Saturday, February 13, 2010

THE DANCER

I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life! ---and if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Sherwood Woody Goldfein, a good and gentle man, loving husband, father, and one of the best dancers in the City of New York left our family this week.

Any lasting memory of him would have to include watching him dance to the music he loved. He did it so well and gracefully that other men stopped, watched, and realized they were mere poseurs in the presence of one who truly knew how. I saw him at my neice's wedding where there were more partners for him to dance with than there were songs that could be played. He acquiesced to each request with a gentle smile. Every partner, whatever their age, seemed to feel special for having shared a dance with him.

Woody was my cousin's husband. They were in love in a remarkable way not experienced by many in this world. They were soulmates, business partners, best friends, and parents to a special and beautiful daughter. Their unyielding optimism showed us how good a life was, how precious love is, and how very happy two people could be. They were the light that filled the room, he with his gentle grace, she with her wit, and the laughter of both. He was loved by us all and no less so now that he has gone. I am certain that he will have the same effect in whatever universe he has now entered.

In his work and his life, Woody expressed his zest for what he did as he did in dance. He was perpetually in motion. He embraced everything with a relentless energy well into his seventy-seventh year. When he no longer could, he left us, and we are lessened by it. We will miss this man of kindness, and boundless energy uniquely in love with his partner, lover, friend, and spouse.

Our hope is that Woody is now in a place where he will hear and feel the music he loved so much, and move to it as gracefully as we remember.