Saturday, May 31, 2003

Dear Henry:

Mom and Jack are at Finding Nemo, which is a new Disney/Pixar movie, like Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. It should be good. Without a doubt this is a movie that you would be going to see.The best part for me of taking you to the movies was hearing you exclaim, "that was the best movie, ever," at the end of whatever we saw. Three thumbs up, right.

Joe is sleeping and I just finished picking up. I want to take him for a walk but it is back to looking like rain. Hopefully the last day of May will be the last day of rain. It is soggy.

I totally forgot to tell you about this dream I had the other night. It was definitely a dream and not a nightmare. You and I were playing. I think we were at a playground or something. I do remember that I knew it was the last time we were ever going to get to play together. Sure, knowing that was pretty rough, but I was fine with it because I was able to dream about us having fun and not about you being in the hospital or anything.

I have a bunch of stuff to scan and show you. The letter I put on yesterday was very sweet. I only wish a lot of the people in Minnesota could have known you when you were feeling good. The people at the clinic in Georgetown saw you when you were feeling okay. I asked Mom if we needed to bring down more band-aids for Henry's Toolbox, and she said they are well stocked.

Let me go see if Joe is ready to get up and play. he was a maniac this morning. I know that he scares Mom a lot. She is very afraid that he will hurt himself. I think 70% of her fear is normal Mom stuff, and 30% is added on because of what happened to you. I am sorry she has to live with that. I am the same as I was with you - thought you'd be okay, think Joe is going to be fine. That might just be a Mommy and Daddy see the world differently kinda thing. Of course, Mom is usually right. I just wish she hadn't been in your case. Hey, there is some more fatherly advice. Listen to your Mom, or your wife. They are usually going to be right.

I love you.


Friday, May 30, 2003

Dear henry:

I came across this picture the other day when I was looking for something on my computer. How could you have died just 2 weeks or so after you were looking so good and sleeping so peacefully? Your cheeks have good color. I bet your lips were red from a popsicle.

Doesn't make sense.

Hugs and kisses,


p.s. It is almost June and you know what happens in June... Harry Potter. I cannot wait to come and read to you. Today is the first sunny morning in more than a month. I hope that June is as sunny as May was rainy so I can sit and read to you as much as possible. God, I love you.
Dear Henry:

This is the box that Ari put in the office at school to collect super heroes and action figures for kids at the hospital. It is pretty full. Mom put a lot in earlier this week.

There will be a lot of happy kids soon at Georgetown. Smiles are very important. That is our mission.

I love you,


Thursday, May 29, 2003

Dear Henry:

I took Jack to school this morning because Mom is traveling for work for a few days. We were listening to XM Kids when Circle of Life from The Lion King came on the radio. Hearing the song made me remember something Mom told me the other day. When Jack met those folks in St. Michaels and insisted that Mom tell them about you, the man put his hand on Jack's shoulder and said, "It'll be okay. You see, I have a sister who died. It's just the circle of life." I looked back at Jack and could see that he was remembering this too. I asked him if he thought you were like King Mufasa in the movie, always with us looking down from the stars. We were both pretty close to crying. I reached back and held Jack's hand and listened to the song with him.

Hey, do you remember how I always like to say, "You deliberately disobeyed me" from the movie. The Lion King is finally coming out on DVD. I am sorry it didn't come out while you were alive so we could have sung the songs and quoted lines together while watching on your portable DVD player.

I love you and miss you King Henry.

Hakuna Matata,


Monday, May 26, 2003

Dear Henry:

Here are some of the treasures I unearthed while cleaning out the basement. This is the invitation that went out for your farewell party. Remember how everyone came to say goodbye when we went to Minnesota for your transplant.

This is from that fundraising concert that we had a couple of years ago. You went up on stage and had so much fun that night.

Hey, look what I found, a squished penny from Sea World.

I'm done and Mom and the guys are back. Gotta go, for now.

