On October 1st, our dear family friend, Michael Martin, passed away peacefully in his sleep. Just the way he wanted to go. Two days before, he and his wife, Sylvia were down visiting us. I am so glad I was able to see him this final time.
My parents befriended Michael and Sylvia forty-five years ago, and they have stayed close ever since. Their daughters Blaire and Stacy grew up with my sister, brother and I. We shared many important events in our lives, such as the Bat Mitzvas for Blaire and Stacy, weddings, birthdays, graduations. They were like family.
Michael was an example of someone who had realized the American dream. He came to The United States from London, England with little money. He married, had two daughters and established a successful private investigation firm in Los Angeles. It was a privilege to have known him. He had a quick and clever wit, always had interesting stories about his life and his many travels all over the world, and was a caring and warm person. He was also good-natured and lived life to the fullest. I can still hear his laugh. It was always a pleasure to visit with him. Whenever he visited he was always glad to see us as were we. I will miss those visits.
On October 5th I went up to Los Angeles with my family to bid farewell to Michael. The funeral service, though tinged with sadness, was a celebration of his life. The service started with an acquaintance of his singing the Louis Armstrong song, What a Wonderful World. There were touching and even amusing eulogies by Sylvia, daughters Blaire and Stacy, and some of his friends, such as my dad. During the eulogies there were plenty of tears, as well as plenty of laughs and smiles. The singer also sang a song based on a poem Michael wrote about his concern for the environment, called Does Anyone Care? It was a nice touch to bring his words alive in song. At the gravesite, after the internment everyone released a balloon at the same time. The balloons rose into the sunny sky in a unified mass and were carried away by a gentle breeze. It was a fitting farewell.My thoughts go out to Sylvia, Blaire and Stacy as they adjust to a life without Michael. He may be gone, but his memory lives on in all of us who knew him.