THE â€śMemory Tableâ€ť was abundant with photos from Maryâ€™s childhood, old copies of the Topanga Messenger, and the above photo of her and her beloved second husband, Bill Rhodes. Included on the table were photos of the late Colin Penno, editor of the newspaper for 20 years, and Maryâ€™s sister-in-law Patty Colvig (center), who passed September 16.
The day seemed full of itself, a fiesta of California sunshine and gentle breezes that set the scene for Mary Colvigâ€™s memorial on Saturday, September 25, at the home of DawnRhodes.
As longtime friends and Topanga Messenger colleagues reunited, tears flowed as much as the margaritas. The â€śColvig Kids,â€ť as they called themselvesâ€”â€śLittleâ€ť Mary, Christina, and their brother, Christopherâ€”fulfilled their motherâ€™s wish that everyone dress in bright colors and come to party. It seems the weather received her orders, too.
The gathering was one of welcoming, discovery, abundance, generosity, a fiesta with tacos and margaritas, with a DJ orchestrating selections from Maryâ€™s musical playlist throughout the day, all in the spirit of who Mary was and will always remain. Daughters Mary and Christina wore crowns of flowers to honor their motherâ€™s love of her garden. Among the familyâ€™s gifts to their guests were grandaughter Georgia playing the ukelele as she sang â€śOver the Rainbow.â€ť
Granddaughter Fiona read a tribute to Nana of love and loss. Mary, Christina and Chris recounted their motherâ€™s legacy to them, her dedication to her family, and how, in the last few days, Maryâ€™s determination to finish her clientsâ€™ bookkeeping. There was communal laughter of recognition by all who were ever at the receiving end of the â€śMary Lookâ€ť when she was displeased. Beneath the soft-spoken demeanor was a steely will and a clear mind that met and overcame much adversity in her life. Her family was everything to her.
Finally, the strains of â€śMy Way,â€ť brought most of us to tears that needed to be shed.
There was another generous gesture typical of Mary and carried forward by her children. On the â€śMemory Tableâ€ť replete with photos and highlights from Maryâ€™s life, were tributes to Colin Penno, editor of the Topanga Messenger for 20 years, who passed suddenly in June; and Patty Colvig, Maryâ€™s sister-in-law, who passed on September 16 (see â€śPassages,â€ťPage 13). Each of their photos was adorned with a message, â€śIn Loving Memory.â€ť
The afternoon was filled with great joy at meeting old friends (yes, we are older now), and new; with deep hugs, tears, stories, and â€śRemember whensâ€¦.â€ť Above all, it was Remembering Mary. The great legacy she left to her children and grandchildren, her friends, colleagues...there arenâ€™t enough glowing adjectives to describe how many and how deeply she affected so many lives.
Mary must have been pleased.