On Thursday, July 17, my wife Wendy lost her battle with brain cancer. It has been the most amazing fight I have ever seen. She went at it with a smile and determination, knowing full well it was an uphill battle all the way. Her strength and courage were inspiring and unmatched.
Wendy lived 45 great, love-filled, eventful years. She was first and foremost a great mother. Her true love in life was being a mom. She was also a very special wife. Always taking care of others’ needs, putting herself second way too much. But her biggest love was her children Marguerite and Wyatt.
Wendy was never scared to start something new. Whether it was starting a farm stand market, delivering sandwiches on wheels or starting one of the highest regarded catering companies on the Island, Wendy’s work ethic was one of her greatest attributes. In the early 1990s she would ride her bike from Gay Head to Edgartown with Marguerite strapped to her back, to go work for good friends Albert and Cathy Latanzi.
In 1993 Wendy and Donna started a lunch delivery service. She would go to local job sites with food and coffee. This is where I come in (all those deliveries, she needed to get gas sometimes).
I found love with her and Marguerite. And over time we decided to get married. On Nov. 2, 1996 we did it at Whiting’s farm in West Tisbury. At the time we were living in my great grandma’s house across the street from Alley’s. But in 1998 our family got a little bigger. Wyatt was born. That did not slow Wendy down a bit. That summer she started her farm stand where Greene’s use to be. She called it Periwinkle Market.
In late 1998, we moved into the house I was brought up in on South Road. It was just right for a family of four. It had a garage in the backyard; Glenn Jackson, a friend and woodworker, converted it into commercial kitchen space. Periwinkle Catering was created. No job was too large or too small for her. She treated each job with the same enthusiastic smile. Wendy could honestly say she loved what she did for a living, and not many people can say that. She kept all this going while still being a Mom first. Amazing.
Marguerite’s passion in life is dancing. She has thrived in it since she could walk. Wendy enjoyed watching her dance, whether it was classical, ballet or hip hop with her crew from Kelly Peters’ Dance Company. Wendy did not break dance or moon walk or anything, but she was still an honorary member of the KPD Crew; she has the jacket to prove it. There were so many times I would look over at her while she was watching Marguerite, and she had that “Yup, that’s my daughter‚“ look on her face. Marguerite made her a very proud Mom.
Wyatt’s love in life is playing goalie for his hockey team, catching fish, shooting his bow and just being a boy. That is my department. This brings us back to Wendy. She made it possible for me to be involved in hockey and to be able to teach Wyatt to be a good fisherman and outdoorsman.
Wendy, you are going to be loved and missed forever. You are everything to us. Brown paper bag.
Peace be with you.
Please come celebrate Wendy with us on Saturday, July 26 at 2 p.m. at Bliss Pond Farm on North Road in Chilmark, also known as the windmill or Flanders Farm.