Every year on June 6, Herschel and I would celebrate an anniversary of sorts – the first time we met – by phone (June 6, 2004).

During my first visit to Cleveland, Herschel introduced me to a particular lake, Green Lake, which is part of the Shaker Lakes system. We enjoyed the quite, peaceful surroundings. We saw ducks swimming or foraging for food. We admired the beautiful homes, whose backyards are the lake. After we married, we’d come in the fall and see the colorful leaves. We would visit the lake in the winter (sitting in the heated car) and enjoy the snowy scenery. We have pictures of this lake in different seasons. Green Lake became ‘our lake’. When I decided to commemorate our first phone call, I knew exactly where to go. I wanted to connect with those happy and fun memories.

Today the leaves, grasses, and even the water, were green. It was a sunny, breezy, cool and dry day. One house has a gazebo; there were chairs positioned on the bank behind another home. Some birds sang softly, and it was peaceful around the lake. A family of ducks swam slowly across the lake. A goose slept on a rock.

And a heron stood majestically in the middle of the lake, surveying the scene (and looking for dinner).

I sat on a bench, watched the ripples in the water, and breathed the clear air. And I cried. Herschel’s not here to share this year’s anniversary of that call with me and to enjoy the scenery at the lake.

Herschel, I miss you. Rest easy in your well-earned palatial garden.

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I walked along the bank of the lake and snapped some photos, using camera Herschel gave me last year. Thank you, Herschel, for that gift, so that I could document today.