Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Mom isn't home tonight. She drove up for a meeting at Hackensack to talk to them about the Hope for Henry Foundation. When Mom and I were on the phone today we talked about it being her first trip there with you gone. Every time we went there it was really hard, but you were alive. I am scared for Mom because I know it will be sad. How can she go to the 8th floor and not be going up there to see you, to bring you a toy that she just bought or garlic bread she picked up at Mamma Mias.

I always thought it was a little weird that there was a Mamma Mia's you could walk to from the hospital in Hackensack and there was a Mama Mia's right next to Johns Hopkins. Mom and I had a great dinner out at Mama Mia's in New Jersey. We never ate at the one in Baltimore. Other than grabbing stuff from the cafeteria at Hopkins, we never did eat out much around the hospital -- but I do remember once getting fried chicken at the Popeye's.

We spent a lot of time in the cafeteria at Hopkins 'cause they had really good vending machines. You know our lives used to be all about vending machines. You were such the Pringles and Starburst monster.

I looked up the directions to Hackensack on my computer for Mom while we were talking on the phone. Just looking at a map of all of the streets and buildings up there got me sad.

I told Mom how I still remember our first visit there and how I got all turned around on Polifly Road. I got to know the streets really well by the time we were through.

Mom is doing a good thing, though. We want to start giving Hope for Henry Foundation gifts to the kids getting treated at the Tomorrow Children's Institute in Hackensack, just like you once were.

There have been stories in the newspaper about the guy who raised all the money for Tomorrow Children's Institute. He also has a camp that he runs for sick kids. People are upset that he spends a lot of money to make the ranch nice and special, but not a whole lot of kids get to use it. I think it is great that the kids have a super nice place to go. Instead of worrying about this guy, those people should spend their time starting their own camp.

Love you big guy.

Photo of the day. Michael giving you a kiss on the head is how I see it.

Speaking of photos, here is a new song by our friend Cindy Bullens. This song, Paper and Glass, is about photos of Cindy's daughter Jessie. Cindy always makes beautiful songs out of sad feelings.

I just saw Cindy down in Texas a week ago and it was really nice to see her. She is so great and so talented. I wish everyone would buy this album. Mom and I get thanked on it, which is one of the coolest things imaginable for me.

Paper and Glass

On the table there are pictures
And they're scattered every which way
I keep looking for the right one
For the best one of you and me

I go downtown in the evening
After the nice stores catch the tourists
I go search for just the right frame
For the picture of you and me

Paper and glass is all I have
What's left of you and me
Paper and glass inside a frame

So I find one and I buy it
And it shimmers like the stars
I will put it by my bedside
And I will kiss it every single night

Paper and glass is all I have
What's left of you and me
Paper and glass inside a frame

I feel the cold of the glass upon my lips
And I know I'm always gonna feel like this

Paper and glass is all I have
What's left of you and me
Paper and glass inside a frame

©2005 Mommy’s Geetar Music/BMI

A lot of great people help out Cindy on the album, including Tim Wakefield, who is a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. How cool is that - a baseball pitcher who sings and plays guitar. I wish I could do one thing really well.

The Red Sox are the team that won the World Series. Remember how last fall I kept telling you how your buddy David Ortiz was doing so well hitting all those home runs, and how the Red Sox were winning. I still believe it was because of how nice he was to you.

Batman fan. Makes sense, huh.

Obviously there are a bunch of good guys on that team. This is from a story that was in a Boston newspaper last month,

Just days after the Sox won the World Series, Wakefield was in Portland, Maine, fulfilling a promise to a friend: Singer-songwriter Cindy Bullens, who lost her 11-year-old daughter, Jessie Bullens-Crewe, to Hodgkin's Disease, was having a concert to benefit the Jessie B-C Fund as well as the Maine Children's Cancer Center, and Wakefield showed up, guitar in hand. He played with her band, then took the mike and let them back him up while he sang the Eagles' "Take It Easy."

A month earlier, Bullens, a former backup singer for Elton John who has had Sir Elton record with her, as well as such notable artists as Bonnie Raitt, Steve Earle, and Rodney Crowell, pulled Wakefield into the Woolly Mammoth recording studio near Fenway Park and had him play and sing backup on a song she's recording for her new album, "7 Days." The song has a verse about Ted Williams, and Bullens, a two-time Grammy Award nominee and devoted Sox fan, wanted Wakefield's voice to be heard.

Last month, Bullens showed up for Wakefield's golf tournament in his hometown of Melbourne, Fla., which this spring raised $241,000 for the Space Coast Early Intervention Center, which offers care for children with special needs. Let others bang the drum for what the ballplayer/guitarist does; he just quietly goes about what he can do to make a difference. The Sox, who fancy their players as more than idiots, have nominated Wakefield six times for the Roberto Clemente Award, given by Major League Baseball to honor players for their charitable endeavors.

There is a saying that was made famous by a baseball manager, a guy named Leo Durocher. He said, "Nice guys finish last."

Henry, don't believe it. Nice guys don't finish last, they win the World Series.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Here is a new photo of the day. It looks like you have a Halloween mask on your head.

