Harv and Suri,
I just completed reading the letters
you gave me from Nancy's friends. I am on a plane and my first
thought was to pick up
my phone the second I land and try and put into words what
these letters mean to me. Of course I smile at the thought
you at midnight because you are the only ones in my life who
will not find that unusual or bothersome at all. When I paused
at this thought for a moment it brought a smile to my face
because I now know that Nancy would have welcomed the same
How do I describe what these letters
mean to me? First let me start by saying that I was truly honored
when you gave me a copy
of the letters and provided me with the privilege to read them.
Until the point that I began reading them I felt as if I was
one of a few special people in your life who “earned the
right” to receive a copy. I cherished this feeling as I
have cherished our friendship throughout the years.
To my first lesson learned: You share
these letters with people the same way Nancy shares her competitive
beliefs, zest for life, free airplane tickets, charitable
of outdoors, good times with friends, and of course that wonderful
smile. It is a sense of giving which is so complete and untarnished
that it brings out the best in people. It creates a sense of
competition . . . not to beat someone in a race . . . but a
competition to live a better life . . . to be a better human
being . . .
to take the time to cherish what is really important in our
lives and most of all to be thankful for every moment of
It was so gratifying to read one of
the letters from someone who is Orthodox recognizing that Nancy
had a special place
on this Earth bringing Judaism to the masses. The person
the letter clearly learned that the way she did this was not
to boast about being a Jew and staying within a community who
understood the ways. The way she did it was getting out there
in the crowd and sharing her beliefs with the world. She did
this in such a confident, unassuming, non-judgmental way that
welcomed respect and admiration of people from all beliefs.
She followed her friends to cut down Christmas trees . .
. they stayed
off the bus with her on the Sabbath. She shared . . . she gave
. . . she lived . . . people respected . . . people followed
. . . people learned . . . people lived.
Nancy’s plain conversation about
living your life . . . doing things you feel are important and
sticking to your own
ideals and not those of others. Boy, what a wake up call that
story was for me. I admire her courage and determination and
only hope that I can be as strong. I think I will forever be
reminded of this when I face these internal struggles.
The simpleness of Nancy stopping by
her neighbor’s on Shabbos and being so content to sit and listen to the singing. I could
picture the smile on her face. Sabbath is a time to slow down
and appreciate the things that are important and to be thankful
for them. I never thought of it that way . . . a day of rest?
It took me 39 years to learn this. I am thankful for these letters.