I am writing this on the last day of February, 2011. It will be posted on the 55th anniversary of the birth of a unique person. He won’t turn 55 years old today, however. And that’s the bad news.
The good news is that Saul was. He was a good person and cared deeply about his daughters. He was a teacher. He was a religious leader. He even was a TV movie actor.
In the earlier days of the World Wide Web, long before the phrase “social media” was a term and it was considered okay to get to know people solely online, we “met” via a piece of software called ICQ that had a unique “random” feature. One of us, probably Saul , pushed the random button and found my profile and requested a chat. We hit it off immediately. We talked nearly every day (mostly about raising kids) for at least a year — possibly more — until he went off the grid and moved to a remote “ranch” in Nevada.
He loved the da Vinci painting Ginevra de’ Benci. He fiercely defended his faith. He didn’t always follow rules. He was a good son and a good father.
About a year ago we reconnected on Facebook, but he’d disappear for months at a time because of loss of Internet access or a misplaced or lost cell phone. Our last conversation was about how proud he was of his girls and that the middle daughter might go into education and he wanted her to talk to me since I’d been a teacher.
Every so often I’d check out one of his two Facebook profiles (yes, he was a rebel) to see what he was up to, or if he’d checked in recently. Today, knowing his birthday was coming up (remember this is being written February 28), I checked his profile and found a message from one of his daughters saying he’d died in December in a house fire.
I used to tease him about being older than I was. Very soon that won’t be the case. I’ll bypass him. I’m sure he’s laughing about that somewhere.
Since he’s devoutly Jewish, I suppose I shouldn’t think of him at that table in Heaven with my Uncle Don, JFK and my Dad, but if he’s there, he’s sure to be telling some fun stories.
On December 20th he posted a photo of a composite of the recent total lunar eclipse and tagged me as one of the phases. He died a week later. It’s comforting, somehow, to know he thought about me a week before he moved on.
(photos snagged from the Internet)