Dear Kerry

The first time I read anything I had written, out loud, was at my son's funeral.

My Eulogy to Kerry 

February 16, 1979 -  Your Dad and I watched you take your first breath.  One year later we enrolled you in waterbaby's, tossed you into a pool of blue water, and watched you swim.  

At four you recited your alphabet and earned your preschool certificate.  That summer, with your father's gentle push, you learned to ride your bike.  From then on there was no stopping you.  Starting with T-Ball, Tennis and Karate, you even wiggled your way into a first place ribbon at your first and only breakdance contest.   

At Julian Curtis school you set a record by completing 22 pull-ups.  The record stood for over 10 years.  From then on it was a steady stream of sports - swimming, basketball, football, wresting. And then of course there was baseball, baseball, baseball.  

On the sidelines was your biggest fan - your sister Lindsay. She cheered you on every step of the way.  You in return supported her with gentle love and kindness. Through her you learned to nurture, protect, cherish and adore.  

At Central Middle School you began studying the viola and we were thrilled to see your musical side. Years later you confessed that your strings never touched the bow. Your only motivation was to accompany the orchestra on their year end field trip to Great Adventure Amusement Park.

Throughout the years we watched you learn and grow and mostly, we watched you laugh.  And when you laughed it was deep and hardy, from the belly of your soul.

When you found Mary, "your faith," life became sweet.  Jackson's arrival brought an endless flood of joy to you and all those lucky enough to be near.  Again, we watched you nurture, protect, cherish and adore.

What we didn't hear or see was your pain.  Your pain was never spoken, only written and never shared.  You were intuitive and intelligent enough to hide your pain and deliver only what everyone wanted to hear.  You gave people what they needed.  You gave everything, every ounce of your existence.  You gave too much.

For those who say they don't understand, know that depression is a disease.  The conscious experience becomes an endless stream of distressing thoughts and emotions. Sadly, creative people are more vulnerable to depression.

From the Velveteen Rabbit, to James Joyce's cryptic language in Finnegan's Wake, you loved to read.  You were a deep thinker, a writer, a poet. Through writing you were able to escape.  

May 27, 2002, your daily scheduled, e-mail Horoscope read:

Aquarius - be brave, be adventurous, and boldly go where no man has gone before.  Your ideas for heightening the joy quotient in your life should be taken seriously.  You gave at the office. You've been a terrific contributor to other's existence, but now you should shift your focus to that which floats your cork.

Kerry, know that all we see in you is good.

Kerry running a 3.2 mile race.  My father on the side lines, cheering him on. 

Kerry's head shot - age 13. 

Kerry holding his sisters hand - headed to the Junior Prom

Mother's Day - painting ceramic bowls.

Kerry holding his newborn son.

The Journey Continues

by Kerry Magann

Dear Jackson, Love Dad

5/14/01 * To be given to Jackson Basil Magann on his 18th Birthday

Dear Son,

      I am writing this to you on the tenth day of your life, the tenth day since you entered this world of ours, the tenth day since you brought the sun and so many smiles.  It's also my first full day and night away from you, but I'd rather not think about that right now.  I was forced to leave Wilkes-Barre and come back to work in Greenwich again, just as I have throughout your Mother's pregnancy.  Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence.  Because of work, because I somehow transformed into a somewhat "responsible" human with my noticing, I was not by your Mother nearly enough throughout her pregnancy because I believed establishing a financial foundation was the responsible thing to do for your future.  The "truth" remains to be seen, though I doubt the phrase should even be used in a matter so conflicting in it's nature as to combat love agains logistics.  It's an agrument I will never win for either side of my brain, and I really have no idea how things will end up, or where we  will all end up. The fact is that your Mother acted so truly brave the last nine months, never complaining, always smiling like the beautiful angel she is.  She has become my hero, and if things go as I hope she will be my wife very soon.  I love your Mother with all of my heart.  We are both lucky to have her. 

     Your future is infinite, so purely and clearly infinite.  I had always hoped and believed that when I finally had my first child I would have some important piece of wisdom to be able to give you, some magical answer I would stumble upon at some point that would be passed on to you eventually.  But I have nothing like that to give you.  Life is not like that.  There is no simple answer or magical secret.  The only conclusion I have come to in my life is to live.  It's something we often forget.  But live, Jackson.  I once told your Mother to live and burn, and that is also what I hope for you.  May stars fall gently upon the sea you choose to sail, my son. 

