The day after a family Hanukkah party Dec. 21, we had plans to take two of the grands to a puppet show based on Eric Carle’s picture book, The Hungry Caterpillar and other stories. We needed to allow time to travel to pick them up from school and then get to the theater.
And then the phone rang. It was our daughter, calling quite early given the time change between NJ and CA. And the bad news. A neighbor of ours and father of one of her closest friends, had had a heart attack after being caught in an avalanche while skiing in France. He was with his three younger children. Two elder children, a son and daughter from a previous marriage, were supposed to be convening in San Diego for the holidays and Jessica, our daughter’s friend, was home alone. Could we do something for her?
Sadly, we couldn’t. We couldn’t change the tickets or disappoint the grands by cancelling the outing. I wished I could be in two places at once. Jess was heading to France that afternoon. They were keeping her dad on life support so she and her brother could say good-bye.
By Tuesday, we learned her father had died.
One minute here; another one gone. 58 years old. My age. Caught in an act of nature; engaged in a sport he loved.
The children loved the performance, their first live theater experience. Our grand-daughter spent a bit of time switching where she’d sit and pushing down the pop-up seats. It was artistic and magical; after the show the performers showed the audience how they manipulated the puppets.
RIP, Craig Schiffer. I wish I had known you better. My heart aches for your family.
Happy 2015 everyone. Every day is precious.