Wednesday, September 30, 2009

From the heart of my daughter, Kim...

Michael George Regas

Our Dad died earlier this month while we were in California celebrating my sister Kristin’s wedding to Alan. The news came as a surprise and without any notice; we were forced to mourn the death of our father while celebrating a new brother-in-law. The trip out west turned out to be a blessing. My brother Mike and I were able to mourn, talk and collect our next steps together while being surrounded by family that loved and supported us. The following week proved to be difficult, sad and healing all at the same time.

The memorial for Dad was celebrated this past weekend in Jacksonville, FL., a familiar place for Dad, surrounded by loved ones who lived there. We chose to honor Dad with a small memorial service on the waters of Jacksonville. The boat was the perfect size and the captain and his wife (dear friends of my sweet Auntie Carol) welcomed us and allowed us to roam the decks until we anchored for our “goodbye." The day was sunny, the dolphins were out in the water playing, and the emotions were high. As we gathered around a table in the back of the boat, my brother Mike started us off. Although the words were difficult as first, we managed to explain our choice of venue, and talk about our father. Mike's precious face was red with tears as he honored Dad with his words. Mike has been a solid rock through this process and I was so proud of him as he spoke from his heart.

Others followed, honoring Dad by sharing beautiful memories. Isabelle read a touching poem, Joe threw a golf ball with Papa’s name on it into the ocean, Emily and Andrew recited Psalms 24 and William, well, he was busy being William!

We laughed, we cried. We were family, honoring a loved one that was missing from the fold.

The moment those ashes hit the water, my heart sank and a little piece of me went into that water as well. Saying good-bye was so hard.

Healing: I saw a glimpse of His plan in all this sorrow. God moved and I cried out for Him to reveal His glory. And He did. I saw glimpses of forgiveness, restored love, relationships brought together, understanding and a commitment to live life through the lens of eternity. This was the biggest love note I could have received.

Death also brings others alongside you so you don’t have to deal with death alone. Whether it was my immediate family, church members, bible study girls, friends, school moms, college roommates or distant colleagues, I felt surrounded by prayers and lifted by incredible support. I can’t help but think that this part of God’s plan is sweet music to His ear.

I will miss my daddy.



Kim's eulogy's to her father...

Michael was my daddy

Michael was my dad. Our history goes way back. 43 years to be exact. There is no way I can pull out a few special memories in a very short 43 years. But let me expand on how dad made a little girl feel when I was around him.

I said this the day he died and I will say it again. Every little girl needs her daddy. My journey through life is no different. My dad didn’t know what to do with girls. And he didn’t discriminate. Big girls or little girls. He had no clue really (God bless him). Despite himself, there were certain things my daddy did that filled that need in my heart to be daddy’s little girl. His warm hugs, his big smile. The uncensored compliments he would share with strangers and would allow me to listen. His smile that would warm my heart as he would profess how much he loved me. His all too familiar mannerisms that would make me smile with the comfort of knowing that was my daddy—chapstick, toothpicks, the click of his shoes, his familiar voicemail message that would always end with “make it a great day”. The way he said “fine”. The way he showed me off to his friends. When he’d call me early in the morning to have coffee together before the kids got up. Those times would always make me feel like daddy's little princess.

One year ago was a very special time for me. I was home about ready to pick up the kids from school. I was cleaning out my car and turned around and there was an unfamiliar car driving up my drive. As I looked closely, I caught a glimpse of my dad. And when the door flung open, and my dad got out of the car holding flowers, I melted. The boyish look on his face and the excitement in his feeble steps will be a sight I will never forget. And I pray I will always hold on to the feeling I had when he held me in his arms and said, “Happy Birthday, princess”.

William, Issy, Emily, Joe and Andrew, your Pop just couldn’t believe he had 5 of the best grandkids ever! He loved you as much as his little heart could love. And I pray you will hold on to those precious memories you have of him. Keep his memory alive so one day when your kids ask you about your grandfather, you can say without hesitation that you had a grandfather that thought the world of you.

Carol, dad loved you so much. He was so grateful for your love for him and the effort you made each morning to call him. He grew accustomed to that ritual. I saw how he would light up when the phone would ring like clock work. He needed your love and you needed your big brother!

Jessica, you were the single reason why dad stayed alive as long as he did. Your dedication, your love and your patience with the sometime grumpy one was beyond what our family could grasp. Your acts of service to my daddy was a precious gift. And I am so grateful for your faithfulness. Dad grew to respect and love you deeper than perhaps any women in his life.

I am going to miss my daddy.


My two older children have my love, respect and admiration where it concerns their father. They made him proud and gave him honor. They should have no regrets. Terr and I are deeply sorry for your (our) loss. Mom

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kelley Wedding Slide Show!

