I am remembering a beautiful spring day when Larry, Carolyn, Russ and I walked over to the Hatch Shell to catch a glimpse of Nelson Mandela who had recently been released from prison. It seemed like there were a million people there celebrating a man but also reveling in what we had accomplished together for South Africa and the world. My wonderful and wise parents taught their kids to let the little things go and save our energy to do something about the real injustices in the world. Larry could have grown up in my family too – that is exactly what he did.
I went on-line to get the exact date of the Mandela visit to Boston and was struck by something I read.
“It was electric, everyone felt it was historic. We were living that history at that moment. We were sharing space with one of the world’s greatest statesmen and peacemakers, perhaps one of the most unique leaders, certainly in the 20th century. And here he was, he was in our midst. He was both extraordinary and ordinary at the same time.
He was all that we thought he would be when he left prison. He was full of humanity and grace and wisdom and peace — and as well a very practical politician.” June 23, 1990
Our dear Larry was indeed extraordinary and ordinary at the same time. Extraordinary in his endless capacity to invite you in, treat you like family from the start and make time for everyone. Ordinary in the way he found joy in the simple things like a glass of good red wine, telling a story or giving one of his famous toasts. We were all the beneficiaries of his humanity, grace, wisdom and peace and I will always cherish those gifts. Sending my love to the Eckel and Rasky families. XXOO Jennifer