"Strange, isn't it, George, how each man's life touches so many others, and when he ain't around, it leaves an awful hole."


--Clarence, the angel
It's A Wonderful Life

Two couples, mutual friends of ours, told me of occasions when Russ had joined their respective families for holiday celebrations.

Both couples reported almost identical experiences.

"Mike," they said, "having Russ join us at meal was like, well, it was like everything was "complete". Even though we never thought anything was missing, having Russ there somehow made the celebration complete."

There is an old custom in many European countries of setting an extra plate at the dinner table for "the Christ child.

I think that in many ways, Russ' presence in the world was like that.
And in many ways, his leaving "leaves an awful hole."