Christina Minecci

Your words MATTERED over the last 23 years and I hope they continue to ring on in our memories. Character, indeed, counts.


Dear Sean —

As I drove down Montgomery Avenue at about 6:30 a.m. one morning this week, I saw you. Well, I saw you the way I always believed I would see you, day after day, year after year. This was clearly an older runner, choosing his steps so slowly and methodically, on the same stretch of the road where I have seen you off and on for years, loping along with your long stride and your hands, so definitively YOU.

My plan was to say goodbye at a retirement roast, where we would all talk about the funny, irreverent things that were said and done since 1998. The funny interactions with kids, the hysterical welcome back to school messages, the skating-on-the-edge moments in which we were all going to laugh or cry at the latest mandate from wherever. But the bottom line was that you always treated it as a WE situation. WE were going to manage, WE were going to get through, WE were going to work it out.

Now it is no longer WE, and it is a struggle. And it is patently unfair.

Well, in a way, it is still WE. You always said FAMILY FIRST, and often that meant our home family, but it also meant our school family. We are here, woefully unprepared for our goodbye. We are here, having not said the things we thought we would have had years to say, be they deeply emotional, downright amusing, or just simple thank you’s. We are moving through, although I will not say moving on. Some of us cry, and that’s OK. Sometimes we laugh because we can’t cry, at least not yet. These emotions have a way of catching one off guard, in the hallway where we last spoke, at a meeting where someone NEEDS to make a joke that you would have made to break the tension, or driving down the road and seeing a random runner.

So, as I watched this person I never met pacing slowly down Montgomery Avenue, I said goodbye to you, so much earlier than I had planned. I know in my heart that for all of us, saying goodbye recognizes an ending point in a journey that was being traveled together. I know it will still be all right. I know we will continue the journey separately, holding onto the pleasure of traveling together for a time that mattered, in many ways. Your words MATTERED over the last 23 years and I hope they continue to ring on in our memories. Character, indeed, counts.

To those of us grieving, let me say this:

I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.

—J.R.R. Tolkien

The Merionite Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest news in your inbox, every issue.