Sunday, March 09, 2003

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.


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