Sunday, March 30, 2003

Dear Henry:

A man I don't know lost his baby daughter to Fanconi anemia this morning. She was 10 months old. I wrote him a note to let him know I am sorry. I also told him that his daughter will help him through the rough road ahead, just as you help me. As I was running errands this morning, picking up donuts for Joe and Jack, and and coffee for Mom and Val, I started thinking that even though you are gone you are still my constant companion. I think about what I am going to tell you in these letters, so you are with me all the time. This morning I was thinking how I wanted to tell you it was snowing big fluffy snow flakes even though yesterday it was 70 degrees out. I wanted to tell you the story I always told you about how my daddy, Pop Pop Teddy, would take me to Sears for fresh hot donuts. I wanted to tell you how I feel good doing daddy things like buying coffee on Sunday morning for Mommy and filling up the car and buying the New York Times. I wanted to tell you how the cherry blossoms are busting out all over the place. They're popping like popcorn. But I do tell you when I think about you and when I write you. It isn't the same as telling the laughing, talking, singing, burping you, but it is all I have.

The strange thing is later today I found the Target dog I bought you. It has a photo of you hanging from his collar.

What is strange is that I look at that photo -- it is you in your hospital bed in Minnesota -- and I think you must be here. I look at it and think you are going to talk to me, that I'll be able to hear you call for me. I look at you and it feels like you can't be dead. Grown ups use a word "denial" and that must be what these feelings are. Denial is when you say, "this just can't be." I told Mom about these feeling and I couldn't help but cry because deep down I know you aren't going to talk to me, that I am not going to hear you call me. I am looking at your picture now. You're smiling. I can't understand.

Val is here. She is so great playing with Joe and Jack. You used to really enjoy her visits, too. Our house was the usual zoo tonight. At one point we had, me, Mom, Jack, Joe, Val, Nana, Papa Sy, your buddy Ari, Rachel and Linda. That's why we bought new couches so everyone can have a place to sit. Speaking of zoos, we went to Sam's birthday party at a bowling alley in Silver Spring. I was thinking that the last time I bowled was with Jack at an alley in Hackensack while you were in the hospital there.

Sam is catching air. His shirt says, "Wish Me a Happy Birthday!" Isn't that great.

I have been meaning to tell you something. I started working at a job that I go to every day for the whole day. It was hard to go back to work. You were the best job I'll ever have, but it was time to move on. Soon I will tell you more about the place I work, but I am a little tired now. I will tell you I am really excited and you would love it, too.

Tomorrow is opening day for the Orioles. Last year I made a point of reading to you the articles about the Orioles in the sports part of the newspaper every day starting on opening day. I thought that would help you know all of the players and care about the games. I don't remember when we stopped or why. I can only guess that something happened, like you had to go into the hospital or something. I did want to tell you something funny. Uncle Bill has convinced James that "Cowboys" is what you call poopie. James throws his arms up in the air and cheers when his daddy, Bill, says, "Redskins." And then James will say "I gotta make a Cowboy" if he has to go poopie. Isn't that funny.

Knock, knock.

Who's there.


Missy, who?

Missy you a lot son of mine.
(Sounds like the way Jar Jar binks talks, right)

I love you.


Saturday, March 29, 2003

Dear Henry:

Today is Aunt Jen's birthday. Next Friday is Mom's birthday. That will be hard because she has had the same wish as I have whenever we blow out our candles. Next weekend also is Rachel Moskowitz's Bat Mitzvah. That will be hard, too. Rachel raised money for Fanconi anemia research and she'll say something about that. That will make me happy and sad at the same time. The other reason it will be hard is because there will be a big party and the life of the party, you, won't be there cutting a rug (that means dancing) with all of Rachel's friends and all of the other girls. Everyone still remembers how you were dancing with ten girls at the same time at Catherine and Tim's wedding.

Tomorrow is cousin Sam's birthday party. This is a picture of your cake. You couldn't have a party because we didn't want you to get sick. But you know that.

This is how I like to remember you. Happy with your beautiful girl. You never got to dance with Bella, but you watched her dance ballet.

This is how I like to remember me. Happy with my beautiful boy. I would have liked to dance with Mommy at your wedding. All of these pictures are the ones we would have made into a video or something to embarrass you at your rehearsal dinner.