At last, Kristin and Alan's Wedding Slide Show, as seen through Merry's camera...

Kristin and Alan's Wedding Weekend 9/09 from Croft on Vimeo.

They Honeymooned in Hawaii and had a lovely, restful time together (it was well deserved and needed after putting on such a fabulous wedding!). They are home now, settling into their busy but happy lives together with the boys.

Kristin has sent me a sample of her professional wedding pictures. You have something to look forward to seeing, they are just beautiful. She has many to go through before putting an album together for you.

I'm shooting thoughts of happiness their way and much love too! MPC

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Kimberly!

Today is Kim's Day.
I love you, Baby.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Family reconizes Grandad's job change

Today's email was filled with lots of fweaky moments and most of them made me laugh out loud! Well, everyone needs a good laugh every once in a while, so I thought I would share with you the witty side of my beloved family. Enjoy the banter...

From Molly...(I'll admit, I'm posting these letters without permission.)

Dear Loved Ones --

I just called Grandad at work after I read the cool announcement about our famous dad/father-in-law/husband and, to my surprise, actually got him on the phone . . . .

It is such a cool thing, but I must point something out . . .

Did anyone notice an omission? A quite large omission actually . . . In his entire bio there is not one mention of us: his wonderful and talented and witty and good-looking and clever (and very modest and humble) family members. Not even a mention of those of us who have the special power to eat fast or to juggle or to make purple fire balls (thanks to William). And, speaking of little William . . . even worse, no mention of FWEAKIJAM, no link to Family Chatterbox, etc., etc. The list goes on and on I'm afraid.

I assume all of you noted the omission but were too polite to point it out. But since we're all family (listen up Alan), it's important to discuss these issues out in the open and not to hide our true feelings and thoughts (can you tell I've been married to a psychiatrist for 18 years?).

On behalf of all of us, I asked Grandad if there could be a follow-up article or an addendum to make sure we are well represented. He decided that it will have to wait for his obituary.

In the meantime, a big congrats to Grandad. He's "The Man." And an extra bonus. Since we all get to claim him in some way, he makes us all look good . . .

Molly (one of the forgotten ones)

p.s. seriously, did anyone else love the description of Grandad being a"Special Master" as much as I did? just sounds so cool. everyone wants to be special and a master and he has both . . . sounds like a black belt title or something . . . like he could beat up anyone who messed with any of his FWEAKIJAM clan. It 's important to have one of those in every family.
From Tom...
good points all, molly. first of all, who would it really have hurt to just add "FWEAKI" to the JAMS that's already there? Imagine the phone calls from the headline "Please Welcome Our New FWEAKIJAMS Resolution expert".secondly, "special master" sounds like a superpower bestowed upon him that should have been attributed to his youngest grandson. thirdly, how much cooler would it have been if he'd just used his bigfoot picture. surely that would have made him look ready "to help you resolve your most challenging and important cases.

"that said, it is very cool for you, G-Diddy, and by association, for the rest of us."the man" indeed.

Tom Sabonis-Chafee
Creative Director
Ogilvy Action Atlanta

From Kate...
As future "part-owner," I can only assume that the Special Master (who is Kind of a Big Deal, after all) will be renaming the organization with the full "FWEAKIJAMS" moniker at that time.
You rock, Daddy-o.
This is totally what happens when you over educate your children and adopt your in laws as your own!

*FWEAKIJAM = the first letter of the name of each grandchild (Ford through Morgan) to form the word we have used for many years that describes our week of family vacation and Mimi's projects created there. Example, this is Fweakijam 2009...
*Super Powers=Powers that then four year old William bestowed upon all family members during Fweakijam 2008. Example, jumping, flying, hopping...etc.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A New Professional Chapter

Terrence started a new chapter in his mediation career today. After many prosperous and good years at Henning Mediation, he has joined JAMS, The Resolution Experts, Atlanta Resolution Center. Terr is looking forward to working with an excellent panel of neutrals on bigger and better cases. JAMS is the largest, private ADR provider in the Country.

Good luck honey! Always upward and onward! I am proud of you.
To: All East/Central Panelists and Associates; SMT; Marketing

From: Kim Taylor

I am pleased to announce that Terrence Lee Croft, Esq., a trial lawyer with over 40 years of courtroom experience and more than 25 years of experience as a neutral, has joined JAMS effective today. He will be based in the Atlanta Resolution Center, which complements our continued expansion efforts in that market.

Terrence has been practicing as a civil trial lawyer since 1965 and has been engaged in dispute resolution work in civil matters through negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation for much of his career. A leader in the legal community, Terrence is a Founding Member of the Georgia Academy of Mediators and Arbitrators, and a fellow in the American College of Civil Trial Mediators. He is also registered as a neutral in arbitration, mediation and early neutral evaluation with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. He is Past President of the Atlanta Bar Association and has chaired its Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyers Section. Terrence has also served as Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia, and serves on that organization’s Board of Governors.

