Family meant a lot to Jeff… even other peoples.

25 Jun

It has taken me way to long to figure out what to write about Jeff. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time, but haven’t been able to think of what to say. This past week Jeff has been on my mind a lot. Maybe because my brother was telling me how him and his buddies went through the Mc Donalds drive through without a car (something I watched Jeff and his buddies do once) or maybe it was because my cousin in India and I skyped recently. But, this morning I woke up and I knew exactly the story about Jeff I wanted to tell.

My family history isn’t important to talking about Jeff, but one major fact is. I am one of 13 grand children, to some of you that is a lot, and to some of you that is small. But to me it’s something I have always been proud of. My Uncle (my mother’s brother) has 5 children, 4 girls and one boy. We are all give or take a year apart in age, Lizzy his eldest daughter, being the first grand child, me the second and so on and so on. Up until my siblings who are now 18 (yes, twins). And this is where my Jeff story begins. My Uncle decided when I was about 8 to disconnect himself from the family, and refused to speak to anyone. With that said it seperate me and my cousins for over 10 years. This was before email and way before facebook.

About 10 years later, at the HGHS class of 2005 prom, I attended with my date. At this point most of their class knew where in fact they were going to college and I was watching the gang get together for pictures. As I sat in the kitchen of the pre prom house by myself, Jeff came up behind me and began a conversation with me. I really only knew about five people at this pre prom, as I was a part of the 2006 class and they were all busy taking pictures. It had been a few months since I had last seen Jeff and so our conversation began. I asked him where he was going to college and he told me he was going to Middleberry, my face light up as only about a month ago my Aunt (my mother’s sister) had found out through some grapevine that Lizzy was going to Middleberry. That was the only thing at the time I knew about Lizzy, that she also was going to be apart of the Middleberry class of 2009.

I looked at Jeff and I said “no way” he laughed and said “Yes, I am going to Middleberry” I said “Can you do me the biggest favor ever???” He looked at me slightly confused, and I said “Can you find me my cousin Lizzy.” And with that great big Jeff smile, the one every one of you talk about, and the one I will remember for the rest of my life he said “Of course, is she Lizzy Freedman?” and I said “No, and it will be slightly difficult, I know that Middleberry is a big school…. but her name is Lizzy Pogust and you will know her because she is very short. But we look absolutly nothing a like, in fact she is half of chinese decent and looks more like her mother then her father from what I remember” and I then went on to explain to Jeff why I had no idea where Lizzy was. I honestly thought this was the end of it, and it would soon be forgotten.

Sure enough right after Halloween that October, I get an email going “HELLO FROM MIDDLEBERRY” the From column is what shocked me…. the email was from Lizzy. The email then went on to explain that Lizzy had gone to a Halloween party and met a guy from Chappaqua (Jeff) as soon as she told him her name he immediatly put the connection together and went “You have to call your cousin Hannah” Lizzy, just as shocked as I was immeditely asked for my contact email and wrote me the next day. I never got to thank Jeff for this, and I hope he knows how trully greatful Lizzy and I were, as to this day (even with her living in India) we still talk atleast once a week.

After about a gazillion catch up emails later, we decided we HAD to get together. And so Lizzy and Jeff arranged for her to drive down to Chappauqua with him. That first Middleberry break, Lizzy got to Jeff’s house at some late hour where I met them. So for the first time in over 10 years, we were reunited in Jeffs garage. Thanks Jeff for bringing us back together.

I know Lizzy and Steve (her now husband) who was also good friends with Jeff remained friends with him through there years at Middleberry, I also know that eventually through social media and technology I probably would have had a chance to find Lizzy, but forever, It will always be Jeff who brought us back together, and I can never thank him enough.


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