The hometown news that my sister shared with me today took me aback and took me back.
A very prominent citizen of CT died yesterday. He was a very well known federal judge, known for his astute knowledge of the law and his extreme sense of fair play, and his killer sense of humor.
I met him when I was on the brink of becoming a teenager and I regularly babysat for his children. To me was just "the dad" of the four very cute and very well-behaved children. He was the babysitting job dad who when I had ridden my bike to his house, jumped on his and accompanied me home in the dark, rather than drive me and have me come and get my bike the next day. He was the husband married to the wife, who both mirrored the family values of my own home. They spoke the same words that my parents spoke to me, they treated each other and their children with the same respect my parents did. Sometimes when you are thirteen it is much easier to hear and think about those words and actions when they are delivered not by your own parents, ( I mean REALLY!!!) but by the fun and much cooler couple who not only let you play with their kids but they PAY you to play with them!
I learned to get over my fear of dogs at their house one stormy night when the big goofy golden retrievers that I was so leery of got so frightened of the storm that they jumped the baby gate, and came to me for comfort. How could you be frightened of something that was more afraid than you were? I went on to have several goldens of my own...and attribute my love of goldens in big part to Tammy and Joy, who showed me what gentle giants those big furry red dogs can be.
One weekend I went to a family wedding with their family to babysit during the reception. It was, I guess, in retrospect, my first, "business trip". I stayed with their very welcoming extended family. The story of the brown lunch bag containing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that appeared on my plate at the formal family dinner caused much hilarity not only when it happened but also in the re-telling of it when I returned home.
Today CT. remembers and mourns a fair, kind, knowledgeable and humorous Senior U.S. District Judge, his family remembers with love and laughter a husband, a father, a grandfather.
I, along with probably many others, whose lives were touched by him, remember and think about a man who was the best kind of example of how to live your life with grace and humor. I remember a man whose only title to me was "Mr. ".
God Speed....Mr. Dorsey! Heaven is a lot funnier today, earth is a little less so...but because you were here, it is a better place for many.....now.