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My grandmother used to put on a week-long music/drama camp at my church every year. This particular year, we were doing "A Technicolor Promise," the story of Noah's Ark, and I was Noah. I remember sitting at the round table in the back of the church, with the chairs I could never climb on to because my eight-year-old legs were too short. You've got to open your voice, he told me. I was so proud when we came to my elementary school one year and sang with his band, the Dixieland Pops, me, smiling and waving from my spot on the gym floor.

John, Ed's pastor for many years, would tell you about the time Ed led the carol sing-a-long at a Reynolds family Christmas Eve party in 1976. He directed us in the most aerobic version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" I have ever heard, John would say. Or he might tell you about how he always knew which stories in his sermons would make Ed cry. John would look down at Ed every Sunday, and sure enough, the tears would be flowing. Or he might tell you about their many breakfasts together. Ed's favorite topic was his family. He was so proud of Diane, and Tom. Nickolas, Nicole and Christine. And of course, his wife, Marion.

Marion and Ed spent many afternoons sailing the Venture 21 together on the bay. Marion would wrestle with the jib while Ed sat safely in the cockpit, manning the tiller.

Her husband used to clean their pots and pans until they were spotless. One evening while she was alone, Marion decided to do the cleaning. The next day, Ed pulled the cookware out of the cupboard. Who cleaned these? he said to Marion, with a teasing, loving look in his eye. But one morning, Marion woke up and there were dirty dishes on the counter.

Ed once presented a friend with a poem, entitled "I Am Music." It was a fitting name, as Ed was often seen plucking out low notes on the upright bass, and crooning "When the Saints." Tears rolled down her face and her voice shook on October 31st, 2011, as my mother sang "Our Father," a song that was meant to be a duet.

Even after he entered a coma, pelvis shattered, 17 ribs broken, lungs collapsed, Ed was music. Marion played classical music from the minute he entered the hospital, until the minute he left. His favorite symphony, Belioz's "Symphonie Fantastique" came on the classical station as Ed was taken off life support. He went marching on, leaving his limp body behind on the hospital bed.

About a dear friend killed in a car accident recently. When I told my psychiatrist about him, she started crying. By that time, I had exhausted my supply of tears.
Inspired by "The Glen Rock Book of the Dead" by Marion Winik.
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November 6, 2011
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