By request - an announcement/eulogy

You never know what the day will bring, what will happen next.  Most of us never master the art of expecting the unexpected.  I certainly did not expect to be posting a blog on FMTSO today, and maybe not ever.  It is even strange to see my name still listed as someone with posting rights. 

On the way over, I checked my blog and saw that I have not posted since October 6.   As the non-working grandfather, caring for the wild things has become almost full-time and I made it easier on myself by voluntarily (and temporarily) giving up many of my fond and self-fulfilling activities -- blogging, writing, photography.  Don't cry for me.  There is great pleasure in living in the toddler world since I am no longer obsessing about what I would rather be doing.

But this is not about me.  Yesterday, I was flabbergastedly honored (if there is such a thing) by an email request from Ginger that I write and post an announcement/eulogy about her husband, Camillo Machnizh.   As most of you already know, Camillo passed away unexpectedly on October 9th while they were traveling in Italy.

While I was awed and humbled by Ginger's request that I write something, I sit here and wonder what on Earth I could say at a time like this.  Words cannot fill the kind of void that Camillo left.  And yet, I must try.  Perhaps Ginger asked me because she knows that I can babble on about almost anything.

Camillo.  I never actually knew Camillo.  In fact, until I looked at the post she wrote about him in May, I didn't know his last name.  But there is a reality about Blogspot following.  In between the lines we write and the photos we post, a family grows and emotional connections are made.  We share each other's lives and sadly, we share each other's deaths.   I still miss Barry Fraser who passed away over two years ago. 

I have followed Ginger's blog for a long time although I haven't been following anyone much since I shifted my attention to being under three-years-old.  Early on, I did not notice many mentions of Camillo in her blog -- some of us don't say too much about our spouses in our blogs.  But his presence grew in her blogs and I became fascinated with him.  I knew that I really like him when I saw a picture of him dressed in a fancy blue costume and flashy hat at a costume ball in Houston. 

I knew that Camillo must be someone very special if he could win the heart of someone with the intelligence of Ginger -- not to mention marrying someone 24 years younger!  Ginger and I sometimes emailed each other and there were times when she passed along some piece of advice or a comment from Camillo.  I was tempted to write him directly and now I sincerely regret that I never did so.

Camillo.  Until I read her post about him this morning, I knew none of the facts of his life.  But in the pictures Ginger posted of him, he was always smiling.  Always had a twinkle in his eye.  They travelled, they danced -- I admit that I've been inspired by Camillo.  At 67, I sometimes feel old.  I sometimes feel that there is not much more ahead for me.  Stupid, I know, but I sometimes feel that way.  And then I'd see a picture of Camillo and say to myself, "What a full and exciting life that old guy is having!" 

Even though he is gone now, he will always remain in my mind like a cattle  prod, poking me when I get lazy and depressed to seize the day.  

Even though I never knew him, I'd glad I knew him.  The magic of Blogspot.  And I am also glad that Ginger asked me to write something.  She is a very wise and beautiful woman.  She is understandably quiet now.  I know from my own experiences that grieving is a long and arduous process.  But I suspect that Camillo will also be prodding her toward her own unexpectedly rich future.  Like all of her friends, my love goes out to her.



  1. Ginger, my heartfelt sympathy goes out to you. I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.

  2. What a lovely post, Mark. I'm sure Ginger will be very touched.
    Big hugs Ginger!

  3. I am sorry for your loss Ginger. Thinking of you.

  4. Thank you Mark. This was eloquent and heartfelt.

  5. Ginger, my deepest condolences to you and family, hugs to you.

  6. Thank you so much for writing this. You done good.

    Camillo left this world in a place-Italy- that both he and Ginger loved. I must visit Ginger. I wonder now...will she remain in Brazil?

  7. Btw Mark , this is a very lovely post , and I miss your postings and photos.

  8. Mark, thank you for taking the time to write this for me. And thank you all for the kindness, thoughts and hugs.
    Yes I will be leaving Brasil - Camillo, his need to be home, was the only reason I was there. I will be, at least for a time, staying with Patty in Houston. In a few days Pat and I will go back to Brasil (have been in Houston this month) and do all the necessary things to close up the house and apartment and shift my life back to the USA.
    I will miss all our friends and Family in Brasil but need to be home. thank you all again.

  9. A very well-written and informative post, Mark - thankyou. Ginger, I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope all the "sorting out" of practical things and the move back to the US will go as smoothly for you as it can. ♥

  10. Very sorry for your loss, Ginger. Mark, that was a sensitive post and very moving.

  11. Thank you Mark. Ginger, my deep sympathies and condolences. Your life in Brazil was amazing. We welcome you back to the US with arms open.

  12. Oh dear Mark I must first address you feeling of "not much left for me." I remember those feelings at retirement. But just look what your brilliant writing skills have done for Ginger and for us. Words we wanted to here but could not ever ask of Ginger. I am so proud to be part of this group it is on my Grateful For....list. I still keep Barry's photo up and loving getting to know Ginger and Camillo. Thank you for this.

  13. I'm so glad you could do that for Ginger. And do it so beautifully. I can't begin to understand the depth of her grief, I just hope it helps her to know that her blogland friends are thinking of her.

  14. I'm sorry for your loss, Ginger. Lovely write, Mark.


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