Monday, September 21st, will be the first anniversary of my wife Sandy's passing. The first six months went by so slowly and the last six months so fast.The first three months were really hard. I am so glad I had our dog as a companion. His unconditional love, enthusiasm and goofiness kept me going. I am doing all right thanks to loving care of Sandy's mother, three sisters and four of Sandy's dear friends, Willow Sibert, Priscilla Misner, John and Laurel Elders. They check in with me often and I call them my "angels."
OUR FOREVER HOME
I am living at the same address on Salt Cedar Dr, Oro Valley, AZ. The house is a little big, 1900 sq feet, for one person but I insisted with our children to continue to live here. After 8 years of renting, being at the mercy of a landlord, we decided to buy a house. It was going to be our "forever" home. We started looking for a home in April 2019 when Sandy first started having back and stomach pains and was seeing her doctor. We closed escrow and moved in June 1st. On July 1st her oncologist told us Sandy's cancer was treatable, not curable. July 31st, Sandy was admitted to the hospital because she was having trouble breathing. Sandy was in the hospital 3 weeks, then in rehab for 3 weeks trying to get strong enough to come home. She passed on September 21st. She never made it back to her" forever" home after living there for only 2 months.
I wanted to live in the" forever home" to fulfill our wish. I am very happy because I am living in a home that Sandy decorated in her style with her things and art work, some of which bring pleasant memories. In the great room, I have Sandy's urn, with a vase of fresh flowers, surrounded by pictures of her family. I talk to her in my thoughts and every night before I go to bed, I pat the top of her urn and say "goodnight sweetheart, I'll see you in my dreams." Since Sandy's passing I dream of her much more often than when she was alive... at least three or four nights a week. I think of it as her way of telling me she is with me.
SANDY AND PETER - A LOVE STORY
After Sandy passed, I went through boxes of family pictures looking for pictures of Sandy for a photo scrapbook that her sister, Janet Luzzi was making for showing at Sandy's Celebration of Life
Because of the corona virus, we never got that celebration.
I was reminded just how beautiful a woman she was and I was smitten the first moment I saw her. In her later years she did not look like a woman her age. In the scrapbook there is a picture of Sandy in a clown suit. That was taken on Halloween day 1976, the day I met her. I was a Sergeant with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department and I came to the junior high school to give a talk to the students. The principal put me in Sandy's English class. He introduced her as Miss Luzzi. I definitely caught the Miss. What an attractive teacher!! I talked to three classes and between classes I am trying to get to know more about her. She is having none of it. It was the down to business side of Sandy that some of you have seen.
In the afternoon, I was going to talk to a class at the high school across the road. The principal put me in the teacher's lounge for lunch. It was crowded with teachers most of them in Halloween costumes. During that time I am sitting by myself. I hear someone say Miss Luzzi and they were talking to this person dressed as a clown. I thought to myself how can she go from a gorgeous woman to Bozo the clown. Because I was so embarrassed that I acted like an ass that morning, I made sure she wouldn't see me by crawling under the seat cushions.
I knew I was coming back to the high school the next week to talk to 2 classes. During that time, I got the bright idea to send her a bouquet of flowers to apologize for my behavior. I was able to get her home address. The next week at the high school, I had just started my talk when this stunningly beautiful woman comes in the classroom, walks up real close to me and almost in a whisper thanks me for the flowers and invites me to share her lunch in her classroom.. That's It! I am hooked.
It was a long time later that I realized I was set up. Why would a teacher come to school in a dress, with high heels, wearing earrings and a necklace? Why would said teacher pack TWO tuna fish sandwiches that particular day? I was hooked, yes I was smitten from that day until September 21, 2019. Sandy is the love of my life!!
Sandy passed before all the turmoil and crisis in our country with the corona virus, unemployment, kids out of school, racism and climate change has made a country she would not recognize. Fortunately her dream ticket of Biden/Harris became a reality. I miss Sandy for what she brought to all of you and me and her community.
Sandy was the most positive person in a real way, that I ever met. She was non judgmental, kind, generous, caring and always giving of herself and time for others. Most of all she was a good listener. With people being scared, fearful, and the continuing crisis by the president and his followers that certainly will get worse, Sandy is not here when we most need her.
The day after Sandy passed, her family and my brother's family had dinner together prior to their leaving back to California. At that time, I announced to the family that I was going to establish a Sandy Hogan Memorial Scholarship fund at the Institute for Integrative Coach Training. It had been noodling in my head since I knew Sandy was terminal. This school started out several years ago as a Coaching program through Prescott College by Sandy and Laurel Elders. When Prescott College cancelled the program, Sandy and Laurel continued it on their own with Laurel being the backbone devoting her full time and Sandy being the advisor and one of the instructors Laurel is an early protege and student of Sandy's. It evolved into the Institute for Integrative Coach Training.
The Institute and the Enneagram were Sandy's two great passions. It is my dream that the scholarship will assist future coaches to learn and apply Sandy's coaching philosophy and to make it a perpetual scholarship after I have passed. I have started making a quarterly contribution.
If you want to continue to honor the legacy of Sandy's coaching work, please consider donating to this scholarship fund named in Sandy's honor. Visit:
www.integrativecoachtraining.com/sandylegacyscholarships.html and https://www.integrativecoachtraining.com/sandy.html.
In the Sandy thanks you address, there is a booklet you can download Called "Follow Your Calling". It is interviews Laurel had with Sandy in the last three weeks of her life.
Thank you all for being in Sandy's life. We are forever grateful that she was in ours.
By Laurel Elders, PCC
IICT Founder / Senior Faculty