You know how much I love you.

Dear Henry:

Here is Jack's Student of the Week questionaire. Notice that he answers the "What Scares You?" question the same as you. You'll also see that Joe torments him the way he tormented you. Instead of standing in front of the TV being Jack's complaint, he is bummed when Joe wrecks (or even just touches) his Lego. Also, both you guys were down on the basement, but you should see it, we have done a lot of work to make it nice. It will be all finished soon and I'll take a picture for you.

It is Saturday morning and I'm going to take Jack for a haircut. I guess that means some Yu-Gi-Oh cards or something. Oh yeah, I also wanted to show you Jack's bowling scores from the other week. He was really excited. He beat Nana and Michael!

Later big man.



Friday, March 28, 2003

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Dear Henry:

You died too soon. This crustless bread is at the grocery store. Somebody's thinking.

I love you, dude.

Dear Henry:

I was listening to the radio this morning and they were talking to mommies and daddies whose sons have just died in a war that the United States is fighting. The country who we are fighting is called Iraq, and it is far away, near Israel. The man who is the president of Iraq is really mean and not nice to the people who live there. It is a little like the way the King of England wasn't nice to the people living in America and we had the revolutionary war. Remember the No More Kings song on Schoolhouse Rock.

No More Kings

Rockin' and a-rollin',
Splishin' and a-splashin'
Over the horizon,
What can it be?

The pilgrims sailed the sea
to find a place to call their own.
In their ship Mayflower,
They hoped to find a better home.
They finally knocked on Plymouth Rock
And someone said, "We're there!
It may not look like home,
But at this point I don't care."

Oh, they were missin' Mother England
They swore their loyalty until the very end.
"Anything you say king, it's okay king,
You know it's kind of scary on your own.
Gonna build a new land the way we planned
Could you help us run it till it's grown?"

They planted corn you know,
They built their houses one by one.
And bit by bit they worked
Until the colonies were done.
They looked around, yeah, up and down,
And someone said, "Hurray!
If the king could only see us now,
He would be proud of us today."

They knew that now they'd run their own land,
But George the Third still vowed
He'd rule them till the end.
"Anything I say, do it my way now,
Anything I say do it my way.
Don't you get to feelin' independent,
Cause I'm gonna force you to obey."

He taxed their property,
He didn't give them any choice.
And back in England,
He didn't give them any voice.
{That's called taxation without representation, and it's not fair.}
But when the colonies complained,
The king said, "I don't care!"

"He even has the nerve to tax our cup of tea!
To put it kindly king, we really don't agree.
Gonna show you how we feel,
We're gonna dump this tea...
And turn this harbor into
The biggest cup of tea in history!"

They wanted no more Mother England.
They knew the time had come for them to take command.
"It's very clear you're being unfair, king,
No matter what you say we won't obey.
Gonna hold a revolution now, king,
And we're gonna run it all our way!"

With no more kings...
{We're gonna elect a president!}
No more kings...
{He's gonna do what the people want!}
No more kings...
{We're gonna run things our way!}
No more kings...
{No one's gonna tell us what to do!}
No more kings!

Rockin' and a-rollin',
Splishin' and a-splashin'
Over the horizon,
what could it be?
Looks like it's going to be
A free country.

Oh man, it was so much fun singing Schoolhouse Rock songs in the car with you on the way to and from school. I think Multiplication Rock was our favorite; I know it is Jack's.

Well, listening to the radio in the car this morning wasn't fun, it was really sad. I am sorry for all those families. I thought of you. I am glad you never had to die in a war, though you died fighting and you died a hero. The mommies and daddies whose kids die in war don't really get to say goodbye. And they must worry that their sons weren't comfortable when they died. I am glad Mommy and I were able to hold you when you died.

I worry about the nice soldiers who showed you this helicopter. They probably are at war now. I hope the war ends soon and no more kids have to die on the hard ground and not in the arms of their mommies and daddies.

I love you Henry.


Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Dear Henry:

Mommy found the interview you did when you were student of the week last year. You and Jack answered one question exactly the same.

What scares you?

I'll tell you what scares me. Going through life without you.

