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Our Holiday Heart Warmer Has Passed

Our Holiday Heart Warmer

As my youngest daughter and I arrived home from early dismissal due to teachers staff development meeting today; she saw on Instagram someone we knew had passed. "Mom! The guy who played the flute died." I was crushed. 

But I knew that he was elder at this point. Yet, still felt the loss, funny enough it was as if he were family to me.

Phil, the flute player (a.k.a Santa Claus), who performed mostly in downtown Ridgewood, just miles from our home had died. I searched to see if he was alone when he passed or was someone there to comfort him. 

After not finding anything further on him. I then searched for a picture he and I took together years before. It had popped up in my old photos just about three days ago. I thought how odd. The photo was during Christmas time. 

I had never known his name till that time years ago, when he and I posed to convince my daughters that I was friends with Santa Claus. We both smiled, my arm around him. I was guggling as we took the selfie. We were inside a local coffee shop. 

That night, it was brutal.out. Wind whipping, windchill at or near zero. Bone chilling, to say the least..

I knew he needed a meal. I asked him what he liked to eat. He was not particular. I thanked him and went to the cashier and bought a warmed panini and a coffee for him. Had them deliver it as I gave instructions it be delivered to where he sat. This was so he didn't feel obligated in any way to me. Then I went shopping. 

I came back and he thanked me. Unreal. Philip Balpasso, you are already missed. Both my kids are already missing you. Even though they are nearly both adults now.---Jody-Lynn Reicher 


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