Last Tuesday Randi Tarczali was walking her dog, had a heart attack and died. She was only 46 and she left two children, Jen (15) and Max (11) as well as her husband, Peter.
Randi has been active in the church for the past three years. She listened to the frequent benediction: “Now say to thyself, ‘If there’s any good thing I can do, or any kindness I can show to any person, let me do it now, let me not defer or neglect it, for I may not pass this way again.’”
Randi’s husband, Peter, is from a Catholic family and they planned a service at Holy Family Church in Fairfield before talking with one of us. Then they called to ask if I’d participate in the service on Saturday morning, but I had a commitment to officiate at a wedding. Manish stepped in and provided the Unitarian presence that was so important to Randi’s family and friends—her background is Jewish.
I appreciated Manish’s work. Those who were at the planning meeting he conducted with family and close friends, and at the service at which he co-officiated, sang his praises. It’s good to have an Associate Minister again.
Randi’s sudden death is another reminder of our limited stay on the planet, just as Katrina was a stark reminder of our vulnerability.
Two weeks ago Lory called me from her cell phone while she was riding in an ambulance on the way to Bridgeport Hospital following a terrible car accident on the Merritt. She assured me that she and Carlyn and Carlyn’s friend, Emily, were all ‘okay.’
Lory was taking Emily to her home in Trumbull. Anticipating the exit, she was changing lanes from left to right and didn’t see the car passing her on the inside. He swerved to his right, then lost control, wound up in front of Lory’s car and they crashed, pushing Lory to the median rail, which she hit and then spun around and turned over. Both cars wound up on their roofs.
Lory and the girls were left hanging upside down—the car was completely demolished, but they were safe inside. No other cars were involved and several good Samaritans came to their aid, including prying open doors to help them out, quickly, not knowing what might happen with fuel spilling and fumes from the A/C filling the car. Lory swears by the Volvo, which she has since replaced.
Shortly after the accident Katrina hit the Gulf region—another reminder of our vulnerability, and another reason to acknowledge some of the basic things we take for granted. We’ve started a fund to help our sister Unitarian Universalist congregation in New Orleans.
It’s good to be back—Sunday’s Homecoming was spectacular. We’re especially pleased to have our new Social Justice Director, David Vita, beginning his work with us. He has a lot to offer, which you’ll be learning more about in the days and weeks ahead. Karen Wright has been working to expand the youth group to a full youth program. Welcome aboard to them and you.