But reading this made me smile. I am hungry for more of this and more of you.

I love you.


Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Dear Henry:

Mom went out to the cemetery for Jonathan Lane's funeral this morning. That is the name Cati and Chuck gave their baby. Mom said that it was a beautiful service. Rabbi Wohlberg and Rich and Jill were there. Chuck read a letter that he wrote to Jonathan. Afterward, Mom and Cati held hands and walked over to see you. Mom had spread daisies on your grave when she first got there. She said she had a much nicer visit than last time. Rabbi Wohlberg came over and said a prayer. It was very special.

Tonight I went to Chuck and Cati's to say Kaddish with a bunch of their friends. We all should have been there for a bris, instead I was in a room of people who, like me, couldn't stop crying. I watched Chuck and Cati and saw me and Mom. I felt so bad for them. I cannot understand why there is so much sadness on our little block. Rabbi Wohlberg must have been thinking the same thing when he parked on our street to go to Chuck and Cati's. Henry, please watch over Jonathan, okay. Teach him everything about Pokemon the way you taught his big brother, David. You always looked out for little kids and were so good to the little brothers of your friends.

I am sorry I wasn't able to come today. More on that soon. But know that I will be out soon. Coincidentally, check out what I saw in the paper today.

I know that smile. I know how excited you are about this book. The last movie is coming out on DVD. It was a good thing you got to see it in the hospital in Minnesota.

Also, you should know that Maryland is doing really well in basketball. I put Jack in his "Fear the Turtle" shirt today. You'd be wearing yours now, too. Go Terps.

I miss you buddy boy.



Monday, March 24, 2003

Dear Henry:

Last week Jack was the "Student of the Week" in his class. Here is a picture of all of us with Pop Pop Teddy. It was a lot of fun.

I remember when you were the Student of the Week last year. Mommy and I came to your class and we interviewed you. When I was in school on Friday I went and looked at your classroom searching for signs of you. There was some artwork with your name on it. I was incredibly sad.

Speaking of sad, I cannot be more sad for Chuck and Cati and David and Nina. In Mommy's car on the way to the bus stop this morning, Jack and David spoke about what happened to Cati's baby. At first Jack told David about how Mommy tried to have a baby but couldn't. That's the baby we were trying to have in New York with Dr. Rosenwaks. But David explained to Jack how his Mommy had the baby but it died before it had a chance to be born. Then Jack said, "I guess we both have brothers who died." Maybe I shouldn't have said anything to Jack about no more people dying.

Later in the day at school, some of the older kids came around to Jack's class to raise money for the garden they are creating in your memory at the new school. I will tell you more about that soon. Jack suggested that they they use some of the money to plant a garden for David's brother.

I am really proud of him. I am proud of David, too.

As I told you, we went to Pittsburgh this weekend. We saw Sam and Jim and their baby, Jordan. Here is a picture I took of Joe in Sam and Jim's house. I think he is very handsome, like you.

I've been thinking about you a whole lot. Mommy is coming back to the cemetery tomorrow for Chuck and Cati's baby. I am going to give her a big, shiny rock to put on your grave.

I love you,


Friday, March 21, 2003

Dear Henry:

Now Jack and David have something terrible in common. They've both lost brothers. Mom is over at the hospital with Cati, Chuck and Rich. It is the hospital where you were born. I bet she hasn't been back since. David and Jack and I went to find Yu-Gi-Oh cards. They were all sold out at Child's Play so we headed over to Sullivans. We struck gold and found the deck that everyone has been waiting to buy. I got Jack and David two different decks and bought one for Jacob Stern. Since Child's Play was sold out, I bet that they'll go fast at Sullivan's, too.

David and Jack are happily playing. I need to get ready for a trip we are all taking to Pittsburgh this weekend to see Cousins Jim and Sam and Baby Jordan. David Segal is meeting us there and we are going to do a little Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thing while we are there.

I want all the sadness to let up. I cannot believe what Chuck and Cati and David and Nina have to go through now.

Henry, I love you and I miss you. I sure could use a hug from you right now.