Love ya,

Dear Henry:

I heard a Bruce Springsteen song tonight that I am not too familiar with from his newest album. It is called, You're Missing. Here are some of the words -

But you're missing, when I shut out the lights
You're missing, when I close my eyes
You're missing, when I see the sun rise
You're missing

Children are asking if it's alright
Will you be in our arms tonight?

Morning is morning, the evening falls I got
Too much room in my bed, too many phone calls
How's everything, everything?
Everything, everything
You're missing, you're missing

I miss you,


Sunday, May 25, 2003

Dear Henry:

Cleaning up the basement is hard but rewarding. So far I have found $14, my sunglasses that I though I lost last autumn and a ton of photos and memories of you.

I love you.


Saturday, May 24, 2003

Dear Henry:

I keep writing all of these notes to myself to remember to tell you stuff. I gathered a bunch up and will tell you what I was thinking. I am not sure if I've already gone over some of this, but here goes.

I called our phone the other day and no-one was home. I got our message. I think you recorded some of our better messages in the past. Well this one said,

Henry, Jack, Joe, Laurie and Allen aren't here right now, so please leave a message.

I was like, huh? Did I hear that right. So I called back. I have to be honest with you, I was a mix of confused and hopeful. Sure enough, when I listened very closely the second time the message said

Henry, Jack, Joe, Laurie and Allen aren't here right now, so please leave a message.

Way to go Mom. I guess you have a permanent outgoing message that you aren't home. These are the messages I am leaving you. I hope you can retrieve them. Instead of "Dear Henry" maybe I should just write, "Beep."

Wanna know something funny. We changed our phone company and I don't know how to get our messages. Mom does, but I don't know the phone number to call. I should get it from Mom. I am not very good about picking up the phone when it is ringing. I rarely pick it up. I think there are a lot of reasons. I think the first one is I don't neccessarily want to tell anyone how I am doing. A lot of people say, "How are you," as a way of being polite. I don't think they want me to be honest and tell them how I really am. But that might not be the case. Some people might really want to know. Maybe I just can't handle telling 'em the truth. There is this really good movie where they say, "You can't handle the truth." I don't know who can't handle the truth, me or the person calling.

The second reason I am not so hot for talking on the phone is that I have had some pretty bad phone calls that keep ringing in my ears. Two that are always in my head are (1) the time Mom called me in August when I was picking up Pop Pop Teddy at the airport to tell me she thought you were dead and (2) the call in December in Minnesota when Nana called me and said Mom called and I needed to get over to the hospital right away 'cause you were in trouble. Those calls sucked. Grandma didn't like it when I used that word, oops. I don't like the phone. Oh yeah, I thought of one last reason. I had to call places, like airlines and hotels and explain that we needed something, like a special rate or flight, and I had to say the words, "because my son is very sick," or "my son is dying." That was never easy.

I feel more comfortable writing than talking. I think much of it has to do with the fact that it's easier to write about tough things. You can't get too choked up on the computer. I used to think I was your personal Make a Wish Foundation, and would blast out letters and emails to people asking them to do nice things for you. I used to drop what I call the "H Bomb." The "H Bomb" was telling them what you've been through and that there was a possibility you'd die. How could anyone say no to the "H Bomb," to you. I couldn't do that on the phone or in person and not cry. Writing is safe. That is why I do this. I read a quote from a book that says, "I write as a constant exercise in longing."

You loved the phone. You worked it like a pro -- the mad dialer calling us whenever we went out. I gotta be more like you.

You'll be happy to know that Jack is very good about making sure you are still included in things. Mom said that she and Jack met some people today. Jack made sure Mom told them that he has another brother, Henry. He's a good brother, isn't he.

