Way Too Soon

My good friend Lew died last week. It shouldn’t have happened. Not because he was the victim of a sudden catastrophe like the poor thousands in Haiti, or the thousands more each day who meet their fate at the hands of a drunk driver. Not because there are scores of pasta dinners washed down with a bottle of San Giovese we won’t be able to share together. No, it shouldn’t have happened because Lew was not done giving. Giving the love he and Ellen shared together for so many years. Giving to teach the teachers, who teach our children how to do so in a way that makes kids excited and interested in learning mathematics. We’ve all had one or two teachers who stand out as remarkable and who impacted our lives in some respect. Lew was the hitting coach who patiently instructed those teachers the fundamentals so they could go forth and have remarkable careers touching kids’ lives. I’m not a teacher or a mathematician but I enjoyed listening to Lew speak of his latest projects and grant proposals he was developing. In some ways Lew was lucky, although it’s hard to have the distance to realize that now. He was lucky in that he found a calling to which he could devote his energy – one that gave him real pleasure and one that he believed could change the world in some small way. Reading back over these words, I smile realizing the irony in that this sort of eulogizing was about the last thing Lew would want to hear. He maintained the delicate balance between humility and pride with an innate ease. But for all who knew him and the many more teachers he might have reached, it must be said. The end came way too soon.

Published in: on January 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

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