Letter to Jack

August 12, 2011

Dear Dad, 

It had been two years since you made your transition from this world.
Jack in the Bahamas around 1961

Although I know you are aware of all that I am about to write, I need to remind myself that I can still talk to you and you don’t need an Internet connection to read my blog. 

Mom has done an amazing job over these last two years although I know she misses you on the hour.

Mom in her Tuesday with Grandma Bea T-Shirt
It has been incredibly difficult for her- no doubt but she made up her mind that she had a lot to live for and enjoy. She started making dinner every Tuesday night for Georgia and Harrison and it was a wonderful new tradition. She has become a regular on email every day and is taking a lot of pleasure sending messages out to everyone in the family. She continues to use your email name (jmslate1). Of course she has a Facebook page that allows her to really stay connected with everyone and everything going on in the family. She is even reading books on the Kindle which is an electronic book device sold by Amazon. I’m thinking Twitter may be too much but she really has entered the digital age and keeping up with the times. We all love getting email and Facebook comments from mom. She has even found a new community of friends at the knitting store and is busy creating works of art for her great-grandchildren. She celebrates your life everyday by staying busy and active and occasionally baking a sour cream coffee cake or making cupcakes with Georgia. 

And as I know you are aware, Garret and Jessica have a beautiful daughter who was named in your memory- Juliet. Her name is as sweet as the smile on her precious little face. This is a little video from those who attended the naming. Mom also gets to spend a lot of time with Henry who fortunately you did meet. Henry and Juliet are the light in Mom’s eyes and I think she enjoys seeing Diane as a grandmother as much as watching these sweet little children flourish. Seeing Garret as a dad and Jaime as a mom are wonderful treats too and they are blessed to have such loving partners in Jessica and Scott. The cherry on the top of the cake is seeing Jerry in his new role as Grandpa although I understand he prefers being called Big Jerry. I know you are watching all of this and it is all a joy to see.

I would give you an update on the Mets but I don’t really know how they are doing except that occasionally Mom still slips a dollar into that large plastic jar that use to be next to your chair. (I think she has about $58 so far). She talks to me about them from time to time and it’s always something about “if only the Mets had a pitcher, hitter, catcher, closer, manager or switch hitter”. I think the Mets are close to a 500 average.  In our last phone call on this topic, Mom said they were only a little behind the Phillies and had won 4 games in a row. To be a Met fan is to see the beer mug half full. Clearly the Mets remain a strong connection to you and the investment of hours and hours of aggravation watching them play since 1962.  Let’s go Mets.

Fanny in Hollywood
And speaking of news, Fanny has moved out to Hollywood to find her fame and fortune. So far she has not discovered either fame or fortune but has unearthed an incredible ability to find her way in LA. From setting up a nice apartment, making friends and starting to figure out what it is like to live alone in LA. Her blog, From Raleighwood to Hollywood tells the story of her day to day activities along with her sidekick Olive, her new cat-buddy. Of course her journey like everyone’s has its ups and downs but she is enjoying the ride. You would be so proud of her and how far she has come. She even willingly wears a dress to some trendy night clubs. 


Sarah continues to teach at Punahou in Hawaii and is starting her 5th year. She took a group of students this summer to Costa Rica for a month and got to explore Earth University and the rain forests. Sarah continues to be a shining light of love and joy to all who enter her pathway. I'm writing this from Hawaii as we are all on vacation together. She has inherited your calm DNA genes, need to make a list and loves to take charge of our road trips.  Ra El
 and I couldn’t be prouder of all she has achieved. She is a spectacularly beautiful woman who is a loving and caring person. 

Ra El in Hawaii 
Ra El continues on her courageous healing path working toward taking some big steps on a special project that she has been thinking about for many years. She continues to help me by reflecting back at me light and love every single day. This summer, she was able to be in Hawaii with Sarah and to take care of Sarah’s cat Nani during Sarah’s Costa Rican excursion. With her extraordinary powers of compassion and love, she has helped guide me through the last two years in ways I can begin describe. I am so blessed and thankful for her love and life force. She reminds me to talk to you often which inspired this blog post. A few nights ago she retold the story to Sarah and Fanny about our dinner 30 years ago at Hillside Seafood when she enjoys four helpings of cherry stone clams when she was pregnant with Sarah. I remembered how much you loved to retell that story over the years. 

Me- being patient
As for me,  I miss being able to call you up on the telephone and tell you what is going on in my life. I know that is why writing a blog has become part of how I can both mourn and celebrate my love for you. 

I continue to enjoy my work in my global marketing role in the wine industry. I have been back and forth from Europe many times going to wine trade shows and enjoying many new wine varietals. Fortunately, when it comes to business or finance, I can rely on Mitch to lend an ear. Both Mitch and Diane have done such an exceptional job of being there with Mom to make sure she is taken care of and watched over each day. Along with Jerry and Leslie, I’m so blessed that they all live nearby to keep an eye on Mom. I speak to Mom almost every day since I am her computer support guy, Netflix queue master and daily five o’clock caller. We are all doing for mom what she has done for us our entire lives.

Last August I started my blog called Moments Later to focus attention on those special exquisite moments in life that pass by us so quickly. The name was inspired by thinking about moments in the life of the Slater's. I'm a sucker for a bad pun so I immediately grabbed this blog name. It has been a wonderful way to share stories with friends and family about days at Penn, Winadu, Lunch with President Reagan during the brownie years and much more.  It is a wonderful way that I can keep you up to speed on the various day-to-day dramas of my life and to reflect back on all the memories captured in the book’s Pop made for all of us. Most of all, writing has been a productive way for me to mourn and celebrate your life and all of the extraordinary love you gave me while you were on the earth.

Thank you for all of the wonderful messages you send to me that come through my heart and tears. I know you aren’t here physically but I am reminded of your love every day no matter what I am doing.
1963 Trophy for 2nd place

Remember when you were the coach for Community Shop- our little league team. I was always the catcher during each baseball game.  Today I am a moment catcher- just trying to hold on tightly to powerful memories even when life throws me a curve.

I miss you every day and send you love. 


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