Mom and Jack and Joe are in St. Michaels. It is a long weekend. I am stuck at home cleaning out the back half of the basement. We are going to "finish" it and make it into another bedroom. I bet you would have wanted that room for yourself. I know you. It'll be cool when it is done. I wish I was with everyone else, though. I'm sad and lonely. I am listening to XM radio. We are having a special, 66 straight hours of Bruce Springsteen. One of the things that I want to start writing about are the things that I would have liked for you to have tried and liked as you got older. Stuff I enjoy that I hope you'd enjoy too. There is a Bruce Springsteen song, called Bobby Jean, where he sings about his friend,

We liked the same music,
We liked the same bands,
We liked the same clothes

* * *
Now we went walking in the rain talking about
the pain that from the world we hid
Now there ain't nobody, nowhere nohow gonna
ever understand me the way you did

I think you and I were a lot alike. I have a feeling you would have liked Bruce Springsteen. Wow, this is a cool coincidence. The Devil with A Blue Dress Medley is playing right now as I write this. For me, the 4 minutes and 35 seconds of that song is simply the greatest music ever recorded. Sheer ecstasy (that means great joy). You go on a roller coaster ride and get whipped around and go up and up and rocket down and go up again. Aunt Jen bought the album (No Nukes) when we were in high school. She liked it for Jackson Browne, but I loved Bruce Springsteen. I played it over and over. Now I always play it when I am feeling good or when I am sagging and need a boost. I wish I could have watched you dance to it like you did with Out of Habit and your other favorites. We are going up to New Jersey to see Bruce Springsteen play later this summer. In her eulogy, Mommy said you were the encore at a Springsteen show. We are going to be the happiest sad people ever.

Speaking of sad, a few weeks ago I was reading one of Lisa's columns in the newspaper about Take Your Kids to Work Day. I mentioned it to Mom and she told me that she was extremely sad when the reminder for that special day went out at her office. She told me that you couldn't wait to be 7 years old so you could go to Mommy's work with her. I didn't know that. There are days of the year now, like Mother's Day and your birthday and the day you died, when I know I need to give Mommy extra hugs. I need to add Take Your Kids to Work Day. I know you would have wanted to go to Mom's office, but my office is really neat, too. It looks like Star Wars and Star Trek. There are a lot of lights and things, and you can be on the radio. I am going to bring Jack in so he can be on the XM Kids channel. I think they know him because he calls in all the time.

Here is something I have been meaning to tell you. The other day Michael came over to play with Jack. Michael loves Jack like he loves you. Michael says it helps him to play with Jack when he is thinking about you. I think this is kinda funny; Michael says "sweet" about everything. Everything. No matter what I say, he says, "Oh, that's sweet." I have a feeling that you'd be saying "sweet," too. Michael is totally cool.

Joe update. He no longer wants anything to do with the Wiggles. He is all grown up. Now all he wants to do is watch animal videos. He watches all of the National Geographic "Spin" movies that you and Jack loved. He is just like Jack in how much he loves animals. He is at the point where we are working on all of the animal sounds, remember "Baa, like a sheep, Moo, like a cow, Oink, like a pig, Oooo, Oooo, like a monkey. What is the difference between apes and monkeys. Right, monkeys have tails and apes don't.

Hey, I love you, you crazy monkey.

Ooooo, ooooo


Sunday, May 18, 2003

Dear Henry:

Here are 2 pictures that I took of Mom and Joe at Emma's party. It was a lot of fun. We went hiking. You were missed. Here are pictures. The one with Mom and Joe is from a place along Rock Creek called "Milkhouse Ford." We passed this whenever we drove to school. I think it is really beautiful. I also really like the name.

Jack is thinking about you a lot. He told Mommy tonight that he misses you but he finds it hard to explain exactly how he feels. Jack wants to have a birthday party for you every year. He was very particular about having a cake but no candles because you wouldn't be able to blow them out. Mom suggested that maybe Jack blow out some candles. Mom left it with Jack that he can plan something and Mommy and I will make it happen just like he wants. This is all very hard on Jack. Mommy and I can say to each other and to friends exactly how we feel, but I think Jack has trouble finding the right words. We try to help him. I asked him if he wants to write a letter to you but he didn't jump on it. I'll ask again.

I love you big fella. I wish Jack was able to talk this through with you. He misses his brother and his close buddy.



