Prior to this year, I will admit that Memorial Day did not really have much significance for me except that it was a 3-day weekend and the "official" start of the summer. These days, however, I find myself thinking more deeply about things: lyrics to songs, books that I am reading, TV shows that I am deciding whether it is worth my time to watch, movies, etc. I am not sure why this is except that perhaps in trying to understand why Josh decided to leave us, I am forced to be so reflective that it is affecting everything that I do. And so I have taken the time to do a little research on the history of this special day and have had a moment a silence to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the defense and protection of our country. For those who have lost loved ones, I am sorry for your loss and deeply grateful for their service.
Gillian and I have been visiting my brother and sister-in-law in New York City this weekend. The energy and vibrancy of this bustling mega-city is contagious. We have biked in Central Park, walked through the neighborhoods of Chinatown, Little Italy, NYU, Soho, the West Village, Chelsea and Times Square, seen both a Broadway musical and off-Broadway play, gone for a no-frills but very effective Chinese massage, and have eaten not only lots of food, but various cuisines - Chinese dim sum, Japanese BBQ, Ethiopian, Italian. Cupcakes are the rage here so we have indulged in several of these delectable treats.
All the while, I cannot help thinking about Josh. I find myself wishing that history could be changed and re-written resulting in him being here with us. That I could blink my eyes, like Jeannie in the old TV show, "I Dream of Jeannie" or call on Superman to fly around the Earth to wind back time, or that he could simply have a "do-over".
We are talking about him during this trip as both he and Gillian made a visit to the Big Apple in the fall of 2007, following in the footsteps of their older siblings who made a similar trip in August of 2001 - roughly 2 weeks before all of our lives were changed with the terrorist attacks on 9-11.
Since Josh was a freshman in HS, I really did not think it necessary to check that he had packed appropriate attire. So off they went and once there, much to Gillian's chagrin, he did not pack anything suitable for a night on the town (i.e nice dinner and show). Of course, as was Josh's way, he did not think it was a big deal and was perfectly content to wear some of his uncle's clothes and shoes. Since then, we have recounted that story at family gatherings and he would just sit and listen with the famous "Josh smirk" on his face.
We are also talking about the enormous amount of food that Josh ate while here. Apparently, he put away 5 huge H&H bagels with lox in one sitting. At home, I have wondered why he typically would order a pastrami sandwhich from a local pizza and deli place as I do not keep that type of meat in the fridge. One of the places they ate was at at Katz's, the place of the infamous diner scene from the movie, "When Harry Met Sally". Josh ordered a mile-high pastrami sandwich - mystery solved. He would've liked all the food that we have been eating the past few days.
Here are some of my favorite photos from their trip.
We all miss you Josh - now more than ever.