Yesterday the choir buried its elder statesman, David Shore. Actually, David wasn't the oldest in the choir. Even at 85, there was someone else with a claim to that title. But he was the voice of the choir, in more ways than one.
David would have stood out anywhere. It wasn't his appearance, though a more dapper, strong and straight-backed 85 you never could find. It was his unmistakable personality, his generosity, his spirit and humor that marked him.
He was always singing, and although he had alzheimers and didn't know where he was or probably who we were most of the time, you'd never have known it. He knew every word, every note, and sang with the choir until very recently.
David was the one who always took out his checkbook when emergencies arose or when there was an event requiring a gift. An optometrist, he built a successful business and gave back to his former employees, his friends, his synagogue, his community. I too have been the recipient more than once of his gifts.
He was a friend to whomever needed one. And he was always good for a laugh.
At the funeral, his youngest son, a youthful 40 or so in a family of grizzled brothers much his elder, regaled us with hilarious stories of his father's adventurous spirit and willingness to say anything to anyone at any time. David never held anything back. He was a man after my own heart for honesty, though he went much farther most of the time than I'd have dared to.
Like my father, he loved life with a fierceness that one would have to have seen to believe it. It had been only a month or so since he was placed in a memory-care facility when a broken hip and subsequent operation felled him.
Though I am sad to lose him, I have to say that it is probably best for his sake that he was not permitted to languish, to lose his zest, to disappear altogether into the darkened corridors of a broken mind and spirit.