“…But it’s goodbye again, I’m sorry to be leavin’ you
Goodbye again, as if you didn’t know…”

Just days after 9/11, in a courthouse corridor, speaking long-distance:
“Come home,” I urged in fear for my son.
“No running scared, Dad,” he said. “I’m a New Yorker now.”

Dear Michael,

You won’t fully grasp this for a bit, but the hardest part about visiting you or Stacy these days is that overwhelming sense, from the moment of arrival, that soon I’ll be leaving. Like the old Groucho Marx song, it’s always “Hello, I must be going.”

I miss you, Michael. Seeing the beautiful world you’ve lit upon dulls the pain, but—don’t kid yourself—-trips out east aren’t all about Max; they’re about you, patriarch to the eastern wing.

It was a wondrous weekend, from the rehearsal dinner (where the salmon bested Ben’s Deli) through this morning’s brunch (where I had my first blintz). Meredith looked elegant, The Prince just plain sparkled, and Lindsay—Lindsay, The Artist Formerly Known As “Meredith’s Kid Sister”—-she spelled “bride” with both beauty and jubilation.

Good stuff, all of it. Ah, but the Millers, as we learned in ’06, know well how to throw a wedding.

Aisle seats for the ceremony, by the way! Best available at post time! Entering the empty chapel, gut dictated we avoid Row One. The second row though, reminiscent of old Municipal Stadium, had a pole obstructing the chupah. Carrie and I, as such, grabbed the one and two holes, third row—stage right, where, within moments, from the courtside seat my eyes watered.

There marched my son: tall, smart, and handsome—
And my daughter-in-law: elegant, graceful—-
And Max: tell me the truth…was there a Yankee tee ‘neath his tux?

I watched you up there, Michael. My right eye studied Lindsay kiss her parents goodbye. And it saw Steven come back to retrieve her, and it counted seven as she circled her man. But my left eye—my left eye Michael, was always on you.

It saw you at 5… on a Beachwood soccer field… running to me—
And at 15… on a diamond in Madison… running toward home—
And at 35, last night, darting from a chuppah in Woodmere, Long Island…to retrieve your son.


The stomp on the glass brought me back to the present—to a weekend of not only family, but personal moments of immature fun.

Like Friday, noon, checking into The Inn. Giving the clerk my name he sought clarification.
“First name?”
“Bruce,” I told him, “And listen, there’s another Bogart checking in and I’ve got a restraining order against her in Ohio.”
“Would you like a different floor?” he asked.
“Could you put her at The Andrew?” I wondered.
“Grow up,” urged Carrie, as she headed toward the room.

Or last night. Some people have no sense of humor. I was going through the station that had the lamb chops, tuna, and corned beef…it wasn’t necessarily my first time through…and the line now thin.
“Who do I talk to about ordering something ‘To Go’” I asked.
The carver looked right through me. I mean RIGHT through me.

And then soon it was over. Like it always is. Over, and time to leave.

We sat there this morning, in the hotel lobby…. Max had gone upstairs to see Lala, and Carrie, reading me well, evaporated “to pack”. And I looked at you, again….

There’s a symmetry to perception on weekend jaunts. Greeting you Fridays I take the full view: how you look, how you act, how you roll. Then the mood swing comes. In emotional mist memories merge and I move through your past and the tide of time…until Sunday

Goodbyes lurking, there’s always that Sunday. Like today.

In the closing moments, I embrace you, Michael. Always. My heart tugs and we say goodbye, and I turn and leave.

And I’m smiling, Michael—even if it doesn’t show.

I’m smiling with pride—pride in a New Yorker.

I love you.

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