While some knew him as Jonah and others as Mac, we all loved and respected him. And we miss him dearly.

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Dear Jonah,

I have this friend who loved to give me pens. “They’re not for you,” he’d say. He’d tell me to give them to someone in my house who loves pens. That would be your mom. Once, however, he handed me a pocket knife, and I immediately thought, “Oh, this must be for Jonah. Jonah loves knives.” And then I remembered. You aren’t here anymore.

You really did love knives. An unavoidable fact that didn’t exactly make your parents comfortable. Why did you love them? Who knows? But from the time you were a little boy, you were always bugging me to get you one. Of course, in a million years Mom would never allow that. So you and I would content ourselves with visiting the Swiss Army Knife store in the Westchester Mall where you would amuse yourself perusing the wide selection of stylish pocket versions. But you’d get the biggest kick out of asking me to buy you the ten-inch bladed Rambo knockoff. You’d smile that big Jonah smile and I’d think, just for a second, “What harm could it do?” And then I’d picture myself trying to explain it to your mother. No sale, Jonah.

Katie, Jonah and Aiden Road Trip, Summer 2000

Katie, Jonah and Aiden
Road Trip, Summer 2000

That may be why you once “procured” a small pocketknife during our family’s summer vacation road trip through Pennsylvania. You were eight or nine years old. I only noticed it a few months after we’d returned home. Imprinted on the handle was the name of a town we’d visited, and since I knew you hadn’t purchased it, you must have lifted it. So I lifted it from you. I don’t think I ever gave it back. I’d meant to lecture you about it, but I don’t think that happened either. I must’ve had too much faith in the goodness in your heart, that it would never lose out either to dangerous play or continued shoplifting. Far as I can tell, I was correct. You wouldn’t hurt a flea. And you ended up saving instead of spending so much of your money, you never again had to resort to dishonesty to obtain the things you wanted.

I gave the knife to Aiden. No lecture. I’ve always had faith in him too.

Love you forever,

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