PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Christmas Gift


Dr. Greenberg was able to celebrate Christmas surrounded by his students, Christmas Carols, and a letter from Santa. He passed away at 3pm today, December 26. He died peacefully in his apartment surrounded by his loved ones. One of his favorite quotes was: "The person who gives life to knowledge is not dead." 
• • •
Brook, the woman who was the Illinois Cremation Society Funeral Director for Gregory, sent me a last minute text wondering if I was free on Christmas Eve to deliver some cheer to a client of her friend who is a hospice worker.

She knew that I appeared as Santa periodically and the client who was dying had a request, even though he was Jewish, for Christmas caroling and a visit from Santa.

The client, Philip Greenberg, is a physics teacher who apparently has no family so his students are keeping vigil and helping him through his passage. A Jewish professor, requesting Christian carols, a visit from Santa, and being helped by his Muslim students.

Unfortunately I was not available to drive the two hours there and two hours back across Chicago to where Dr. Greenberg lives so I came up with this creative way of helping to fill his wishes. I wrote the following letter and Facebooked it to one of the students who in turn printed it out and read it to Philip
• • •
Dear Dr. Greenberg (or may Santa call an old friend Philip?)

I have been very busy as you must imagine getting ready for tonights delivery of presents to all the good little boys and girls around the world!

I have been checking my list and then checking it twice and your name pops up for all the wonderful time and energy you give your Physics students and others who love you so.

Unfortunately I checked the list a little too late this season so I have not been able to get you a gift but I wanted to send this note, and my photograph and to wish you a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah, and a Joyful Christukah and Hanukahmas!

Santa always appreciates it when his old friends still remember and believe in him!


Santa Claus


  1. Virginia, the list of those who believe grows ever longer.

    The list of real Santas with full beards is growing too, to include my old schoolmate Reggie who is a Baptist minister and my son's brother in law, a retired Florida State Law Enforcement officer whose full beard is an improvement over the snaggletooth hillbilly get-up that caused his sister's friend to whisper, "Are you sure he's really a State Patrolman?"

    1. Your comments gave me a giggle. Merry Christmas and looking forward to a Happy New Year for you and yours. Fondly, Michael


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