Saturday, April 30, 2011

Remembering Harry















If you don't like the weather wait 12 hours and see what happens. We've gone from hot and sunny to damp and drizzle to sunny and springy and back in a weeks time. Rollercoaster. Not complaining since there are so many who have been so badly damaged by this weeks weather. My heart goes out to those people down south who have lost everything. So sad. I wonder how they have the strength to go on but them what else can you do.

I had some sad news in my world today. Over the years I worked in the Food Pantry I met many people who were kind and generous. They would give what they could and help when they could. Several of those people became good friends over the years and some became like family to me but in a special and different way.

Many years ago I wrote a thank you to a Physician who lived way out on a lovely stretch of land called Eaton's Neck. It's 3 or 4 miles away and the neck of land twists around the Bay and the entrance to the Harbor. Beautiful place. My best friend all through school lived out there and I would spend many weekends of my youth at their house. Kind of a wild place back then. Anyway, my friend Harry lived out on the neck and was a retired Physician, writer, & Professor of Medicine at some very great Universities over the course of his life. He was even a visiting Fellow in Nuclear Medicine at the Laboratory where Roger worked. He was very old school and when I use the term gentleman, I can hardly think of anyone to better hold the title. It was an honor to know him and a delight to talk with him. He had a wicked sense of humor for many topics, especially politics. We became pen pals over the course of 25 years. He began our letter writing friendship telling me that in all his years of donating to worthy causes he had never gotten a letter so well written and meaningful. I have many letters from him thanking me for thanking him. It became a running joke with us. Thank you...no thank you...no, no, thank you.

Over the months of Roger's illness and his death I lost track of Harry and for a time someone else took over the thank you notes. Not long before Roger passed, I heard that Harry's wife Helen had died and I sent him a letter of condolence. He replied and we began our friendship once again in letters. Today I found out that Harry died. How I wish I had gone there to see him. He gave no idea that he was ill except in retrospect when I said I hoped to see him soon he replied that he didn't get into town much lately. The thing that really floored me was that Harry was 89. You could have knocked me over with a feather. He seemed like maybe 69 and was so bright and quick and smart that I just never imagined him not being around for a long time.

There are some people who effect your life in such a sweet and important way that losing them leaves a great hole in your heart. I often ran into Harry in the Library and so, in our letters we would sign off by saying, "See you around the stacks". I will miss him more than I can say and this village will miss a genuine gentleman. I hope that Harry is hanging around the stacks in heaven and he runs into Roger in the section on fishing. What a great conversation that would be. My great good fortune is that I have many years worth of letters to re-read and chuckle over so that I can always remember Harry.


Back soon...

6 comments:

Sarah said...

What beautiful sentiments! Harry sounds like a lovely man and I am sure he has gone somewhere wonderful. Best wishes
Sarah

Del said...

You are a cherished friend to many, I'm sure, just as Harry was to you. Some of us have the gift of giving, I think you are at the head of the line. I'm glad to know you. As always, sending good thoughts across the miles. Del

Debra Spincic said...

Friends like Harry only happen once in a lifetime. I am happy it was in your lifetime. What a tressure.

Gerrie said...

What a lovely story and surely, at 89, Harry is due his final rest. I have an inkling of how Harry felt about you. You are special.

Libby said...

What a wonderful tribute to a dear friend. You will miss him, but the treasured memories will never fade.

Judy from Northport said...

My condolences on the loss of your treasured friend.
Some day I would like to hear from you about how the Neck was years ago.