Love you.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

I haven't done a photo of the day for a long, long time.

Aunt Abby is all ready to have her baby. I hope that she can hang in until Mom's birthday because she'll have a great time. Here are some photos that she gave Mom of you and Rachel. It was great that Aunt Abby and Mommy had you guys only 3 days apart.

This is a picture that was taken when we were up in Boston for your hand surgery. It is you and Eli. Eli's mommy and daddy are coming to Mommy's birthday next weekend. A bunch of Mommy's friends are coming to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Here is a picture of Eli now with Jack. This was taken when we went up to Connecticut a few months ago for Ali and Jeremy's wedding. We stayed with Eli's parents.

And here are Eli's sisters and Joe.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Here is a picture from school this week. Jack dressed up as Mario for Purim.

When we were going to school this morning Jack said to me,

"Do you remember when Henry and I first got our Gameboys."

"I had Yoshi's Island and Henry had Super Mario Advanced and we traded."

That made me feel really good. What worries me almost more than anything else is that you will be forgotten. I don't want that to ever happen.

Here is a page out of the program for the Purim Ball, which Mom and I went to on Sunday night. Thank god for Linda, Sid, Helaine, Richard and Susan.

Check out what Nana and Papa Sy put in for Jack. They're awesome, too.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Anyone here look familiar? Check out your Mom and your brother. They are going to sell a lot of newspapers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Motivated by Love,
Hope for Henry Foundation Spreads Joy

With a kindness obviously motivated by the experience of knowing and loving their son Henry Strongin Goldberg, Allen Goldberg and Laurie Strongin walked through the doors of Georgetown University Hospital’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in December with great numbers of the latest must-have electronic gadgets in tow to distribute to Lombardi’s youngest and most ill patients.

Funding for the gifts came from the Hope for Henry Foundation (HFHF), a 501(c)(3) organization established by Goldberg, Strongin and friends to honor the life of Henry, who died in 2002 at the age of seven from Fanconi anemia. The rare, fatal genetic disease affects children and adults from all ethnic backgrounds. Lombardi’s Pediatric Hematology-Oncology division was among the many hospital settings where Henry received treatment during his short life.

For the Strongin-Goldberg family, creating the Foundation and now ensuring that monies raised through the Foundation go to better the lives of children who find themselves in a health crisis similar to Henry’s is one way to honor their son.

“The Foundation reaches out to children and families spending far too much time in hospitals to improve their day-today life by providing carefully chosen gifts designed to bring comfort and entertainment,” said Strongin. “Our goal is to bring smiles and laughter, hope and magic into the lives of these children and families who need it most.”

Henry was a delightfully charming child. “[Henry] taught his family, friends, doctors and all who came in contact with him how to live well and laugh hard - even as he battled a terrible disease. Henry embraced each opportunity for living completely and reminded the rest of us to do so.”

Aziza Shad, MD, chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, was among those who treated Henry, and she echoed that description of Henry. “The sparkle in Henry’s eyes and his cheerfulness could always brighten my day,” said Dr. Shad with a smile.

In a formal presentation made prior to the gift distribution, Goldberg said, “One thing I remember about being here [at Lombardi] is that everyone who passed by Henry said what a lucky guy he was for always having a DVD player with him.” While candidly admitting that his son actually “was the luckiest unlucky guy,” Goldberg added that “Henry lives on through this Foundation.”

Henry’s determination to find fun in any situation was, in part, what motivated the Strongin-Goldberg family to make HFHF’s first charitable gifts ones that would make sick children’s daily lives more endurable and – maybe – even enjoyable.

During a presentation to Lombardi, Strongin, Goldberg, family members and friends distributed gifts to some of Lombardi’s most ill children, giving each child the opportunity to choose their preference of a portable DVD or MP3 players, digital cameras and Gameboy® players. The Foundation also donated four computers, fully equipped with a selection of software, that now sit in the common area of the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology outpatient clinic.

“We’re pleased to be able to share some of Henry’s magic [with Lombardi’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology division],” said Strongin. Added Goldberg, “As many smiles as we can produce is what is important to us.”

Undoubtedly the Foundation’s efforts will give many ill children the opportunity to better enjoy their days in the future – keeping in line with and celebrating the way Henry Strongin Goldberg chose to live his life.

—R. Christoferson

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Cousin Catherine and Tim had a baby! Her name is Sarah.

She is beautiful. I cannot wait to meet her.

Aunt Abby is next. With all of these babies I wonder if one of them some day will get Henry as a middle name or something. I don't know if the Jewish tradition is to name babies after old relatives who died or just relatives who died.

Last weekend I went flying to St. Michaels with a friend from work who has a new airplane. Of course I couldn't help but think about the last time I flew there. It was you, your bear, me, Papa Sy and Uncle Dan.

This time, Uncle Bill and Isabel came with us. Isabel was really good and enjoyed herself. Papa Sy met us at the Easton airport. It was really cold out.

The next day we went to this new part of the Air & Space Musum that is out in Virginia. It was a big flying weekend. At the museum we watched a very cool IMAX movie called, Fighter Pilot. Joe was so excited that he fell asleep.