Dear Henry

Rich jut called me with the saddest news. Cati lost her baby. It was supposed to be born today. The doctors were going to operate and take him out. I am going to pick up David at the bus now with Jack. It is going to be so hard to see him. I cannot say anything to him. I am just going to give him a huge hug. Maybe we can go pick up some Yu-Gi-Oh cards on the way home. I know his Mom and Dad are going to need him to help them get through this. Oh Henry.

I'm going to talk to Mom to see what we can do. This is too sad. Poor Chuck and Cati and David and Nina.



Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Dear Henry:

Mommy is in a small spring cleaning frenzy. She was moving some of your and Jack's books out of your room into Joe's. I grabbed one of the books because it was such a favorite of ours.

Do you remember how I'd make you laugh in exasperation by changing the words. Instead of

He pulls back into station number nine,
Walks upstairs one step at a time.
Closes the curtains, gets in bed
And pulls the covers over his head.

I'd say

He pulls back into station number eleven
Walks upstairs two steps at a time
Closes the curtains, gets in bed
And pulls the covers over his nose

And you'd laugh and correct me, but I never got it straight.

I miss reading to you. I miss you reading to me. When we were in Minnesota you did a really great job reading. Oh, we were so close on so many things. Jack's reading is getting very good. He read to me tonight. I told Mom that I want to create certificates to award to Jack for each book he reads. I need to get on that.

I'll live up to my promise and bring the new Harry Potter when it comes out in June.

My heart is really hurting right now my Big Man. I'm going to go pull the covers over my elbow.

I love you.

Dear Henry:

Jack and Joe and Mom and I went to Purim services on Monday night. Jack dressed in your Jedi costume.

I called him Jedi Mordechai. Joe was a cowboy. As we were leaving the house I was watching Joe walk down the front steps and he tumbled and landed on his head. He's okay, but I got really mad at myself for letting that happen. You would have had a great time at the Megillah reading. I remember it well from last year (running around with Ari and Jake), but I can't recall what costume you wore. You loved getting dressed up.

I had to take Joe to the doctor yesterday. He had a fever and diahrrea. The doctor told me he has a virus. I must have said something to make the doctor think I was a doctor. If only. He asked me if I was a doctor, and I just explained that I used to go to a lot of doctor's appointments. Earlier yesterday, cousin Joshua and Bing ran into Joe and Zhenny at the playground. Joshua is very sweet. He saw that Joe wasn't feeling well and offered him half a bagel if only Joe would smile.

Joe is feeling better now.

I have been thinking about you a lot.


Dear Henry:

I asked Mrs. Singer for your report card and here it is.

I'm proud that you were such a good student during such a difficult time.

Love you,


Monday, March 17, 2003

Dear Henry:

Mommy and I got a bigger safe deposit box to save all of our special things and photos and movies of you. We don't want anything to happen to them or lose them. I found this in the old box. It is your passport from our trip to Spain. You look very handsome.



Sunday, March 16, 2003

Dear Henry:

I had to move the refrigerator on Friday and I found this underneath.

I hope that there is a lot more buried treasure for me to find.

I love you.

Okay Henry:

This will sound familiar. You are Mommy and Daddy's room, laying on our bed (on my side) watching TV. Digimon is on and Jack can't sit still. He is bobbing and weaving and walking right up to the TV and blocking everyone else's view. So you would say, "You make a better door than a window!" Then Jack would back up, maybe jump up on the bed, but 2 minutes later he was right in front of the set again. I remind you of this, like you could ever forget, because this morning you got a little payback. There was Jack laying on the couch in the family room while Joe stuck his nose right up against the TV screen. Jack cried out, "You make a better door than a window."

We learned about "payback" in Squirtle Squad and we'd say it all the time, remember. And the other thing we used to say is, "I've got a banana and I'm not afraid to use it," from Babar. Then we kept running into other movies or shows that used a variation on that saying, "I've got a 'blank' and I'm not afraid to use it. I'm going to try and remember the other movies. We'd also say, "You wanna piece of me," whenever we'd wrestle and tickle.

We went back to the zoo today. Jack had a program on otters, so Joe and I walked around for 2 hours until Jack was done. It was very warm and we had a nice time. Mom gets back tonight. I miss her.



