In 1996, I became a member of what was then The Unitarian Church of Montclair (later changed to the more appropriate name of The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair). During my 17 years as a member, I made many, many wonderful friends there – friends who had supported me in times of need, who encouraged me in many of my endeavors within the congregation and outside of it, who helped foster my spiritual well-being at the time and simply became my spiritual community.
Out of all of these truly fantastic human beings, the one with whom I was probably closest was Jack Drucker.
Jack was an extraordinary man in every way imaginable. He was a tall man, well over 6 feet, and spoke with a gentle, yet impressively deep voice. He was a math professor by trade, but his passion was in the arts. He was a gifted actor, flautist and poet. He and I worked together as he chaired our Worship Committee for many years, and we worked very closely together with a handful of of others to create a theatre group there, and collaborated on a number of plays, one-acts and readings. I had the pleasure of being directed by him and directing him several times, including two readings of my screenplay of “The Miracle Man,” and he and his son Jonathan leant their musical talent playing some of John Williams’ beautiful Star Wars themes when I presented a service around “The Wisdom of Yoda.”
And he was the kindest, most patient soul you could ever meet, who took a proactive stance with several causes that were important to him.
After I left the congregation and became a member at the Center for Spiritual Living North Jersey, we continued our friendship and bonded further as we took a handful of personal development courses with Landmark, and helped each other with interview assignments, and met to discuss the powerful impacts the courses had made in our lives.
For the past 17 and a half years, Jack had battled prostate cancer. He went through various treatments for it, and knocked it into remission several times.
On August 11, 2018, the last remission finally claimed him.
Today I Am grateful for getting to gather together with about maybe 150-200 people who knew and loved Jack the way I did at a memorial service at UU Montclair to honor this wonderful human being and hear stories we may have never heard before. I have never seen the building more full than this – a true testament to the impact his life had on others.
I Am also grateful for his friends and relatives who honored him with their own gifts of music.
I Am grateful as well for sitting with my friends, Beth, who published a posthumous book of poetry Jack had written in the last year or so if his life, and her husband Joel, with whom I had met from time to time for coffee to discuss our lives, our families and our careers.
I Am grateful further for the connections I was able to reinforce with a handful of people, as I don’t get to see them all that often anymore – a fact that Jack’s passing was a reminder that those connections need to be maintained, and not just peripherally via social media. I am making plans to see at least a few of them.
Finally I Am grateful for the acknowledgment that one of the ministers made about an observation that someone had said which summed up his life, “Jack loved,” as well as her observation that the same held true by inserting a comma between the words… “Jack, loved…”
Indeed he did, and indeed he was.
I Am grateful for NOW, the only moment there is, metaphysically speaking, knowing everything I could possibly want is in existence NOW and is in my grasp NOW. In respect to this physical plane in which we use “clock time” to measure the Eternal Now, I Am looking forward to an amazing tomorrow, filled with love and joy, prosperity and abundance, creation and completion, new possibilities and new realities. I anticipate ending the day in complete satisfaction, knowing that only good comes to me, always. It is going to be the best day of my life, and I Am grateful for tomorrow today!
And So It Is.