Note to Rembert Aranda from David Noonan, to be read at Taffy's memorial service.
My Dear Friend,
First of all, thank you for inviting me to participate in this celebration of Taffy's life. It is an honor and a privilege to share in this sad and joyful day. What I have to figure out now is how it could be that I have such strong memories of a person I shared just a few scattered days with over the course of nearly 40 years. One obvious reason--Taffy's generous spirit. I'm sure that if I had ever asked her if I could borrow five dollars she would have handed it over without a blink or a question, and tried to make me take twenty. But that's not the kind of generosity I'm talking about. I remember Taffy because she was so generous with her attention. I can't recall the details of our handful of long-ago conversations--too many broken synapses for that--but I readily remember the warmth of her interest. It was deep and real and sincere, a rare thing to experience, these days or any days. She was so damn smart and she cared so much about other people, you just don't forget someone like that. Ever. And you don't forget her bright and beautiful smile, either.
But the main reason I remember Taffy so well is Brooklyn Heights, that misty land you wandered into a thousand years ago, when we were so young and didn't know what the hell we were doing. I'm not going to say we were lost, because I don't think we were, not really. But we didn't always know where we were, and I guess that's the same thing. We were going about the messy business of figuring out who we were--dropping out of college, talking in diners all night long, buying beat-up sports cars that never passed inspection--and suddenly there was this incredible woman in your life. And everything was different. What impressed me most about Taffy at first, besides her super brain, was how organized she was. Her life had order--what a concept! In no time at all, it seemed, you were organized, too. You found your line and you followed it. Your life was transformed. Or, to put it another way, you fell in love.
And that, finally, is why I remember Taffy so well. Because you were the first of my friends to find their someone, and that someone was Taffy. I saw your dream come true. How could I ever forget that?