Saturday, May 17, 2003

Dear Henry:

Jack and I read about this place in the newspaper this morning. Do you remember how we squished the pennies in the hotel at Disney World when we went to the character breakfasts. We also squished pennies at Sea World.

This Squished Penny Museum is in someone's rowhouse here in Washington. We should take Jack. You would have like it 'cause you can squish pennies there.

Squished Penny Museum | Home

I'm still in my pajamas. I miss weekend mornings with you just sitting around watching cartoons.

Love you,

Dear Henry:

This is a photo of you on the beach in Portugal. This was taken 5 summers ago when we went to Spain for Bill and Cristina's wedding. You always made people laugh.

Bill and Cristina brought the picture over last night. They came over to celebrate Mommy's and my 10th anniversary of being married. I feel lucky that for 7 of those years we got to be with you.

Love, tu padre,


Friday, May 16, 2003

Dear Henry:

This is the way the new Harry Potter book will look when it comes out in England. It is different from the cover that I posted earlier of the book coming out in the United States. I thought you'd like to see it. I really look forward to reading it to you.

We spent so much time with the people last night filming a story about you and Molly and Dr. Wagner and Dr. Hughes and Dr. Rosenwaks for German television. When they were with Molly she said she really misses you.

I love you.


Thursday, May 15, 2003

Dear Henry:

Mom and I just spent 6 hours with some people doing a movie for German television. They were filming us talking about you. We spent some time showing them pictures. Here is one that Mom showed me that is really good. We were all doing well at this point, weren't we. It was the summer before last.

I am glad that people in Germany will love you now. I love you.


Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Dear Henry:

I got smart. I enlisted the help of our champion reader to help me get Joe ready for bed.

This is a great book, I Like it When.

I like it when Jack and you and Joe and I would wrestle on our bed. I had to be really careful that you and Joe didn't get hurt. It was "gentle" wrestling, which is tickling, I guess.

Who do I love? You, Henry bo Benry.



Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Dear Henry:

I was a little like Jack this morning. I was scared to go to the doctor. But for a different reason. I went to see one of my doctors and I was pretty sure didn't know you had died. I was right. He said that he didn't expect to hear that you died when he asked me how you were. I told him it was okay -- I didn't expect you to die. Hey, I have an ear infection. I guess you can never be too old.

This morning was really nice. I kept picturing you in our bed greeting me and Mom coming home from somewhere at night. You'd say, "Hi Ma-ma and Dad-da!" You were a mischieveous imp sometimes, which is another way of saying you were darn cute.

I love you my little big man.


Monday, May 12, 2003

Dear Henry:

I came home from work at a "reasonable" hour tonight (that means before Joe has gone to bed) and as I was driving up Calvert Street I started to cry. It kinda came from nowhere. I didn't understand what I was feeling and so I thought that maybe I was remembering all of the times we walked up the street together to go get ice cream, or rode your bike or whatever. I parked the car on the street and walked in and Mom was reading to Jack and Joe on the couch. Mom got everyone to say, "Hi Daddy." It was really sweet. Just at that moment, though, I realized why I had become so sad. It was all very backwards. I cried, then I walked into the house and you were not there. I mean it was so obvious that you were missing. I was excited to see everyone but at the same time sad not to see you. There are four where there needs to be five.

We spent the rest of the evening wrestling. Joe isn't really much of a wrestler. I don't know if that will change as he gets older I hope it does. Jack misses his wrestling buddy. When we were at the cemetery Jack walked over alone to your grave and had a private conversation with you. I hope it was good. He misses you so much. Yesterday he was on the verge of tears a lot of the day after our visit. I have so many tears inside of me that I need to get out. I keep having "small" cries, but I feel like I need to weep. I bet if I read back through this and the other site my tears will all come out.

You know what I miss. I miss finding you in our bed all of the time. Whenever Mom and I went out, you'd just fall asleep in our bed -- my side was your side.

Big sigh.