Among his numerous honors, Terrence has received the Watkins Award for Distinguished Service from the Atlanta Bar Association. He has been selected as a Georgia SuperLaywer each of the last five years, and was additionally honored by Georgia SuperLawyers as a Top 100 Lawyer in 2008 and 2009. He has also been recognized by Best Lawyers in America in the ADR category. Terrence earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1965 and received his undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1962.

Please join me in welcoming Terrence to JAMS.

Kim Taylor

Kimberly Taylor
Vice President East/Central
Associate General Counsel
JAMS, The Resolution Experts
620 Eighth Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Photo picks of the weekend...

I'm almost ready to post Kristin and Alan's wedding video, so bear with me for a couple more days and you'll get to view this incredible celebration! It was truly a time of love and family.

In the mean time check out my photo picks of this past weekend...

*Grandad and I were in Savannah and these were just a few of the ships/boats that passed by our balcony doors... *Joe scored a touchdown on a pass as the tight end and also scored an extra point on a pass to him. He has a good start to a great season!
I got this beautiful picture from Mike's blackberry with no explanation. Issy must have been at a special birthday party...

*Lastly, I wanted to share my little Skyping family with you. While working on my computer, I have enjoyed this sweet family popping in on me for a few minuntes before going to bed. What a treat! My Skype line is open to all the GRANDS!

P.S. The R/S-C families are hanging close to each other as they prepare to say goodbye to their father/grandfather next week end. We'll be with them in spitit.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Jobs well done....

Life has been difficult for Mike and Kim since they returned home from California and started dealing with the physical reality of their father's death. There are so many loose ends to tie up, so many boxes to go through and so many decisions to be made. They are in Ft. Lauderdale today; and I ask that your prayers and thoughts be with them as they do the difficult job of dismantling a life of one so dear. Godspeed my children.


On a happier note; Kate, was acknowledged in the recently published book, No Impact Man by Colin Beavan. Mr. Beavan writes: "As the writing of this book headed down to the wire, Kate Croft, a recent graduate of New York University, approached me almost out of the blue and said she'd like to help me in whatever way she could. She came into my professional life like an angel. Kate selflessly helped compile and shape this book's appendix and notes. She is the epitome of thoroughness and organization."... Wow! Of course Mama is proud!

Kristin and Alan did a great job on their wedding weekend. There will be much more to come once I get my hundreds of pictures compiled into some logical order. But take my word for it, it was simply a beautiful and a lovely way for our families to get to know each other! They are now in Hawaii on their honeymoon for a much needed rest and some alone time together.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Joy and Sorrow

Sept. 5, 2009

How can I mark this time of emotions running full circle?

Thursday and Friday brought all of our family to San Francisco, CA to witness and support the marriage of our daughter, Kristin and her fiancé, Alan. As each family arrived at the hotel after the long trip from Atlanta, the excitement of the children grew and became infectious. Early yesterday morning our California daughter, Bethann, had planned to pick up her father and me for breakfast, and take us on a tour of her apartment and the law firm where she practices with Kristin, and then to the courthouse to obtain the license that Terrence would need to officiate at the wedding. Others had various sightseeing activities planned before meeting with Alan’s family for the rehearsal dinner. Joy was in the air.

Then tragedy struck, and for a brief time we didn’t know what to do. Mike and Kim learned that their father, who had fought for his life after receiving a heart transplant almost exactly one year ago, had died in his sleep. My precious son came into my room with the sad news, followed by five crying grandchildren. My arms were as full as my heart was broken.

The next few hours brought to light God’s plan for family, the reason for love, as we bonded and shared together. It all started to work almost without effort or knowledge of what was happening. We sat together, the children huddled, we talked, we cried…then needs began to be met as we broke off in groups to meet those needs. None of us could prevent the hard blows that Mike and Kim had to endure, but with all of us surrounding them, we could cushion those blows with love.

Plans were made. Mike and Kim are staying with the family and going together to pick up their father’s ashes and finalize the rest of the details next week. Today, everyone will wake up soon and with smiles of gratitude, and sing Happy Birthday to my granddaughter, Isabelle. Yes, we will celebrate life, love and marriage today and in a quiet, gentle way we will hold up my son, my daughter and their sweet families that are suffering a great loss.

On a personal note: As my grown children and I embraced each other to share our pain and my five (Regas/Sabonis-Chafee) grandchildren surrounded me in sorrow, I was profoundly struck by the grand purpose of their father/grandfather’s life. He left the world a better place.

WAP for us.