Lou is dead.
The poetry hound and witty, Jewish mystic I love to write about. My bestie Naomi’s 98 year-old Dad. I thought you’d want to know.
Lou was a sweet-talking mensch with a hearty laugh and a blinding smile, keen on love and not afraid to sing it. In the literary haze of his final chapter, this straight-shooting minstrel became an irresistible ladies’ man. Never ashamed to cry.
Everyone loved Lou.
If you believe the soul carries on, his will.
Grateful husband, grateful father, grateful friend.
I was shocked! I was glad! It was time. Lou is dead.
My pal Lou.
A palliative care doctor once told me that people die the way they live. Lou took his last breath in his sleep, at peace.
Painful things happened over the years, but he knew what he had.
Life is a garden; Lou was a happy plant.
He held his wife’s hand through 8 years of dementia and sang I Love You a Bushel and a Peck to her every day. In the years after her death, he would belt out his repertoire of greatest hits for hours on end, and sometimes, overnight. Sitting by his side, you could hold his hand and join in.
If I had to boil down all of what I learned from my dearest friend’s wise, old Dad:
Sing. I was with Naomi over a year ago when she got the call that Lou had fallen and broken his hip. Add that to his advanced age, statistics and kidney disease- we were sure he was a goner, but, boyfriend- everyone’s boyfriend- rallied to squeeze a few more sunsets out of the cosmos and enjoy the feast. There were soups to slurp, matzo balls to chew – there were party sandwiches, fresh strawberries, orange juice, cream of wheat and prunes!
There was love.
There was poetry.
And then, when his song was barely a whisper and all was said and done, Lucky Lou spoke to his darling daughter, in his mother tongue:
Shoyn genoug, he said. It’s enough.
For a glittery drawing, inspired by Lou, click LIVING THE DREAM.
Photo of Lou in Bermuda, courtesy of Naomi Levine.
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