Friday, December 19, 2008

One of the Good Guys

There's a scene in "The Godfather" that takes place at a funeral.  Don Vito Corleone has died and there are throngs of people there to pay their respects.  But they were probably only there to be seen, not to actually pay respects.  That, plus they were plotting to kill Michael.  But the point is that you only see that many people at a funeral when someone important and well-respected has died.  And this happened early this week.

Alan Rose died early this week.  And while people die all the time, this one never should have happened.  People like Al aren't supposed to die.

You'd come up empty if you tried to find someone who didn't like him.  It really wasn't possible.  The fact that there were literally hundreds of people at the funeral speaks volumes.  The fact that the house was crammed with hundreds of mourners making a shiva call is a tribute to the impact Alan had on all of us.  I went last night and I actually couldn't find a place to park my car.  Everyone remarked on how they'd never seen anything like it.  He was constantly running in to people he knew, but that's because it seemed that he knew everyone.

"Uncle Al" lived his life the right way.  In the years I was lucky to know him, I can't ever recall him not smiling.  Every photograph I saw of him last night showed a happy, smiling man.  He was always surrounded by friends and was very close to his family.  They all vacationed together—his wife, daughters, sons in law and grandchildren.  Alan was content and after working hard his whole life, got the chance to retire and continue living the happy, active live most people covet. It's almost a cliche that Alan collapsed while playing his beloved tennis...died doing what he loved.  He lived well and, I suppose, he died well.

I admire Alan for his impossibly optimistic outlook on life.  He could find joy in everything.  And he made all the people he touched a little happier.  I would love to live my life the way Alan lived his.  The world was a better place while Alan was in it.  I said before that people like Alan aren't supposed to die.  If people continue to feel his impact the way I do, well, maybe he didn't die after all.

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