I'll talk to you later. Maybe I can get Jack to write a letter to you on here.



p.s. Did that picture look funny? It's upside down! Fooled ya. I bet I didn't, though. You're so smart.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Dear Henry:

Do you remember how I used to call you Henry Strongin Goldfish and Jack, Jack Strongin Goldfish.

We went to the cemetery and it was a nice visit. There is a kid right near you. His grave is the bottom picture.

He was born one year after you. I guess if you use Mom's math he is one year younger than you. It is nice that you are both so close to each other. It is pretty sad, too. I wonder why he died so young. I like the wolf on his headstone. Mom and I think that your birthday would be a good time for the unveiling. I think I explained that whole "unveiling" thing to you already.

There was a funeral right next to Grandma's grave. I walked over and quietly cleaned off her headstone. Someone recognized me and said hello. It is a small world.

The cool thing is that right now I am out on the front porch writing to you. Mom and Jack and Joe went to go pick up some of the pictures we took lately. I am talking to Aunt Jen. I called to wish her a happy Mother's Day. A guy just walked by with a huge, beautiful parrot on his shoulder. I wish Mom and Jack and Joe were here to see it. Bill just came out to chat. He is looking kind of old, which I guess is okay since he is in his 90's. Bill is telling me that he is still very active in his alumni association. He is president of the Naval Academy, class of 1936.

We're sitting talking like a bunch of old men. Who isn't mowing their lawn and that sort of thing. You and I had good "grown up" chats. I liked that. You were my friend.

I'll finish tomorrow. Lot's more to tell you about coming to the cemetery.



p.s. Aunt Abby's surgery went well. She came home from the hospital today. She is doing okay.
Dear Henry:

It is Mother's Day. We are coming to see you. I've been worried about how Mom would be today. So far so good. I got Mom a framed cartoon that she really has loved for a year. It was in a magazine in May last year. The magazine where Jeffrey works. Jeffrey won an award for writing and I think we are going to their house tonight to help celebrate. Next Friday we are going out with Bill and Cristina to celebrate our anniversary. I am not much into seeing people right now.

Oh, and all of us got Mom a new camera. When we were on vacation I busted Mom's camera. Papa Sy gave Mom her camera when she graduated from college. I was really sorry I broke it. When we were on vacation Mom and I saw a Cormoran on the beach. I ran to get the camera from our room to take a picture of the bird for Jack. When I ran back out from our room I misjudged the steps and fell and the camera went flying. I don't think you can ever have enough cameras. I wish we had photographed and/or videotaped every minute of your life. The good and the bad.

More later today after we see you.



Thursday, May 08, 2003

Dear Henry:

Mom and Jack looked up World Records on the Internet tonight. When I was a kid I used to read the Guinness Book of World Records over and over again. You would have loved it. You get to see the world's heaviest people and the tallest and the shortest. They have a record for the longest fingernails. I still don't understand how the people with those long nails can wipe their tushies after they poop. Maybe someone else does it for them like I used to do for you.

Something else that I used to do for you was scratch your back. I was thinking about that the other day because I asked Mom to scratch my back. I never do that and all of a sudden I heard myself sounding exactly like you, "higher, lower, other side, further, higher." It was so weird because no matter how much I scratched I could never really hit the right spot for you. We did that so much because your skin was always so itchy.

My friend's wife is going to have her transplant on June 5. They are leaving tomorrow. Henry, I am terrified for them. I am more scared for them now than I was ever scared for you. She is going to make it fine, but I think I am super-worried because I know what can go wrong. I want to go over and see them before they leave and give them one of our little Batman things that say "Believe" on it. Mom carried that with her everywhere and I know you wore it on your neck. You loved necklaces. Michael always wears groovy necklaces and we got Jack a shark's tooth necklace when we were on vacation. I'll let you know how my friend's wife is doing. Her name is Mary Beth.

I still have a lot to tell you that I wrote down on little notes or I have in my head. Maybe this weekend I'll get it all out. One thing I was thinking of doing is coming to the cemetery and writing to you there. I'd like to do that. I should make an appointment to talk to the "headstone guy" to see if we can do something close to what I put on here.

