CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF FRANCESCO QUINN
And we did just that, this morning, at the Santa Monica Catholic Church, at the Memorial Service for Francesco Quinn.
DRESS AS YOU WISH…AND COME ON A BIKE OR A BICYCLE- was written at the bottom of the invitations.
And we did that, too. Scooters, Ducatis, Hondas, Campagnolos, were there.
I came on my Vespa, holding the helmet that Francesco liked so much
I gotta say that this was more than a funeral or memorial service… this was a celebration of the life that Francesco had come to know and share with us.
Even for people like me who just got to know him, for people like me who shared with him both silliness and serious subjects. For people like me who only saw him from afar.
I can only tell you that I liked him. That he touched my life. And that it’s not fair that he’s gone, even though he might be with pappa Anthony.
It was a real celebration from the beginning, where instead of us taking care of “them” – the friends and family gathered inside the church – it was VALENTINA, his wife, who was taking care of all of us.
I went straight to her and Sofia… just to find out… how strong they both were
HE IS HERE BESIDE ME – she told me
It was her holding my hands and wiping away my tears, instead of me consoling her.
What happened next will stay in my heart forever as I was joyfully moved by something I did not expect: a lot of songs and music capped off by Sofia’s tribute to her dad.
I am so sorry, I could not hold it any longer. You broke my heart Sofia.
I love the love you had for your daddy, even now, where tears are fillling my eyes to the point of… wanting to scream out your pain for you.
I was so hurt and mad at life itself that… I had to say something funny to my friend Antonio seated next to me.
“I just hope that all the guitar lessons I am paying for my daughter, Elsa, will one day, pay off” - LOVE YOU ELSA
We kept on celebrating, we kept on singing together with Valentina and son & daughters Sofia, Max & Michela, who shared moments of his life, stills of joy spent with Francesco.
We came to learn his love for family, poetry, both countries, human and social conditions, life itself. It was Lorenzo who brought us back to their childhood, where Francesco showed his true colors:
Never give up, never surrender. Bang your head till you find out how to do it.
Thank you Valentina for letting us celebrate the life of Francesco, instead of only morning his death.
At the end of the service, I went to say ‘hi’ to her again…. and once again I broke down
CIAO BESTIA…VEDI DI FARTI VIVO… NON MI LASCIARE SOLA.… she told me (ndt: Ciao Bestia…do not disappear…call us)
“Vaffanculo… Love u”… I replied.
Strangely enough, they were the same words I told Francesco few weeks ago, maybe my last words I ever spoke to him (outside the Shaolin Temple, followed by his laughter and his way of hugging you…)
“Vaffanculo Francesco… Love u, man“.