Saturday, March 15, 2003

Dear Henry:

It was very hard being at your grave last week. We were there for Aunt Ida's funeral and we visited Grandma and you. Mommy and Jack and I have been putting pretty, polished, colored stones on your grave. It is an old Jewish custom. Mommy put your stone bear on the marker this time. I had a rock from your Henry and the Wolf book. The person who runs the cemetery warned us that the rocks are bad because they can shoot out from under the lawn mowers that cut the grass. The man said the flying rocks can hurt the headstones and other stuff at the cemetery. Mommy wants to put even bigger stones on your grave so the mowers won't go over you. She's a smarty farty.

Jack didn't go with us, and that probably is a good thing. Friday was "dress up day" at school. Jack put on the clothes that he wore for your funeral: the pants, shirt and jacket. It was the first time he wore that stuff since the day you were buried. I wonder if he thought about that. I think that way all the time. It's how I measure every experience. Each day is the first time I do this or that, or the first time I've been here or there without you or since you died. Thinking that way makes me remember you and gets me all sorts of sad. Today was the first time I went to Jeanie's Shoe Store since we left for Minnesota, the first time I've been back to Jacob Stern's house since that time in the early fall when we were all there playing in the backyard and the first time I've been to Guy Mason to play since you died . At some point I'll have done everything and gone everywhere again, and I'll just think about how I miss doing things or being places without you. Does that make sense; it's late. Thanks for listening to me, Big Guy.

I love you.

Dear Henry:

Things don't always turn out the way you plan. I didn't want to tell Jack about Aunt Ida, but cousin Hannah was coming into town with Aunt Jen and Uncle Dan so I knew I had to say something. I don't remember the whole conversation but I do know that I told him that Aunt Ida was supposed to be 104 this week but her body just couldn't make it. I told him how I was really old before anyone I knew or loved died. Actually, I just figured out I was 28. That's old, right. Do you remember how you and I used to walk around with my cane after I had knee surgery last year saying, "I'm an old maaaaan," in our old man voices. Meanwhile, Mommy had said something to me that I repeated to Jack. He needed to know that it isn't normal for people you know to die every few months. That just doesn't happen. What is happening to us now is an exception to the rule. I said to Jack that I could not guarantee that no-one else will die for quite some time, but I am pretty sure that will be the case. I'm so sorry he has to be so grown up. You had to be too grown up, too.

Jack had a sleepover at cousin Michael's last night. Mommy is in New York (don't worry, she's going to the Pokemon store. I know that is going to be hard) with Sam I Am's mommy, Karen. I was thinking today about how we used to play rocketship with the stroller whenever you, me, Jack and Mom were in New York. I'd lean the two of you backward so you were looking up at the sky and I'd countdown 10, 9, 8, 7, 6... and rock the stroller side to side while running with you that way down the street. Then we'd play "runaway stroller." We also sang the alphabet song a lot when we'd walk around the City. New York was always so much fun: the rock slide at the playground at 68th Street (oh my god, you kept going down that again and again and again, you were so beautiful); the petting zoo in Central Park; climbing rocks; Gus, the Polar Bear; the Pokemon Store; the Disney Store and FAO Schwarz.

It was nice outside today so I took Joe to Guy Mason to play. He said hello to a dog and went down the slides.

I don't think I've been to Guy Mason to play since the fall, before going up to Minnesota. He liked the swings back then, but wasn't too pyched about them today. We had a lot of fun anyway. We watched some boys practicing baseball. Some of my favorite memories are when we would sit behind the backstop at Stoddert watching softball games. When they were done, you and I would go on the field and I'd pitch to you. Mom took you and Jack there a lot when she got home from work. She always had extra energy for you two when she was exhausted from working all day. She's amazing.

It was fun going to see the Twins and taking batting practice. You hit on the tee right behind the backstop. You whacked the ball. This is you talking to Corey Koskie. They are still trying to get a baseball team here. It would have been fun to go to games here in Washington, like I did when I was a kid.

Don't tell Mom, but at one point this afternoon Joe was walking down the sidewalk on Calvert Street in just his socks and a diaper. He seemed to be chasing his shadow. It was super long in the afternoon sun. Do you remember how you used to walk up the street to Rich and Jill's all the time to eat their Rollo's. I think they put them out just for you. Rich was back in the neighborhod last night. Cati's baby wants to come out but it is too early for it to be born. So I helped watch Nina and David while Chuck was at the hospital with Cati. I was pretty scared for them, but it felt good that I could do something to help. Chuck came over and took David and Nina home. Then Rich came by and let Chuck go be with Cati at the hospital. I'll let you know what happens.