I love you little man.

Dear Henry:

I don't know if I sent this one to you yet. It is a poem by Simon. It is about his Dad and you. It sounds so grown up that I can hardly believe you guys are the same age. Mom says that Simon always had a good vocabulary.

There Is a Place
There is a place, so very far away, over the
treetops, past the seven seas, even over the
rainbow. And into deep eternity. Over the
world's highest mountains, and in the soul
and the human mind, no one knows this place.

This place is better than $9857; even better
than a vacation. Will there be the light of
night at this place? Everyone is immortal here.

So this place you call wonderful, you must
take me there. The crystal clear water, the
great rain forest and the beautiful pyramids
make me shiver with glory. You must have a
huge imagination to see this place!

At this place you can lie in a hammock all
day long, looking at the beautiful view of
the sky. You can lie on giant flowers and
drink the nectar. One hour more than a day
is the time you can stay, so appreciate the beauty
and the sun of yin and yang.

Simon Thomas Imbot

Copyright ©2003 Simon Thomas Imbot

[a.] Chevy Chase, MD [title] "There is a Place" [pers.] My dad died when I was almost 5. Now I am 7, I've lost 3 teeth, I'm in first grade, I have a brother Alex, he's five and a really fun mom. We live outside Washington, DC. I just started on poetry in school. I was inspired to write this poem by Emily Dickinson's poetry. The poem is about heaven. I wrote it to express how I feel about my dad and the other people that I know and love who passed away. I don't know what heaven is like, but what I think it looks like is this place in my poem.

Love you,


Dear Henry:

You've got a really good friend in Ari.



p.s. David and Jeffrey are coming over tonight for a Jewish Rock Hall of Fame meeting. You'll be missed.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Dear Henry:

This was sent to me and Mom but I think it was really meant for you.

From: "Kelley, Randy C"
To: "Lauriestrongin (E-mail)"
Subject: Thank you Henry
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 10:21:22 -0500

Dear Allen and Laurie,

I don't think you know me but boy I sure know you and Henry. I have been struggling with the right time to write this letter. I am the father of Hunter Kelley. Hunter too has FA. On March 15th 2000 Hunter was diagnosed.

I am not going to tell you the feeling because I think you already know. For a year and a half we searched for answers as to how to help Hunter. We attended a FA Family meeting in Sept. of 2000, mainly to meet Dr. Wagner. While at the meeting we learned for the first time about PGD. We had no idea this opportunity existed and soon found out it didn't' for us. In Oct. 2000 we went to U of Minn. for a bone marrow harvest, Hunter's cellularity at the time was 50%. During this visit we met the Nash's and even went to the Mall of America with them. We wanted so badly to try the PGD but it wasn't available to FA (A) at the time. In Oct. of 2001 we learned that FA (A) had been typed by Dr. Auerbach and that PGD was now available to FA (A) patients. It was about this time my wife (Christie) read your New York Times Magazine article. We immediately decided we had to give PGD a try. After 4 cycles and many ups and downs we got pregnant.

Eggs were implanted on Easter Sunday of 2002. On Dec. 9th Cooper Kelley was born. A perfect match for Hunter. On January 21 Hunter underwent a Sibling Matched Cord Blood Transplant at the U of Minn. Today we are back in Birmingham and Hunter is outside shooting basketball. We realize he is by no means out of the woods, but to this point he is doing great.

The reason for writing this letter is to thank you and especially thank Henry. You see if we had never read that NY Times article we would have never tried PGD. Hunter was to the point he needed a transplant and we didn't have long. You determination to succeed at PGD gave us inspiration.

Henry did not die in vain. Henry is a pioneer that has and is saving Lives everyday. I can only imagine what it is like to loose a son. Hopefully you can find some comfort in knowing without a doubt you and your son helped save our son's life.

