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Esther Day 2012 with the Earl’s

04/08/2012

For the second year in a row, on August 3rd I boarded a train from northern Massachusetts and made the trip down to Quincy to celebrate Esther Day with the Earl family and friends. The year before had only around ten to fifteen people in attendance but this year we were expecting up to one hundred and sixty people at the party. This year I decided I would get there early and help set up; I arrived at 3pm and I was immediately put to work. For two hours I helped Lori and Angie Earl set up tables, put up star decorations, and sort bubbles and stationary.

At 5pm the guests started to arrive, and the festivities began! After some minor flukes (Andrew Slack being late and my friend and I having to grab him at the train station, the sound system being moody), everything pretty much ran smoothly for the rest of the night. The evening started out with Lauren and Matt Maggiacomo of Armoured Bearcub playing us some cute catchy tunes. Later, after a short speech by Andrew Slack of the HPA, Esther’s older sister Angie read John Green blog post from the day before which left the entire room teary eyed. Then after some yummy food, Lori announced the “Esther Project.” She told us to take fifteen minutes and to tell someone you love them. The catch was: it couldn’t be someone it comes easy to, it needed to be someone we found it hard to say to. The stumped me; I had already told both my irl friends and online friends that I loved them and I couldn’t think of someone. And then it hit me: my Mother. I quickly called her phone and left her a voicemail telling her I loved her, which is something I definitely don’t do enough.

After some more by the talented Maggiacomo duo, we all stopped dancing and listened to Wayne read to the first chapter of his upcoming memoir on Esther’s life. Needless to say, it was beautifully written and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room by the time he was done.

Finally it was time for the releasing of the balloon. The year before we had released seventeen balloons; sixteen red and one silver representing the year that had passed without Esther there. This year however due to environment worries, Esther’s little brother Abe released the one balloon while Matt and Lauren played their Esther inspired song and the rest of us blew bubbles. It was like something out of a movie, a cloud of bubbles enveloped us as we watched the red star shaped balloon signed with well wishes for Esther float away.

As quickly as it started, it was over, and it was time for me to make the long trip home. When I arrived at the train station, I was met by my mother and much to my surprised: a tearful hug. I had not expected my little voicemail to have such an emotional reaction from my mother. And to that I say: thank you Esther. Thank you for helping me say I love you to the people I care about. And thank you for being an inspiration even now two years after your death to so many people around the world. Your star won’t go out; I won’t let it.

~Celine

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