfolds  towards the future.  I will call upon you with questions.  When I have a question,  imagine something like this: I will whine ever so slightly as I did throughout our relationship “Dear” and you will wryly respond  as you typically did “Yes Dear … what now?  

I will smile and laugh when I repeat one of your funny expressions. 
I will save your two favorite Hawaiian shirts until I am no more. 
I will continue your legacy and keep your memory alive until I am no more.

You see we are in it for the long haul my dear Roy Mankovitz ….

Through multiple lifetimes and galaxies, know that I have your
back.  I will count on you having mine. 

I promise you that I will continue to live a fulfilling life and make good on the many dreams I have had for my life as well as on the ones we shared together.  I will love your children and grandchildren enough for the two of us..

Wherever you are now and in whatever dimension you have landed, my wish is that your time is filled with incredible explorations, adventurous learning,  peaceful grace, and enduring LOVE. 

Most importantly when you whiz by your beloved Mother Earth, please remember each of us who were left with broken hearts and unrealized conversations in the wake of your hasty departure.

We miss you. We love you. We wish you Godspeed.

You know dear, I had a hard time choosing the right song for the  opening of today’s dedication. Then as though you were tapping me on the shoulder, I realized that you would like us to listen to the beautiful lyrics and melody from one your favorite Hawaiian songs Kamalani sung by Brother Iz.

Roy, Mr. Smarty Pants, did you know that in Hawaiian, kama means child of a chief and lani means sky? 

I don’t know if you were a child of a chief, but you were certainly a chief in your own right. You loved the night sky and often remarked at its wonder when we sat in our yard gazing at the stars.  No doubt you are regularly cruising through the night skies because at your core you ARE a rocket scientist. You are my Kamalani … chief of the night sky.  As the song states, “Kamalani, We will be together again”.

Until that day when I recognize your soulful essence in whatever form it is in and in whatever place I will find you,for now it is here in the Shalom Garden, that I will connect with you on this earthly plane … in the presence of Nature, underneath  these beautiful oak trees and glorious blue sky, on this spiritual land once graced by the Chumash Indians.

Roy I love you. We love you.  Be safe.

Signed me/us … Missing you terribly in Montecito,

 *Enjoy the slideshow and feel free to leave your comments at the end. If you'd like to watch it in full screen, click on the box icon in the lower right side of screen. If the music doesn't come on when you click "play" then refresh your screen and click "play" again. 
**There was a beautiful bluejay which I noticed during the Dedication that flew over and started singing throughout the whole Dedication. I included a photo of it in the slideshow.