What I Meant To Tell You

Dear Josh,

Thank you.

I’m better at writing than at speaking, and better at showing what I mean by my actions than by saying aloud what I mean. You were an excellent reader – not just of texts, but also of people. So I’m pretty sure you got the message. But I’ll try to spell it out for you, just in case.

Thank you for being such an excellent friend, and for inspiring us to be the best friends to you that we could be.

Thank you for your stories, the stories that were true, and the stories that were truly stories.

Thank you for your extraordinary knowledge and your outrageous imagination, for you serious outlook and your superb sense of humor.

Thank you for your curiosity, and your eagerness to spark and satisfy ours.

Thank you for loving life so much, and so well. Whenever I drink Sancerre, see a play at the Gamm, jump the waves in Narragansett, listen to the Bach cello suites, or hear anyone mention the unexpectedness of the Spanish Inquisition, I’ll think of you.

Thank you for your staunch skepticism, and for your staunch loyalty to community and tradition.

Thank you for being so open, honest and articulate about the sorts of things the rest of us are too shy to be open, honest and articulate about.

Thank you for your politics.

Thank you for being such a sweetly and unabashedly devoted husband, and such a proud father and father-in-law.

Thank you for sharing our pride in our children, even when you had never met them.

Thank you for turning so many of our visits, this difficult last year, into small celebrations. By squeezing so much life and love out of these last months, you forced us to do the same. For as long as you were able, you made us leave your side feeling better than when we’d arrived. During lots of those visits, I laughed as long and as hard and as satisfyingly as I can ever remember laughing with anyone.

Thank you for weaving such a wide and strong network of friends, which connected lots of us to people we wouldn’t have met without you.

Thank you for enduring what you did for as long as you did, so you could stay with us for as long as you could, and for saying goodbye with such grace.

Thank you for bringing and keeping us close.

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2 Responses to “What I Meant To Tell You”

  1. Jess Larko-Goldstein Says:

    Beautifully Written Ruth…so sorry for the loss of your good friend.

  2. leda Says:

    Ruth, I’m so sorry. He sounds like a truly remarkable human being.

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