A Reflection of Rich’s Inner Strength…

April 29, 2010

While this famous poem is well known by many, it took on a new meaning to me during Rich’s illness. The words are a true reflection of Rich’s focused determination, incredible inner strength, and unwavering spirit.

He truly was the captain of his soul.

I dedicate this to him with love.

Forever his sister,

~ Liz


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley
1849 – 1903
Gloucester, England


One Response to “A Reflection of Rich’s Inner Strength…”

  1. anthony said

    I have not had the pleasure of knowing Rich as long as all of you have. I remember the first time meeting him, as well as the entire Mackney clan, in October, 2006 when Stanley married Maria. We were at their home in Westbury, and if I remember correctly I had already met Bob and Liz. David arrived, and the first thing I noticed was that he appeared at least a foot taller then I. Well, a short time later, Rich showed up. The first thing he did was pick MJ up like she was 8 years old. I was amazed. Then he was introduced to me. Needless to say, he towered over me. My arm was at a full 45% angle just to shake his hand. So here I am, in the middle of all of these tall guys, like land of the giants. It was a lot of fun. We spent some time chatting both that evening and at the wedding the next day, getting to know each other.

    After the wedding we did not chat every week, but we did so often enough so that it became very comfortable and enjoyable with speaking to Rich. My conversations with him were always interesting, entertaining and educational. He showed me that he had a lot of wisdom, intelligence and certainly, a great sense of humor. But it was Thanksgiving, 2007, that I really had an opportunity to get to know Rich and Ilana when MJ and I visited them. It was one of the best vacations I have ever experienced. Eating turkey outside in my shorts in 80 degree weather. Amazing. During this trip, I was able to spend quite a bit of time alone with Rich, and our conversations always flowed. I got to know him, and grew quickly to love him. I came away from that first visit with a love for this couple, and a need to get back there as soon as possible.

    After that first visit, Rich and I spent a lot more time on the phone, me usually asking questions, and he dispensing valuable advice. In February, 2009 MJ and I returned. We visited twice more that year, and each time I felt closer and closer to Rich and Ilana. I remember returning to New York, and calling Rich to thank him for the hospitality. It was then that I told him that I felt that he was like the big brother that I never had, that I loved him, and would do anything to help him in his fight. Our friendship was solidified at this moment, and remained so until now.

    I believe I have found a new family, one that I enjoy being a part of. Ilana, Keith, Lindsey, Evan, and the entire Jaraslow clan, you folks blew my mind this past week with your love and devotion to Rich and to each other. You are special people and I’m proud to be associated with you.

    I will miss you Rich. I will miss your great advice, your humor and your intelligence. I regret not being able to get to know you even more, and growing up with you in my life.
    Your guts, determination, and your bravery have amazed me. I was privileged to be able to spend this last week with you and will treasure the memories of other times spent. I will always love you Rich. God speed my dear friend and big brother.


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