Never in my life has an empty desk has so much meaning to me. Today, we sit alongside the empty desk in Dr. Jerry’s office that had once been the daily landing place for his papers and work bag. Even then, it was usually missing Dr. Jerry, as we would often find ourselves waiting for him between patient appointments, hoping to snag a few moments of his time.
When we would finally get that opportunity, Dr. Jerry would sit down, and talk and chat. He’d talk about current events, people he knew, community spotlights, or trips he took. He once said, “I know just enough about a lot of things, so I can have conversations with many people.” We would sit and listen, laugh often, and then he’d be gone again.
And he was always so willing to share.
He shared his experiences, his passions, his friends, his wealth. He opened my eyes to the arts, activism, and community coalitions from all walks of life. He often purchased and gave away tickets to cultural musical events, galas, and festivals. He introduced me to a multitude of inspiring and purposeful people whom I would not have otherwise met. And he never hesitated to cultivate the community by sponsoring youth programs for athletics, literary clubs, tournaments, and church. He appreciated everyone’s passions. He was generous in his heart and his soul.
Even now, I can’t help but half expect him to pop into the office again. I’ll always miss the conversations we shared. I wish I could ask him what he thinks about all that is going on in the world right now. There’s so much to miss about Dr. Jerry-- I will surely remember him for the rest of my life.