The TV show 48 hrs. has followed our story from beginning to end. We are not sure when it will air, if ever. Hopefully it too will help someone see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks Henry Goldberg your sacrifice has saved many.

Randy Kelley
CBM - Kraft Foods

You are the man.


Tuesday, May 06, 2003


Check out the cover of the newspaper in Takoma Park, where Emma, Sam and Uncle Andrew and Aunt Tracey live. Isn't it great.

It's not officially springtime in Takoma until Now & Then's Spring Bonnet contest. This year's special theme was Peace Bonnets. A contestant models her entry, "Love in heaven -- dedicated to my cousin Henry."

Love you,


Dear Henry:

The reason that I didn't write the past couple of days is because Mom and I went away together. We went to an island. It was really beautiful. You would have liked it. We went away for the first time since you were born. We used to worry about going too far and we had to cancel a lot of plans. Mom and I went in the water with snorkels and saw beautiful starfish and swam with a giant sea turtle.

We read a lot of books. I read a book by someone named Jonathan Safran Foer who went to the Gan, like you. He went to the Gan a while ago and was in Cousin Samantha's class. I was a little worried about Mom reading it after I was finished because a lot of people in the book die terrible deaths. But I gave it to her and when she started it I began a book written by a woman who lives here in Glover Park. Cindy, Yuri, Anna and Nicky Picky lived next door to her before they moved. Her name is Laura Hillenbrand. The book is really good. It about a horse named Seabiscuit. You would have liked it. There is a movie coming out soon that is based on the book. The story is about Seabiscuit, who was a great racehorse, and the man who owned Seabiscuit and the men who rode him in races. The man who owned Seabiscuit lost his son in an accident. That was in the very beginning of the book, but I didn't get too sad reading that. The doctors always told us that you might not grow to be too big, so I thought you could be someone who races horses. They're called jockeys and they need to be not too big. Or you could have been an author like Jonathan Foer. I don't think he had Liane as a teacher. I used to think you could be anything you wanted to be. On our vacation there were a few times where I started to think that now you might be anything I want you to be. Maybe you were the turtle who swam with us or one of the beautiful birds we saw. I don't really believe you are a bird or a turtle, but I get a strange/funny/good feeling sometimes when a bird flies up on the window sill or a squirrel shows up outside the kitchen. I think about you.

One of the other things we did when we were there was go sailing on a Hinkley yacht. It's a big sail boat. I asked Papa Sy if I could marry Mommy when I was onboard Uncle Andy's daddy's Hinkley. Papa Sy didn't know what to make of me and my wanting to marry Mommy. He almost marched me off the dock, where the boat was tied up, and into the water. There is a whole funny story that I would probably would have told you a million times. There are stories that kids hear from their parent's over and over. It is like the parents are making sure the kids know the history of the family. Mostly they are funny stories. Your life and your death are going to be very special stories that we tell Joe, and even Jack. I hope we don't do it so often the boys get tired of it, or too sad. We'll do it right.

When we met people for the first time at the place where we were staying Mom would explain that we have 3 boys aged 1, 6 and 7. I wonder what happens after your birthday. Will Mom say we have kids aged 2, 7 and 8 or will she say that our kids are 2,7 and 7 years old? Then people will think we have twins. How is that going to work. I'll just follow Mom's lead on this

I had a really good time on our vacation, which is what I say to people when they ask. What I don't tell anyone is that it really wasn't an easy trip for me or for Mom. Mom says that it was the first time that we didn't have to "pull it together" and be strong because we have to take care of Jack and Joe or be at our jobs. We could just let go. I was sad a lot and I even started having trouble sleeping like I did right after you died. I had nightmares and I would wake up and not be able to fall back to sleep. What was really hard was the thought of coming home and you not being here. I was excited to see Joe and Jack, but in the airport I got panicked that you would not be at the house. It happened to me when I was in the newsstand getting a magazine. It went away after a little while, but I was very scared. I really want to get to the time where thinking of you makes me happy not sad.

