This is a day of remembrance, and I find myself remembering not just the heroes who are no longer with us, but also those “ordinary” people I have known and loved and lost:

Robyn Eastman, dear friend, died suddenly on May 16, 2011, in Maui. I will always remember when Robyn showed up in my office at Columbia College Chicago, a nontraditional student eager to finish her BA. We spoke at length about her plans (“getting the stupid degree already!”) and passions (writing, art, family, Hawaii.) Since that day in 2006, Robyn and I became friends and colleagues. She frequently commented on this blog, and was a huge supporter of her friends’ work and endeavors. Robyn was kind, generous, adventurous, and loving. She is missed by many.

Miller Wachs, my mother’s brother, my dear uncle, lived a full and meaningful life well into his nineties before he passed in January of this year. Miller was the sort of man who had faith of the very best kind, one that allowed him tolerance and love and compassion for everyone. I remember his stories and his bright smile, and the goodness he gave to his family and all who knew him. He is at peace, I am certain.

Roger McNair, my wonderful brother who died in August of last year, is still with me everyday. I see him on the streets of Chicago, behind the wheel of one of the many taxi cabs he drove, a fleeting apparition that gives me comfort. I cannot even begin to say the many things I remember about Roger, but I will list just a few here: his love of very bad puns; his slightly off-key rendition of the Happy Birthday song he would leave on my answering machine every birthday; the way he used to start my car for me on cold, snowy mornings when we lived in Iowa; his love of all women. He was my protector.

I remember you each with love.



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