May, 2002

Dear Susan,

I am not very good at writing letters. I will try to make this one short. I have heard that you are upset with me about something. I don't know what it is but I can only tell you that I never meant to hurt you. To the extent I have hurt you I can only ask for your forgiveness. We have all had a terrible loss with Daddy's dying. It has been very hard on me, as I know it has been on you. Not a day goes by that I don't break down in tears. I went to synagogue tonight and cried uncontrollably in front of the rabbi. I'm sure you have had similar experiences. As hard as it is on the two of us, it is many times harder on Mom. We all loved him. For you and me, we have lost a father. For Mom, she has lost a constant companion for the past 58 years of marriage and an additional 1-1/2 years of courtship. I have spent the last four weeks -- when Daddy was in the hospital, during Shiva and since -- trying to support Mom. She is a very strong woman, but also a fragile one. She needs us -- not just me, but you as well. I know that you think that she favors me over you. This is not something I have sought or even want. In fact, I would trade all of that if I could only bring the two of you closer together. On the surface, Mom and Dad at times seemed so different. In reality they were very much the same. Like Dad, Mom has very simple, basic values. People are very important. Family comes above everything else. Mom can be demanding at times, but in reality she requires very little. For your part, a visit two or three times a week and an offer to help her (drive her places, run errands, etc.) is something that she is very much in need of at the present time. Sure, there are other people who visit and offer to help, but the most meaningful visit and offer of help would come from you. We only had one father. Likewise, we only have one mother. Let's try to make the remaining years that we have with her the best years of her life. Joe ,,,,,,,P.S. Mom does not have very much capacity to provide comfort to either you or me at the present time. If you need someone to talk to I would hope that you would feel comfortable talking to me.