There is something wrong with Aunt Abby's back. She hurts a lot. Her doctor wants to do surgery tomorrow. She is worried that she won't wake up. I told her that your favorite thing was to take sleepy medicine. I don't know why I just said "sleepy medicine" when you always called it by its real name, "anesthesia." Maybe I was worried that I wouldn't spell it right. You loved to try the different flavors, which I think was just chapstick spread on the rim of the mask. If you were here you'd be telling Aunt Abby to go for the Root Beer and Bubble Gum flavors. She'll be okay.

She'll be strong like you. I'll be strong like you and for you now that I'm back.

I still have a lot more to write. Tomorrow.

Good night.


Monday, May 05, 2003

Dear Henry:

This weekend, Ari and Simon and Alex went to the cemetery to visit you. They all miss you so much. Linda told Mommy that when they were getting ready to leave Ari laid down on top of your grave and hugged the earth. Simon laid on top of Ari and then Alex piled on top. Just like how you guys used to play. You are lucky to have friends like Ari and Simon. I hope they remember you when they get older.

I am glad everyone came to see you and I am really glad that you got a hug. The other night when Pop Pop Teddy was here I gave him a really long, tight hug. I think he was probably wondering why he was getting such a big hug. What I didn't tell him was that I've really been needing a big hug from you but can't have one. So I decided to give him one. I am pretty sure he liked it.

So this is how I would like your tombstone to look. What do you think? I hope you like it. Of course it will also have your name in Hebrew. I really hope I can get them to put the Batman and Pokemon logos on there. I also hope Mom is cool with this. I haven't talked to her about it much lately. I also want to get you a hummingbird feeder and hang it up in the tree over your grave. There are rules that don't allow things like a hummingbird feeder, so I'll go in after everyone leaves for the day and hang it high and out of sight. Hopefully you'll have little visitors coming to see you everyday with wings that beat 100 miles an hour.

Speaking of the Batman and Pokemon logos, you may or may not remember that I wanted to get you masks with cartoon characters and action figures. You were never too psyched about wearing your mask when we were worried you'd get sick from germs in the air. I thought that if your mask had Pikachu or the Bat signal on it you would wear it more. Your masks are still all over the place. We have them in both cars still. Mom and I are very slow about throwing away anything of yours. You were actually ahead of your time. Millions of people wear masks all the time now. There is a bad germ out there, called SARS, and people all over the world wear masks like yours so they don't get sick.

I am not sure if I told you that the wife of the man I work for is going to have a bone marrow transplant really, really soon. He has been thinking about making cool masks, too. We are going to try very hard and make it happen. Dr. Wagner knows someone at the company that makes the masks. They're in Minnesota of all places. My boss knows the person who does Power Rangers, and I can get in touch with Norman, Lisa's friend who does all of the Pokemon stuff. It would be like all of the Band-Aids with the fun pictures on them. I want to do this for you. I am sorry it is too late.

I just tucked Jack into bed. I was worried because last night he was crying when he got into bed. He was thinking about you and how much he misses you. He is still pretty upset about the blanket of his that we lost in the hotel in Minnesota when we were up there with you. It was the one that he says Grandma made for him. The other night Mom decided to give him one of your blankets to help him through the night. That was a really good idea. Mom is smart that way. Well, the good news is Jack isn't crying. I went to check on him and he told me he was a little lonely so I climbed into his bunk with him. I have to do that a little more. Mom tells me that the two of them, her and Jack, are super duper close because of how much he misses you. He kisses Mom now instead of Mom having to steal kisses from him.

Here is Jack and Jacob and Benji from two weeks ago when Benji was here from Morocco. I think it is hard for Jack that Benji is so far away.

I love you Henry. It is hard for me that you are so far away.


Sunday, May 04, 2003

Dear Henry:

I actually wrote you a letter last Friday, but a problem with the computer made it not show up. Bummer. I've got a ton of stuff to tell you, but Mommy has needed the computer tonight so you'll probably get it tomorrow.

I've been thinking about you so much.

I love you.