Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Epic Fail

I didn't really know if I would make another blog post, but apparently I will.  Today I was going through the entire blog and putting it into a word document per my mother's request. Silly me...I decided to read some of the blogs I posted. Some of them are quite funny, if I do say so myself. Others of them are quite sad and have me sitting in my corporate office with tears slowly rolling down my face.  So since I've been on here pretty much all morning, I might as well post something.

My dad would have been 60 years old on April 1st of this year. My mom, Marcus, Stacey, Abbott, and I went to a lake house owned by some family friends and spent the weekend together. There was no cell service so that was interesting. We played games, cooked, went for walks, watched movies, and made scrapbooks out of all the emails, blog posts, cards, letters, and pictures we received. It was a great weekend and only a little bit sad. Well a lot sad but some of us are tougher than others.

My mom came up to Chicago for Mother's Day and I was able to make it to Atlanta for 4th of July. I ran/walked the Peachtree Road Race for the first time ever and tied (according to official results but not according to race day reality) with my mom. My uncle Lawrence and uncle Jim finished way ahead of us and my Uncle George came over to cheer us on.

School is back in session in Atlanta, so mom is back at work. Marcus and Stacey are busy lawyer-ing. And I am busy attending conference calls ALL DAY long.  Not a day goes by that I don't think about or miss my dad just a little. I'm sure the same can be said for the rest of the family (that includes friends too).

Just wanted to say hi since I was hi!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Letter to My Dad - Recap of the Celebration of Life

Dear Dad,

I just realized it's been almost a month since you passed away.  As you can imagine, we think about you every day and miss you all the time.  Mom is doing well. She is keeping busy and has an amazing support system from your wonderful children, siblings (both yours and hers), other family, and friends (both yours and hers).  I'm doing well in Chicago too. I came back to work a week after your Celebration of Life.  My office welcomed me back with open arms and a blanket similar to the one I got you for Christmas. They are so thoughtful. Marcus and Stacey are also doing well. Marcus never told you, but he finally finished that big case he was always talking to you about...and you would be so proud. And Stacey, .... I think you may owe her a big thanks and a million chocolate chip cookies.

After you died, we followed your plan to a "T".  The Celebration of Life Party occurred on Saturday, January  21st, and it was FANTASTIC.  You might have even started a trend! I remember when I attended your retirement party in 2007 and I was just so proud of you.  I never knew what you did at CDC. To me, you were just dad. The one who traveled for some kind of work with CDC. The one who went to Moe's on Fridays.  The one who came to many of my after-school activities and asked why I was always doing my homework.  I never knew you were some famous CDC employee. I remember writing a note to all of my friends after your retirement party and telling them how happy I was to be your daughter. And I was just overwhelmed with all of the nice things that people had to say about you.

Well...your Celebration of Life party beat the retirement party in ways you can't even imagine.  First off, Stacey might have pulled off the party of the Century in about 5 days notice.  The party was held at the Mary Gay house (just like you suggested) and we had an open-house style gathering from 2-6pm.  The open bar was on the patio and was stocked with beer and wine that Marcus and mom picked out.  The appetizers were really good. Moe's even catered some of the food (wings and potato skins). And, I promise you, there were no cucumber sandwiches (just like you requested).

If I had to guess, I would say there were about 400-500 people that showed up between the 4 hour window. You had friends, colleagues, and family members that flew and drove in at a moments notice, some from many many miles away. Others even postponed trips to make sure they could attend.  There were even other Celebration of Life parties held around the world for those who couldn't attend the party in Atlanta. I was quite shocked. There were people there that I had never met, some who I hadn't seen in years, and some who remember me from when I was only "this high".  Everyone had such nice things to say about you and about our family and even about the blog!  There were a couple of speeches; a couple of tears; a lot of laughs, and a lot of hugs.

Other things you would be shocked to know - they named an award after you at the CDC Foundation. The Polio Eradication Heroes Fund is now the Bob Keegan Polio Eradication Heroes Fund:

And, the AJC even posted an obituary about you in the Sunday paper (written by Marcus Keegan):

People really do love you. And it was so uplifting and inspirational to see all of the love at your Celebration of Life and during the days and weeks following your passing.  You have no idea the dent you left in people's hearts, souls, and minds. Especially mine. I will always love you and I'm so glad I get to be loved by you my entire life.

One more important thing, Tim Tebow did not make it to the Superbowl. The Giants and Patrios played last weekend and the Giants won the whole thing.

Love always,
Lauren Keegan, a daddy's girl for life

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Happiness Song - by Bob Keegan

A post about the Celebration of Life this past Saturday is forthcoming, I promise! However, I did get several requests for the lyrics to the Happiness Song. This song was written by my dad, Bob Keegan.

The Happiness Song

I'm not tryin' to get somethin' for nothin'
I don't need to travel to Paris or Rome
I don't need clothes or very much money
I just want to sing this happiness song

The happiness song
The happiness song
I just need to sing this happiness song

I'm not fighting to pay less taxes
I don't have tales of love gone wrong
I don't need much food
Just some bread and honey
I just need to sing this happiness song

The happiness song
The happiness song
I just need to sing this happiness song

I'm not tryin' to sell you religion
But if you want to follow along
In times of hurting and of sorrow
You just need to sing this happiness song

The happiness song
The happiness song
I just need to sing this happiness song

I'm not writing songs of protest
I love my country, I love my home
But if we had just a few less killings
I could feel this happiness song

The happiness song
The happiness song
I just need to feel this happiness song

The happiness song
The happiness song
I just need to sing this happiness song

The lyrics seemed to change a little each time he sang the song...but you get the idea. Thanks Uncle George for helping me write these down.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Attire Questions for the Celebration of Life/Donation Site Address

Can I wear jeans? - Absolutely

Do I need to wear a suit? - Have you met Bob???

