Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Henry's grandmother, "Nana Pat," a.k.a. Laurie's mom, wrote this and read it last night at the Shiva.

Henry Strongin Goldberg’s Tale
A fable for all time – a tale of love, courage, determination, life, compassion, respect, laughter and love

Born of love, a life of love, and a memory of love

A lifetime lived in only seven years, one month, two weeks, and two days

Oh, too short, but filled with zest, fun, the love of many, happiness, adventures, - as a friend of ours said, a life filled with more experiences than many centenarians can count

Henry taught those of us, including so many in this room, the value of love, truth, courage, ability to adapt, and fun

Recently, I had the good fortune to take Henry and Jack to see the most recent Star Wars movie. When Henry came home and was asked what he liked most about the movie, he told Laurie that Yoda was his favorite, because he was small, fast and wise. Just like Henry,

Climbing trees, exploring the secret passage, playing hide and seek. Playing with his beloved aunts and uncles and cousins. Henry was so fortunate, he even had two uncle stinkies or actually one Uncle Stinky and one Uncle Poopy. Winning at chess – he even beat Uncle Peter, who Henry suggested needed more practice – winning at endless games of war, teaching Jack the ways of the world, wrestling with Jack like they were Siamese twins, finally mastering a running somersault on the beach, driving the tractor at St. Michaels with Papa Sy, spelling Papa Sy’s name at the family Chanukah party, catching his first fish, taking responsibility for flushing his lines and giving himself his medication, sitting in that chair as he was wheeled in for his radiation treatment and singing songs, being with Grandma Phyllis and Papa Teddy, patting Joe Joe on the head with so much love – paddling the kayak, listening to stories (not encyclopedic facts like Jack liked), climbing trees, repelling rock walls with Debbie Blum, doing Tae Kwan Do, reciting all the lines from his favorite movies, laughing at his favorite parts over and over, loving Bella, going to Disney World, and loving his mommy and daddy, and Jack and Joe.

But at the root of this Superhero was Henry’s good fortune to be born to Laurie and Allen, who with their endless bravery, respect for Henry and his life, love, devotion, advocacy for Henry, hope for Henry, fun-loving spirits, souls and willingness to share Henry with all his family, friends and the world .

When Henry was born, Sy and I determined to celebrate every day of his life. I was especially lucky to have been given the gift to walk the road with Laurie, Allen, Henry, Jack and Joe – the greatest gift Laurie and Allen could have given me.

There is a traditional Hebrew blessing Zichrono liveracha – His memory will be a blessing.

The Goldberg Strongin family thank you for being here, for your love and for sustaining Laurie and Allen, Henry, Jack, and Joe through Henry’s journey. Thank you for sharing Henry with us.

Donations to the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund

The family is planning to establish a foundation or fund to honor Henry and to share his life force with the world

So Dance with Henry, sing his song and go out in the world doing good, making people’s lives better and Henry will live through all of us.