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By       Message Norma Sherry     Permalink
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The diner owner yelled at the boys in Greek, which of course, they didn't understand, but found the moment too funny not be doubled over in laughter. The owner called the police, who in turn called Philip's father. Philip knew he was in trouble, but thought it was worth whatever the punishment would be.

His dad paid the diner owner $60 for broken glass and meals unpaid. As Vinnie and Philip sat in the backseat of his dad's car, Philip could see his dad's eyes in the rearview mirror. He knew he was mad.

Suddenly, Philip's dad pulls the car off the road; he couldn't contain himself another moment. He started laughing uncontrollably, saying, "That's the funniest thing you've ever done, Philip."

Philip and Vinnie had to pay his dad back. There was no punishment. As I write this, I find myself laughing. I can see the gaiety in my handsome Philip's eyes as he told me the story so many dozens of times.

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He had so many jokes, and he told them so well, but I have a few favorites. This one is flavored with salty language, but to clean it up would spoil the joke, so here goes.

It takes place in a bar. A John Travolta type from Grease struts in, he's wearing all black with his shirt unbuttoned to nearly his navel with gold chains around his neck.

He walks up to the bar, puts his arm around one of the ladies and says, "Isn't it a lovely night?" They start laughing and having a good time. A few seats down the bar is a drunk. He says in a drunken slur, "Hell, I can do that!"

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He stumbles over to a lady at the bar, puts his arm around her and points towards the ceiling with the other and says, "See that f*cking cloud?"

I was never a particularly adept teller of jokes. I do hope the humor wasn't lost in my retelling.

September 18th will mark one-year since I last gazed upon his beautiful countenance. One year since he made me laugh out loud. A year since he held me, or kissed me, or made love to me: A year can be so very long when one is missing another more than words can express.

I can tell these stories now without crying, but the tears still flow when I least expect them to, especially when my eye makeup is perfect. I get dressed and check myself in the mirror, but he's not here to tell me how beautiful I look. He told me so every day, sometimes several times a day, and he meant it.

He never noticed my imperfections, my weight gain, my once graceful walk that became more stilted after breaking both of my feet. He had nicknames for me. The first was "Face"; then came "Holly woood" exaggerating the "wood"; affectionately he called me "Normi" and there was a dozen or so more"he kissed my hands all the time.

He'd watch me put my "face on" in the mornings. Early in our relationship he even filmed me while I put on my makeup. He loved my naivete', but even more loved to rile me and watch me get angry with the telephone company when they'd make an expensive mistake on our bill.

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The early days were so much fun: Those days when you're still learning about one another, when you are still trying to impress one another. Although, I don't think Philip ever tried to impress anyone, not even me. He was always himself; it's much of what made him extraordinary. 

I could fill pages describing his attributes and the passion with which he loved me, but for now, I'm just going to close my eyes and bring his face to my vision. I'm going to remember one of his funny Philipisms and put my head on my pillow and feel him near"     

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Norma Sherry is co-founder of TogetherForeverChanging.org, an organization devoted to educating, stimulating, and igniting personal responsibility particularly with regards to our diminishing civil liberties. She is also an award-winning (more...)

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