What about a tuxedo? - You probably shouldn't come

See you soon!

If you need an address to send an acknowledgment for donations, please use:

2852 Talisman Court
Atlanta, GA 30345

However, you do not have to send donations to this address.

Hotel and Travel Information for Out of town Guests

Prepared for you all by Stacey Keegan:
*Keegan family members, check your email for more details*

Travel Information
The following information was put together for friends and family who will be traveling to the Atlanta area for Bob Keegan’s Celebration of Life party.

The following hotels are located approximately 2 miles (5-8 minutes) from the family’s homes:

TownePlace Suites Atlanta Northlake (Recommended)
3300 Northlake Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia 30345
Phone: 1-770-938-0408
Rates (confirmed 1/17/11):
1 Bedroom Studio - $79 plus tax, per night
1 Bedroom Suite (includes 1 Queen bed and pullout sofa) - $89 plus tax, per night
2 Bedroom/2 Bathroom Suite (includes 2 Queen beds and pullout sofa) - $109 plus tax, per night
*All rooms include full kitchens, work spaces and complimentary wireless internet.

Courtyard at Marriott
4083 Lavista Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30084
Phone: 1-770-938-1200
Rates (as quoted online):
King Bed - $84 plus tax, per night
Two Double Beds - $94 plus tax, per night

Hampton Inn
3400 Northlake Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia 30345
Phone: 1-770-493-1966
Rates (as quoted online):
All rooms: $79 plus tax, per night

Doubletree by Hilton
4156 Lavista Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30084
Phone: 1-770-938-1026
Rates (as quoted online):
All rooms: $109 plus tax, per night

Holiday Inn
2185 Ranchwood Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30345
Phone: 1-800-230-4134
Rates (as quoted online):
All rooms: $95.95 plus tax, per night


The closest MARTA train stop to the family’s homes is the Chamblee station located on the Gold line.  The station’s address is 5200 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 30341.  It is approximately 4.5 miles (10 minutes) from the family’s homes.

The closest MARTA train stop to the location of the Celebration of Life party (Mary Gay House) is the Decatur station located on the Blue line.  It is approximately .68 miles from the Mary Gay House.

Weekend Weather
Friday January 20

Mostly cloudy. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the low 50s.

Saturday January 21

Showers. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the mid 40s.

Sunday January 22

Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the low 50s.
Celebration of Life Party
Location:               The Mary Gay House
                                716 W. Trinity Place
                                Decatur, GA 30030

When:                    2PM – 6PM Open House

Attire:                    Casual – Bob specifically asked that this not be a formal affair.

What:                     We will serve a mix of finger foods, sweets and PLENTY of beer and wine.

Celebration of Life Party Details

If you didn't know my dad well, then you may not know that he wasn't the most religious of people even after being raised Catholic.  In his list of things for us to do, we were to plan a party. No funeral. No viewing of the body. None of that sadness.  This was his request and we will honor it so.  Here are the details:

Please join the Keegan family as we celebrate the life of Robert (Bob) Keegan at an open house party this Saturday, January 21, 2012 from 2-6PM.

WHERE: The Mary Gay House
                 716 W. Trinity Place
                 Decatur, GA 30030

WHAT: A casual get together of friends and family to share memories and enjoy stories about Bob.  Let’s raise a glass or two (or ten) to honor Bob in a way he would have liked best – with laughter and good cheer. 

PARKING:  The Mary Gay House offers free parking on both sides of West Trinity Place and additional parking across the street from the Mary Gay House at St. Thomas More Church.  Please observe parking signs posted by the City of Decatur.

*For out of town guests, hotel information will be posted soon*
*In lieu of flowers and food, a donation list was posted on a previous blog*

Monday, January 16, 2012

Farkle! - Monday, January 16, 2012 (This is NOT a happy story)

I have bad news. Really bad news.  Bob Keegan (my dad) passed away today, Monday, January 16th around 2:30pm.  Love was all around him (me, my mom, my brother, my sister-in-law, and all of your thoughts and prayers).  He was a loving and devoted husband, an amazing and inspiring father, a wonderful boss, friend, co-worker and humanitarian.  He was loved and admired by more people than one could imagine.  He lived life to the fullest and is one of the most generous people I know. And no...I'm not biased.

My dad was awesome!  He will be missed more than you can ever imagine.  The family appreciates all of your love and support and we know that each of you will miss Bob too.  We are currently planning a Celebration of Life party in honor of Bob that will most likely be this Saturday, January 21st.

In true Bob Keegan fashion, he has left a list of things for us to do.  Informing people about places to donate, was on the here they are:

In lieu of flowers, here are some places you can donate:
  • CDC Foundation - Louise Martin Endowed Scholarship
  • PATH Foundation Atlanta - bike trails
  • MSF (Doctors without Borders)
  • East Coast Greenway Trail
  • Nature Conservancy
  • Our House - Decatur
*Bob has NO interest in donating to cancer societies* (his words, not mine)

Details will be forthcoming about the party.  It will be casual.  Per his instructions "this is casual - NOT FORMAL - this is not a coat and tie affair.  This is s time to enjoy stories about Bob including his foibles, missteps, silly stories, etc."