It was a cold Thursday morning and the few falling snowflakes held an air of anticipation suitably matching my emotionally charged state of mind. I was awaiting the phone call that would forever change my life title to Grandma. I had driven to school and was awaiting my first period choral rehearsal when my phone rang. An excited Eric informed me that you had crossed that unknown curtain between worlds at 9:08 a.m. now travelling in that cuddly 7lbs. 8 oz. vehicle that would be your transportation while on planet earth. I could not contain myself, telling everyone I saw including my chorus of 25 High School students. The eternity of 1st period ended and I made my way through the snowflakes to the Principal's office to arrange for a sub for Friday. He was an angel of a man who really cared for his "family". Upon hearing the news he spoke words I will never forget, "What are you doing here? This is one of the most special days of your life". Frank, who had just become a grandfather himself, picked up the phone and dialed reservations at the Cross Island Ferry in Port Jefferson making a spot for me on the next ferry to Bridgeport, Conn. "Hurry now and don't miss it" he said kissing me on the cheek. Little did I then know that he was harboring a secret of the immanent closing of the institution for which he cared so much. Two weeks later we were all jobless.
You were a mere 4 hours old when I first held you in my arms. The first phrase of the story we would write together had begun. Only 14 miles of ocean separated us then. I saw you almost every weekend and had resurrected an old nursery at my house. On days that I took the ferry to see you in Stamford we would take long, cold walks with you bundled in the old pram I had saved from your Dad's infancy. There was a bench in the park near the Connecticut River where I told you long stories about the things I loved, the beach, the squirrels and birds and then the piano. I clearly remembered touching your tiny fingers and telling you how magical it felt to touch a field of black and white keys capable of recreating vast waves of human ecstasy and agony that your innocence was yet to experience. Today those tiny fingers have grown to dwarf mine both in stature and in mastery of the great pianistic works that were composed for them. The great wheel which spawns the cosmic harmonies has spun full circle enabling us to share a language which knows no boundaries of age, two souls on fire with a common love clothed in black and ivory.
On that day in the third month of your life when the miles between us grew from 14 to over 1,400 it was that wordless language of music which would continue to write our familial saga. My first grandchild, child of my soul, we can never be far from each other as long as the music plays on. I love you, Ezra. Happy Fifteenth Birthday.