Two deaths and a wedding
I just returned the wedding of a dear friend to hear that Ken Caminiti and “Superman” have died at 41 and 52 respectively.
Both of them died at ages that make me think they were way too long. Caminiti was a hell of an athlete, but the drugs he used made him pay a heavy price. And Reeves, well he had a tragic accident and here we are.
The lesson here is obvious. Some of us have lives that burn long and bright and others are incredibly brief. Since we really do not know how long we have it is important to try and live well, to live in a way that makes us proud of ourselves and our actions.
I know, it is corny, it is hokey, but it is true. If I died tonight I would hope and pray for many things. I am not going to list them all here, but this is what I hope for:
Peace of mind for those that love me. You can miss me, but don’t let my absence stop you from living.
To my children I ask that you grow up to be a mensch. Be people of character and integrity and work hard at whatever you do. Take time to watch the sun set and rise, listen to the ocean and stop and indulge yourself in silence.
Visit Jerusalem, Yosemite, Ramah in California, Lion’s Canyon, Rose Valley, San Francisco, The San Diego Zoo. Ask my closest friends to take you along to places that remind me of them and never forget that your father’s love is deep. Not was, is.
That is enough for now. I am not dying, at least not any faster than any healthy person does. I am full of life and have every reason to believe that I’ll be here for years. I am blessed with 3 living grandparents, all of whom are 90 and moving towards meah veh essrim.
But I think that it is a useful exercise to do a little personal accounting.
And now on a happier note, I had a really good time at the wedding. It was the first time in months if not longer that my gang got together. I should mention that I belong to a number of different groups. This particular one is composed of people that I went to Ramah in California, Israel, U.S.Y. and a smattering of other places.
I have known some of them for more than 25 years and the others for almost 20. I have watched boyfriends/girlfriends come and go. And sadly witnessed a few divorces. Off the top of my head I count about 16 children or so. The group is getting to be really big.
What this means is that life has taken over and it is really hard to get together, but tonight was great. We did the best that we could to catch up with each other and pledged that we would try harder to see each other more frequently.
It was hard to say goodbye because I don’t know when I’ll see some of these people again. We don’t all live in LA anymore. Now we hang our hats in L.A., Tuscon, Virginia, Maryland, Philadelphia and North Carolina.
I really don’t like goodbyes, so I say “see you later.” I think that my son has picked up on this because he doesn’t like saying goodbye either. Time to run now.
I’ll see you later,
Jack's Shack October 11, 2004 at 4:56 pm
Yom Hooledet Sameach
Anshel's Wife October 11, 2004 at 4:30 pm
I didn’t work during the whole holiday of Succos. I didn’t watch any TV or read the papers or read the online news. Today I came into work and read your blog. I was shocked to see that Christopher Reeves had died. And the baseball player. I don’t follow sports, but 41 is just too young. Today is my birthday. I’m 39. I’ve decided to do as you have done and take an accounting of my life, just for myself. I’ve already spoken to Hashem during the holidays. But I think I should just remind myself just who I am and the kind of person I’d like to be.