I received a lovely phone call last night from an old friend. Hedy married David’s best friend, Erv, more than fifty years ago, and remained Erv’s and our good friend even after they were divorced and even after she moved some distance away from us. In our conversation Hedy talked about the memories she had of David over the years, and I asked her to share them. She talked about the time she dated him (before I had met him – and which I knew all about), and she talked about how much she appreciated our making the long drive to see her on two occasions – the sad one when Erv died and the happy one when their granddaughter was Bat Mitzvah’d. Hedy asked if it was too painful for me to hear these memories, but I relished them and appreciated hearing through her voice and her memories how much she too loved and admired my David.
These are the messages that mean the most to me – the conversations and the notes in which people share their memories of David, because through all these memories he lives on. There’s the junior high school teacher who wrote to me of a time when David came to speak to his class and had the students mesmerized by his talking about his career in radio. (I know what a tough audience junior high schoolers can be!) Or the young man who wrote about how David had welcomed him into our home at a crucial time in his life. Or the trainer at the gym who told me of the good conversations they used to have. Or the young woman who lived next door to us as a little girl and still remembers his smile and how he helped her single mother clear away the snow in her driveway.
Some of these memories are new to me, or forgotten, so they give me the gift of seeing still another aspect of who he was – and what his impact was on people outside our family. I’m grateful for this gift.