Today, as I celebrate my birthday, I also grieve the phone call I will
not be receiving.
“Beware the Ides of March,” as the saying goes. Although it may be true in
my case, nothing could have been further from the truth for Sara Kaufman,
also born on this date. I met Sara and her family (sister Darryl, parents
Stu and Connie) in the early eighties, shortly after graduating college.
My brother and I were sharing a townhouse apartment in North Miami and the
Kaufmans were our neighbors three doors down. From the first day we all
met, it was as if we were long lost relatives. Far from the
stuffiness of some of our fellow residents, the Kaufmans opened their
hearts to us. Sara was eight and Darryl was five when we moved into the
Sara was always filled with ideas, concepts and thoughts which spilled out
of her so fast, you soon realized she was thinking faster than anyone
could possibly talk. Years later, the family moved to Minneapolis
and, through chattering teeth, slowly acclimated to the difference in
weather between their two homes. Sara became extraordinarily
involved in whatever caught her attention, including politics. After
some challenging times, she was going back to school to receive her
degree, had a job she loved, and was the world’s best aunt to her niece
Kiley. Over the years, as she grew up and I grew old(er), one gift I
could always look forward to on our shared birthday was her bright,
cheerful mile-a-minute phone call. She never forgot over these many
years, and I never took for granted the joy I felt in these phone calls.
Last fall, in a senseless automobile accident, we lost Sara. (I cannot
actually even write these words without tears.) I am saddened by the
loss of a force of nature who I know was on her way to making a big
difference in many lives as she worked towards entering public life.
I grieve for Sara’s friends and family members, and I do not know how I
will be able to get through this day without our traditional birthday
phone call filled with the life, love and Saraisms that tripped off her
tongue, making me smile no matter what else was going on in my life.
I believe that if there is any moral to this story, it is—pick up the
phone. Call someone you love, even if you haven’t spoken in a while, even
if you are presently battling or nursing old wounds, and tell them that
you love them. Trust me—it will make their day and just maybe your day,
March 15, 1977 – September 16, 2009
Today's Caregiver magazine