Dear Mr. And Mrs. Morgenstern,
I actually don’t remember when
I first met Nancy but it must have been sometime in 1993, through
all of our mutual friends. Over the following eight
years I was lucky enough to have spent time with her on the Upper West Side,
skiing, in Florida for Pesach, in the Hamptons, at barbeques on my
balcony, and otherwise.
She had a very strong personality.
I admired her focus and determination to succeed in the biking
world. Maintaining strong Jewish values
your dream takes strength and courage and determination that a lot of people
don’t have and can’t muster. To Nancy it wasn’t a question.
It was always a discussion how difficult it was to find a guy in the community
who could understand this merging of observance, athletic determination, and
confidence, but it was never a reason to not pursue her own dreams. The hope
was that in pursuing her dream she would find that soul mate and know she hadn’t
settled. We went to party after party, a Camp Simcha weekend, Miami . . . everywhere
we “should” be, but the “right guy” had yet to materialize.
One of my best memories comes from
when I went with her to Snowmass, Colorado and finally met “the
Crestwood boys” that she had been talking
about for so long. While skiing with her, Nancy pushed me to surpass what I
thought were my own limitations as she led me down a ski run I would never
have dared to accomplish on my own. At the top of the ski lift we took off
our skis and hiked up to the top of the mountain to ski on an “off trail” double
diamond—The Wall. Now, Nancy was a far better skier than I, and I was
a little nervous, but she was so confident that I could do it that I had no
choice but to follow her down. That run gave me the confidence to know that
I was more capable than even I knew.
Of course there was so much more to
her, but it’s difficult to describe
all of the little things that made her special. A few traits that stand out
are that she had a big smile, a strong laugh, she made a great chocolate mousse
trifle, she didn’t like guys who wore worn shoes, she had a real independent
streak and wanted to live on her own, and she loved the guys at Cantor.
On September 13, 2001, I met you,
Nancy’s parents, for the first time.
I learned a lot about Nancy that day, as I’m sure you have since, by
talking to and meeting her friends. At your request, I try to say Ashre [a
prayer] whenever I can and I think of Nancy every time I do. I think I will
for the rest of my life. It can only begin to fill the void caused by her absence.