Saturday, June 17, 2006



Sandy with Mariano Rivera
"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."

This past week, I lost a treasure in my life. Her name was Sandy. We first met when she and her family moved next door to my childhood home when I was only six years old. Her husband worked with my Dad at the same company, General Electric. My mother and Sandy became immediate friends. My mother has always had an intuition for people and she knew Sandy was genuine in her feelings. That's what made them the best of friends for such a long time.

Sandy and her husband owned a marina in the Thousand Island region of New York State, where they'd spend each summer taking wonderful care of their clients. One customer (and friend) wrote this about Sandy:

We will cherish those nights on the porch at the Marina watching the sun set with a cup of coffee.

Even though life is not always beautiful, Sandy lived a beautiful life. She made sure that her family lived a beautiful life.

She loved to sing and play guitar - and she did both with complete joy. Her husband was a trained vocalist, too, and along with my own musical parents, I recall that my childhood was made sweet with all kinds of music. Her nephew had this to say, and I recall the song he's speaking of very well. I particularly remember Sandy performing it at one of my parents' wild and wacky Halloween parties.
I have very special memories of cousin Sandy when she played the guitar and sang "that chocolate ice cream cone".

1973 - My parents and my Uncle Howard looking a lot like Clooney's bunch in "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?"

A number of years ago, Sandy was once walking in the city when a would-be robber came from behind her and ripped her purse from her shoulder. She ran after the robber, and remained on his heels relentlessly screaming "You took my purse! Hey! That's my purse! Give it back! Drop it!" Stymied by Sandy's unusually strong will and overall excitement, the robber actually dropped the purse and ran away! Sandy's son Mark wrote this about her:
Mom would give you the shirt off her back without any hesitation. She also had a very strong will power as the thief that tried to steal her purse found out when she yelled to him to "drop it!"...
She was a major New York Yankees fan, and was thrilled to have made the acquaintance of closing Yankee pitcher Mariano Rivera while on a cruise (photo above).

What can you say when you know you have a treasure trove filled with unspeakable gifts left behind by a person that you spent so many years living with and loving? With so many years comes so much to say, yet we cannot say it all at once. It comes back to us, day by day - memory by memory. It provides warmth and reassurance on the days we feel we don't have a friend in the world.

My own brother recalled wonderful memories of childhood and the bittersweet time last Fall when my own dear mother asked for her sweet friend Sandy when Mom knew she was facing her final days on Earth. Sandy was there - with a friendship and faith never failing. She was a true and loyal friend to the end. Little did she know, when she was so selflesly tending to her best friend's last wishes, that she would soon discover that she also had a cancer that she would have to battle with valor and spiritual strength.

My grandfather with my mother (ctr) and Sandy (rt)
Note the trikes in the background

My brother Peter wrote this about his memories of Sandy:
Mike and Sandy were like my second parents, and I love them. I recall so much fun and laughter on Fremont Road. Sandy and Rose stayed the best of friends. Later in life, when my own mother was dying, Sandy was by her side always. Never missing a day. Faithful, and loving, never leaving my Mother's side. Sandy's gift of caring and giving was God given. We should all be so good. It came to her naturally. Why God takes such an Angel shall remain a mystery.
The greatest gift Sandy gave me was her lifelong example of how a good person should their life so it becomes worth more to her loved ones than all the gold in this world. She did it with faith, with humility, with hope, with caring, and with love.

How I'll miss her. Yet, I take comfort in knowing that I'll always have the gifts she left behind. I'm so very grateful. I hope to learn how to pass along those gifts myself someday.

The Angry Young Town Hall Boy

The Angry Young Town Hall Boy

This young man, who looks young enough to be my son, shows us the folly of the argument that requires a pot to call a kettle black. Says he:
"There's a reason the candidates Moulitsas backs always lose: He's a loser. The constituency he represents is an angry, radical constituency that is more concerned with being anti-Bush than pro-anything."
It seems that the only "angry" person, in this case, certainly seems to be the young gentleman (and I use the term loosely) who refers to another gentleman as "a loser." People who are real winners and who have a bit of class are generally congenial, collegial, - perhaps even conciliatory toward someone they perceive as the underdog. Make no mistake, this young man is one hundred times as angry as those who he claims harbor animosity. If young Ben Shapiro isn't angry, then it's quite possible that he's afraid that the object of his vicious comments is, indeed, a real threat.

If these possibilities do not apply, we can only surmise that this young man has little class and terrible manners.

Work a little harder at this, Ben. Even if you tell us you're not, your words make you look like an angry boy.