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Elliott, Two Years Gone

My father died two years ago today.

I'm sitting in a hotel room in Harrison, NY. Eddie's getting married tonight. We've been friends for 40 years, having met at the Yeshiva Academy for preschool. Our parents pulled us out before kindergarten. When I asked my mom why, years later, she said with a laugh "because you were getting too Jewy."

Today is a day of celebration.

Two years ago, a long and sad decline came to its inevitable end. Cancer, up close, is gruesome.

Grief is unique to each of us. There's no time limit. I'm not sure when I stopped grieving his death, but it's been a while. There's no truer cliché than "life goes on."

I miss him every day. I miss our conversations. Sharing jokes, talking about the Red Sox, talking about life. I'd love to hear him riff on Trump and the insanity of our politics. I took care of him for two years. I miss being needed.

He'd ask me which route I took to get to White Plains last night (and tell me which way I should have gone--Waze wouldn't have been his jam). He'd ask what they served for dinner at BLT Prime, how it was, what it must have cost.

He had a connection with Eddie, too. Ed's father was my dad's lawyer and friend. When Eddie was living in Worcester for a bit after hitting a rough patch, he would walk Maxine on the days I was in Boston. He'd bring her up to visit my dad and get him one of his beloved iced coffees from Dunks, stay and shoot the shit for a few minutes. There's no greater gift you can give a terminally ill person than to just have a conversation and let them forget their condition for a few minutes.

I think of my dad and I recognize my own flaws. Impatience. A righteous temper. I've hurt people and I've been hurt. I've got enough regret to fill a freighter. And so it goes.

Life must be lived. I keep my eyes looking forward. I've got so much more to do, to see, to feel, to experience, and to love. Today is a celebration. Tonight, I will hoist a glass of champagne and toast a dear friend on the next phase of his life's journey.

And later tonight, I will hoist a glass of whiskey and silently toast my dad, Elliott M. Ginsburg, who lives on in my memory forever.

Love you, dad. Love to you all.


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