Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Dear Henry:

Another person at the conference Mommy went to was a rabbi. His name is Gerald Wolpe. He told me that he said a mishaberach for you when you were sick. He heard about you when we did the bone marrow donor drives a few years ago. His son is a rabbi too. His name is David Wolpe and he writes books. As it happens, Mom bought me one of his books called "Making Loss Matter." It is really interesting and helpful. Here is something he wrote.

The times when we feel utterly defeated are the moments when we have the chance to see farther, to reach down deeper into ourselves, to acquire wisdom. It is the time to begin dreaming wise dreams.

In another part of the book he writes,

Superheroes of children's comic books are projections of the child's imagining the power to change the world.

What that means, I think, is that you became Batman so that you could use your superpowers to make you not sick. It worked. When you were Batman you weren't sick. Mommy bought me a little swiss army knife, much smaller than your humonguous one, that she had engraved to say, "Batman Forever." It means a lot to me. I took your swiss army knife to this place that engraves things and I had them write on it "Jack -- With Love, Henry. I will give it to him, from you, when he turns 9 or 10 years old.

One thing that I was thinking about the other day is how incredibly brave you always were when you went to have surgery. It was nothing to you, like you were being led away to get a haircut or something. But most kids and a lot of adults get really scared when they have to have surgery. And just because you did it so much didn't mean that you had to be brave or act like it was no big deal. You would say goodbye to me and Mom just like you did when we took you to school the first day. There were no tears, no looking back. You never knew how brave you were. I did. Mom did.

We said goodbye to Sharon, Mark, Arleen and Zev. It was good to see them. Suzanne is going to come over soon to say hello. We gave her the blood pressure machine and we want to give her the new jog stroller for one of the kids at the clinic. I am sorry you never got to wheel around in that thing.

I have to send your death certificate to Northwest Airlines to get a refund for the tickets you and I didn't use. I remember the flight to Minnesota. You slept next to me stretched out across the seats. We sat in the back to be away from people. I was afraid someone would get you sick. You didn't want to wear your mask because it was uncomfortable so I said okay. I bought you all of those Star Wars activities books at the JPDS bookfair right before we left. You liked doing the word find puzzles. Do you remember the ones that I made for you on the computer with the names of all of your cousins hidden in it. That was fun. You were really good at that and hospital bingo. I am sorry I didn't let you call in to tell your joke. The honest truth was that I didn't understand it. But it made you laugh and that made me laugh and I should have had you call it in. Oh well.

I am a little sleepy now and I think I'll curl up and take a nap. We have your bears, the mommy and baby ones that we bought at Pottery Barn Kids, and your blanket and your Henry pillow on our bed. Mom and I each grab something to hold on to when we go to bed. I think I'll hold the mommy bear. You know I wish I was holding you.

I love you.


p.s. I just thought of two things that we found so funny over the years. You did a great job doing different voices, and you were never grumpy or or boring.

"You must be grumpy."
Snow White to Grumpy

"Spongebob, can you keep it down, I'm trying to be boring."
Spongebob, imitating Squidward

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