Dear Shoshana, Chloe and Big Jake,
I have shed many tears over Jim's passing and am still in a state of shock by how suddenly it came. It was only a few weeks since my last visit, and Jim was nothing other than his usual jovial self. I have so many wonderful memories of my many visits to Maine it’s not easy to share just one, but it would take forever to recall and share all of them.
There is one story I have told many times, to many of my friends, whenever I talk about how special you all are to me. You may or may not recall this, but we were all having dinner in the old house one night many years ago. Chloe was still in HS, Jake in Jr. High. This was at a time when there was only one TV in the house and it was in the living room where the Piano was. I recall that TV being so old that when I first saw it I wondered if it was color or an old black and white TV! And this was at a time when flat screens were popular everywhere!
So, no TV during dinner was the rule. This allowed ample time to talk about the important things in life; drugs, teenage sex and rock n’ roll! During the conversation, about halfway through the meal I recall Jim asking Chloe, in a rather matter of fact tone of voice; "what is the arch between positive and negative infinity?" This question likely flowed from discussing math homework.
Shoshana looked a bit stunned and said, "I have no idea so don't look at me." Jake and I looked at each other completely lost. After a very brief moment of thought, Chloe confidently replied, "one hundred and eighty degrees."
"Correct" Jim replied and whatever was said after that I can't recall, but I was amazed at the level of dinner conversation that was commonplace in the presence of Jim and his family. I never forgot that moment and many others. Jim had that unique gift of being brilliant in a way that made you learn from him, and at the same time love him.
Jim continues to live in my heart, and my memories of Jim will forever make me smile at times, and at other times will make me cry because he is so dearly missed.
I am so sorry I cannot not be at the memorial service. It breaks me up inside to think of it. Know that you are all close to my heart, and the love I am feeling for you at this very moment flows from the deepest corners of my soul.