I often get very sad when I am spending a lot of time with Joe. Maybe it is because Joe cannot talk. He does have a few words now, like "mine," "car," which comes out "ar," and he calls Jack, "ack." There was a character in the comics a while ago named Bill the Cat. He made me laugh. He always said "ack," too.

I am scared of spring. I'm scared of all the changes it brings. Spring is the time when nature comes back to life. You're not. Even though you are gone I know the warmer weather will feel good and make me feel good. No matter how sad I am, spring will put a smile on my face and make my heart beat a little stronger and faster. It always does. I bet it is like the feeling you had whenever you were about to see Bella, or knew Mommy was coming home from New York with brand new Pokemon figures.

Today we went to the shoe store. Jack got these sneakers because Michael has a pair just like them. Pretty sporty, huh.

Your silvery Nike sneakers, the ones we got in Minnesota at Galyans (or did we get them at Jeannie's in September for school, like it says on the card), are still in the nightable in Joe's room. What do we do with stuff like that. Will Joe wear them when he gets big enough. Do we give them away. Do we throw them away. Do we keep them somewhere forever.

I grabbed your shoe buying history card when I paid for Jack's shoes. You were a size 12. Big feet, big heart. I am a size 12, too. My feet seem to keep growing. What's up with that? Seeing your name on that card and those entries made me want to cry. But I didn't. I wish I could remember every single trip we made to buy you shoes. Did you pet the big dog that sleeps in the store the same way Joe did today? I do remember how your feet were so beat up by the graft versus host disease. That should have made me cry, but I didn't.

Tonight when I tucked Jack into bed I told him that I love him. The second after I said that I realized he never tells me he loves me. You always did. Thanks. Jack will never offer up a kiss unless I kiss him or ask him for one. He also backs away whenever I try to plant one on him. So, knowing the answer but not knowing if he'd respond, I decided to ask Jack if he loves me. He got shy all of a sudden and softly said, "Yea." Yeah! I've always thought it is interesting that no matter how much you show someone you love them, you need to tell them as well. It is the same with sadness. Even though we know everyone is sad because you died, we still need to hear it. I don't know why that is, it just is.

I wish we were up watching TV or a movie together instead of me writing this to you. Pokemon 4 is coming out on DVD next week. You never got tired of watching things over and over, going down slides over and over, giving kisses over and over. I miss you over and over and over and over.

Dude, I love you so much.


Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Dear Henry:

I am writing this to you from Mommy's computer at work. I came to get her to go to the cemetery to see you and be at Aunt Ida's funeral.

Believe it or not, it is snowing. Crazy. I can't wait to see you.



Sunday, March 09, 2003

Dear Henry:

We went to dinner at Ari's house on Friday night. I was a mix of sad and curious. Even though it hasn't been long at all, I watched Ari to know what you'd be like if you were still here. I looked at Ari's handwriting, at his toys, at his TV viewing, everything. It was nice being with him and Rachel and Sid and Linda. I know that they love you and miss you so much. Rachel is raising money for Fanconi anemia for her Bat Mitzvah mitzvah. I keep dumping money in a small basket with your picture on it that appropriately sits next to the couch you used to lay on in the office at JPDS.

Good night my little soldier.

Dear Henry:

Here is an email from Sonia, who is back home in Spain. Even with the Internet it still takes a while for news to travel far distances. You are loved on many continents.

-----Original Message-----
From: Sonia Munar Sagardía []
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 7:07 AM

Hello Laurie and Allan

I know it sounds weird but I didn´t know about Henry until this week. I´m really affected about it, I´ve read the web-site you have created and I think it´s awesome but I just wanted to send you all my best.

Henry was a wonderful little person, I still remember him watching those cartoons where they speak spanish and saying to me "Hasta la vista" because he had just learnt that means see you later...

I was happy to see Jack and Joe´s pictures too, they look great, Joe has grown up so fast, I´ve seen he can already walk

Just send them a big hug from Spain ok?

