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Dear Mr. and Mrs. Morgenstern,

My name is Jeanne Lefond and I worked with Nancy at R&R/Tzell Travel. Let me begin with the fact that I have wanted to write to you for some time but found it too difficult. I think of Nancy quite often remembering the time we worked together and the few times we actually went out together. I wanted to tell you about one of those times.

Our office went on a familiarization trip to Miami where Nancy and I shared a room. Nancy had left the office early with Joyce and Marvelys and since I worked a later shift I wound up taking a later flight. I arrived at the hotel and checked into the room. As I walked into the bathroom, to my surprise there was a complete chicken on ice in the bathtub. I then began to walk around the room to find various types of food spread out on the bed and counter. I asked Nancy, “Why is there a chicken on ice in the bathtub?”

She then explained to me how when they got to the hotel they walked around town to find a place that sold kosher food and when she got back to the room found out that the refrigerator wasn’t working. “I see,” I said. This was the first of many encounters that weekend that we all laughed about.

That night I was in the bathroom getting ready to go out when the phone was ringing, and ringing, and ringing. So I peeked out to see Nancy very serenely sitting on the bed next to the ringing phone. So I said, “Uh, Nancy, are you going to pick up the phone?” to which she replied, non-plussed, “No.” So without asking why I just picked up the phone to make our plans for the night. Nancy then told me that she would meet me at the elevator. I came out to meet her and as we were standing by the elevator I realized that she hadn’t pushed the button. So here I am asking myself, what’s going on? I said to her, “You do realize that the button hasn’t been pushed?” Smiling slightly she nodded her head yes. Now let me stop here a minute and explain, if you haven’t noticed already, that although I always knew that Nancy was an Orthodox Jew I was not that familiar with the customs.

We wound up that night going to a local place in the lobby. I would say we were there approximately five minutes when Nancy announced that she would like to go get some TCBY yogurt in one of the lobby stores, she’s starving and has only had tuna all day. Remember those days? Since we just arrived we said, “You go and we’ll wait for you.” Nancy replied that someone has to come with her. So I said I would go with her. When we arrived at TCBY she told me that I would have to order. So we both started laughing at this and we walked back, Nancy contentedly eating her yogurt and me wondering when this whole thing would come to an end.

The next day Nancy and I walked the beach and boardwalk, etc. She then explained to me why I was holding her shoes and why we had to leave the light on in the bathroom at night. Which by the way I don’t know how you get used to that one.

We then talked about the differences in religions and how sometimes it was tough for her but that she wouldn’t want to be anything else. We talked about your daughter living in Israel and how dangerous I thought it was while Nancy kind of just shrugged her shoulders. Never imagining the horror of what was to happen here at home.

While working with Nancy over the years she let us know how she loved you both so much and wouldn’t you be so happy if she would just marry, “a nice Jewish boy.” How you, Mr. Morgenstern, would give her your frequent flyer miles to go skiing and let her borrow the car for her bike trips knowing that you weren’t entirely thrilled with the whole idea. And you, Mrs. Morgenstern, for whom she had the utmost respect and loved wholeheartedly, showing us pictures of you skiing and with her friends. I can only hope that as time passes that your pain of losing Nancy has lessened. Even if it’s a millisecond of time.

I will not forget her laugh that was unique to her. Her work ethic. Her strong belief in her faith. The things that made Nancy . . . well . . . Nancy.

I apologize for waiting this long to write this letter to you. I have written it many times in my mind. Most of all I would like to say I’m sorry for your loss.

With fond affection,
Jeanne Lefond

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Acknowledgments Introduction Testimonies Photo Gallery 1 Reflections from Nancy's Mother