Wednesday, February 07, 2007

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Dearest Jerry


Dear Jerry,
You have left me in the middle of my life; you were in the middle. You helped me go through boxes and you carried them back and forth the house when we moved here. We drank champagne you brought after the settlement. And you had been there.
I knew I could talk to you about anything on my mind and I did. You were my confidant and my pal. I cry every time I remember our walking down Chestnut Street to the Deli for lunch. You talked about the architecture of the old buildings to our right and the electrical engineering bringing the light. Before the deli thrilled you with New York corned and roast beef, we went to the Irish Pub every week. You drank three diet sodas for every sandwich. And you always paid for me.
I miss cutting out the New York Times crossword puzzles for you. Throwing them away was a stab in my heart. I had not known your friend was designing Sudoku puzzles for you. I had not known how close you were to Russell and your work friends. Russell’s love for you was touching. I am glad you had such a good friend and that you and he great times going to all those rock concerts and sports games. You brought a smile to me when you watched European Soccer while you were dying. Even then, you could tell us who was who.
Jerry, our family dinners and especially the Passover Seder will never feel the same without you. You ran the Seders, and no one else can read Hebrew the way you could. As Brian’s “second father”, why didn’t you show him the joy you took from religion? I can’t complain. You took him under your wing as a baby and taught him integrity and a love of math. Brian’s long hair matched yours, as did all his hobbies. When I think about it, Brian’s hobbies were twins to yours, except perhaps for Chemistry.
For our daughter, you were an uncle with an open door when she went to school in Center City. You sent her on an archeological dig in Sardinia, which we could not have afforded. You took care of her.
You were always my big brother. When I was a child, I always said I wanted to marry you and our family hemmed, hawed, and made funny faces. I did not understand and it did not happen. My dad told me later you had been adopted so I understood. I was a little wistful. You were my cousin, but Jerry you can see, I loved you much more than that. My life will always have a hold where you were.

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