The Woolf’s: Bob, Carolyn, Nancy and Allen as a family helped define my youth. Bob and Carolyn believed in equality and integration in 1950’s, Connecticut. They helped petition City Hall so that we could integrate the neighborhood in Norwalk where they lived. Many nights, weekends, dinners, holidays, marches, political rallies and election days were spent together, in our house or theirs. They often came for Christmas, and I experienced my first Hanukkah in theirs. Craig and Allen were in the same grade. For years they were fast friends. Nancy was older and I three years younger. Together we were motley.
Allen brought his family from Philadelphia to NY last February to bring our families together again. This time it was for Cliff, my Dad’s 88th birthday. For me, his presence made the evening electric. I met his son, Steven and his wife Lisa for the first time. We promised to figure out regular get togethers in Philly or NY. My brother Craig just emailed me to say Allen has just passed. He was recently diagnosed with cancer. A doctor, he knew the right channels, but it came on too fast. 53 years young. I just finished talking to Carolyn. Bob passed awhile back. You shouldn’t have to outlive your children, unless you are a centurion. Allen, I love you.
All day I have wanted to stay in bed or crawl up somewhere and hide. I thought I was just tired. Maybe this was why.