I´d like to keep in touch with you

Dear Henry:

Yesterday, Saturday, was a wacky day. It started out GREAT. Jack came into our room and we sat in bed together and watched Saturday morning cartoons. When we turned on the TV our three all-time favorites came on all in a row. Can you beat that!

First on was "I Love to Singa" starring Owl Jolson.

You and Jack and me and Mom had so much fun singing this whenever it was on.

I love to sing-a
About the moon-a and the June-a and the spring-a,
I love to sing-a,
About a sky of blue-a, or a tea for two-a,
Anything-a with a swing-a to an "I love you-a,"
I love to, I love to sing!

Then - and it was like the good people at Cartoon Network could read minds - came the 2 Ralph Phillips cartoons.

After "from A to Z-z-z-z-z" they played "Boyhood Daze."

We went back to the zoo and met Andrew, Tracey, Sam and Emma. It was pretty different from Wednesday. On Saturday we shared the zoo with a million zillion other people. The orangutans were back out swinging, but not pooping. I took this picture making sure I wasn't directly underneath.

Mom took this photo of me and Joe. There were some of our faces, but this one has the giraffe in it. Do you recognize my shoulders. I miss carrying you up there. I used to always ask, "Do you want to go up high?"

Zhenny came over to babysit later and Mom and I went out to dinner with Bill and Cristina at Liz and Price's house. I got a phone call after dinner and it was a nurse from the place out in Rockville where Aunt Ida lives. She said that Aunt Ida had stopped breathing. I asked if Aunt Ida was dead and she told me that she couldn't tell me that. So I said, "Well if she hasn't breathed for a while and her heart has stopped beating, that's 'dead' isn't it?" She said that the law does not allow her to pronounce Aunt Ida dead. I hung up and then Mom called the nurse back to confirm that Aunt Ida was truly dead. Again, the nurse said she was not allowed to say that. It was strange, almost funny.

I called Pop Pop Teddy and Aunt Jen to let them know, but no-one was home so I left messages on their answering machines. Then I called the funeral home that handled Grandma's funeral and your funeral. Of course they knew us. The woman said to stop giving them business. No kidding. I think we are going to try and have Aunt Ida's funeral at the gravesite, which is not-too-far from you, on Tuesday. So Mom and I will be visiting you really really soon. I've been researching designing a custom headstone for you and this will give me a chance to talk to the experts about getting it done. I've looked on the Internet but all of the companies look cheesey.

Here is a photo of you and Hannah from Aunt Ida's 100th birthday party. I used to bring you and Jack to play at the Hebrew Home where she lived. She would sit in a chair in the common area and just watch you two run around like maniacs. That put a smile on her face. Not much else ever did. She would have been 104 next week. Gee, I wish she could have given you a couple of years. Too bad you can't trade. This other photo is of Aunt Ida, Grandma and Aunt Jen from the same party. It is hard to believe that you and Grandma and Aunt Ida are all gone now.

At your funeral, Rabbi Wohlberg said that some deaths are "acceptable," when someone is old and not suffering. Aunt Ida's death is acceptable, yours was not. We are not going to take Jack to the funeral/burial. I am too sad and tired to tell him what happened, but more to the point, Mom and I don't want him to have to deal with any more death for a long, long time.

I love you so much. Please take care of Grandma and Aunt Ida.


Sunday, March 02, 2003

Dear Henry:

In keeping with her food-based pet names, Mommy also called you "Peanut." I think this shows why.

Goodnight Little Man.

Dear Henry:

Papa Sy gave me this picture that he took out in St. Michaels. The cove is frozen so the birds are able to walk around. I am sure the fish are happy.

We all went over to Nana's and Papa Sy's for dinner. It was the usual. All of the cousins were there. Emma got sick. We're back home and your brothers are fast asleep. The house is quiet.

I love you.


p.s. Tony and Virginia had a baby. His name is Jake. He is a new cousin. I am sorry that he'll never know you.
Dear Hen:

Here is an ad that Mom and I made to put in the Purim Ball program for JPDS. The words are lyrics from a song by Bob Dylan. I should have put quote marks on it. Wonder if it is too late?

Love you,