Barry and I travelled to Florida on monday to get to Roby's funeral on Tuesday.
Bernice told me I was on the list of people Roby requested to speak at his funeral. I was very moved. That meant he knew I would come. It was heart-wrenching listening to Ellen and Jeff and the grandchildren get up and talk about their memories and all the time they spent with Roby. Barry + I did not get to spend that much time with him but still we felt his love even as far away as Boston. He was such a dedicated correspondent, he sent articles and clippings to everyone it seems - even the Rabbi commented on that....."did he send articles to everyone in the room ? It seems he did."
The glowing terms that everyone used to describe their connection with him.........such an extraordinary man, an intellectual, a great mind, learning right up to the end........never stop learning.......and what came through for me especially, a very loving man. He was extraordinary. This is a great loss.
Julian Slane, Ellen's son came from Seattle. He spoke along with Ellen + Jeff and the grandchildren, Jocelyn, Jeremy and Erin. Julian spoke for his sister Amber who couldn't make it. She wrote about the loss of Grandpa Sandler on her blog, Amber's Adventures. My cousin Ellen wrote about her father on her blog, lifeisjustabowlofchicken; scroll down to January 6, Remembering my Dad, Robert Sandler, 1923-2010 + Hollywood Beach, January 9, 2011.
After the funeral we went to the cemetery and after that back to the Temple to begin sitting Shiva, eat, and attend the afternoon service, Mincha. We sat at the Sandler cousins' table with Ellen and Robert, Jeff and Debbie and Julian. We hadn't seen each other in over 40 years. I had never met Robert and Julian Slane or Debbie, Jeff's wife. This was a historic occasion for the Sandler family. Unfortunately, due to the occasion, no photos were taken.
12.10.10, Friday morning, 10:00 a.m. I got a call from Bernice telling me Roby had a stroke the night before. The last time I wrote on this blog was August 19th, the day Robert Slane took the picture of Roby + Ellen. ......where they both are smiling into the camera..........
Barry + I were scheduled to go to a travel agent and book flights to visit Roby and Bernice on January 4th -11th; I had booked a reservation at Kendall Hotel + Suites, less than ten minutes away from where they lived. I was so looking forward to seeing him, spending time with him and going through a lot of his published articles and work on the blog together. That was the plan. We did not book any flights today.
12.13.2010, monday afternoon; "relentless grey' day here........"all the leaves are brown + the sky is grey..."
more bad news about Roby; I just pulled out all the pictures of him I could remember - where he looks fabulous !
This has to be the toughest week for the Sandler family. All week long I exchanged emails with Bernice and Ellen who, in spite of being at the hospital round the clock, found the time and energy to let me know what was going on with Roby and for that, I am very grateful.
12.17.10, Shabbos, Friday night, Roby passed away at around midnight.
I feel a big hole, an empty space.......pain.......my uncle Roby is gone............shock......sadness.........
Barry and I have booked flights to Miami for Monday, December 20th.
The last time I saw Roby was at Barry's wedding and the time before that was in 1990 when I visited Roby and Bernice from Berkeley, California.
I had an opening at Brookline Town Hall for my art exhibit along with three other artists. This is my first juried show. Many friends of mine came for the opening, Bill and Bruce and Dorothy, Mimi (who took these beautiful photos, thank you !), Riva, Lena, Barbara and Irma. I was delighted to see them ! Barry came ........it turned out very well. My abstract paintings and paper bag drawings were very well received. Click to see individual paintings and paperbag drawings.