           Be good,


 P.S.  Read!!! Read everything you can get your hands on.  And remember what Mark Twain said.....

"Man is a fool, but woman, for putting up with him, is a damned fool."

That means always treat your Mom like the queen she is, and remember that we are inferior to women because no man has ever been able to even slightly comprehend any woman that has ever lived. 

The Model Son

It all started with an audition at the Stamford Mall for an upcoming movie called, "Scenes from a Mall" starring Woody Allen and Bette Midler.  Kerry and his cousin Valerie, both wanted to audition.   

Only Valerie was chosen, but I insisted that they also take her cousin, Kerry.  Valerie is Chinese and they were looking for Asian American to balance the ethnic look of the film.  They assumed 'cousin' meant 'Asian cousin,' and agreed to include Kerry, site unseen. 

Kerry had many small parts in the movie.  The most memorable being an elevator scene with Kerry, Woody, Bette, and Fabio (the Harlequin Romance hunk).  

After the movie finished shooting Kerry decided he wanted to continue acting and modeling.  So I got him an agent and we began going on auditions. 

Kerry landed the very first commercial he auditioned for.  It was for Popsicle.  He spent two weeks in a pool with 5 other kids.  One of them was Macaulay Culkin's girlfriend.  Macaulay was on the set everyday and he kept a very close eye on Kerry who's job was to toss a beach ball to Macaulay's girlfriend who was a blond hair, blue eyed Ford Model.

Kerry on the cover and back of a scholastic book jacket.  The artist did however, change his nose.  Kerry got a big kick out of it. I was NOT pleased.  

Tear sheets from various magazines

A Readers Digest Article

Fancy Pancakes

Eventually the day came, when I no longer wallowed in my pain, and accepted the undertaking of daily tasks - digesting food, dispensing toothpaste, inserting contacts, locating my natural part. Lured by my 12 year old daughters longing for her brother, and desperate need for her mother, I welcomed the morning light, and stepped into a world that did not include my son.

Shopping is what every girl wants on a sunny Saturday afternoon and so, concealed behind dark tinted ray-bans and a pearly white smile, we push our way through an ebb and flow of vacant faces, pausing long enough to pluck fashion “must haves” and push plastic at the cashier. Nothing looks right, nothing feels right, but none of this matters. “Wrap it up, it’s perfect, let’s go,” I affirm, as my daughter scoops up her tangible pleasures.

Near the bottom of Main Streets shopping, is a teeny tiny French restaurant called Meli-Melo. It is run by a lovely husband and wife duo; who, along with their two small children, relocated from Paris to Greenwich. We first met when their daughters enrolled in a neighboring dance school and I taught them the basics of ballet.

It’s always busy here and the seating is uncomfortably tight, but none of this matters because the bright, Parisian atmosphere, coupled with attentive service screams “happy.”

They serve delicious homemade soups, divine crepes, and flavorful sorbets. My favorite is a buckwheat crepe stuffed with ham, gruyere cheese, and asparagus – then topped with mixed greens and a fabulous champagne dressing. “Fancy Pancakes,” Kerry called them.

We are greeted with a genuine smile, a European kiss, and a warm hug.

“Bonjour, Miss Shannon. Bonjour Mademoiselle Lindsay. Look how you have grown, so beautiful,” marveled Annette, at the sight of my blooming daughter.

She escorts us to a corner table topped with fresh cut daffodils before adding, “and tell me, how is your son?”

My daughters relaxed stance stiffens in anticipation of my dark reply.

“He’s fine, thank you for asking,” I answer.

With the weight of Kerry’s death lifted, I returned my focus to the child left behind.

Our mother and daughter date now restored, we joked about my lack of fashion sense, about her obsession with purses, and about our shared love of cheese.

It’s been 7 years since Kerry passed, but at Meli-Melo, he is alive and well.

I try not to give too much detail, only answering the questions put in front of me.

“Yes, he turned 30 this year – amazing how quickly time fly’s.”
“Yes, we still work together.”
“Yes, he is a wonderful father.”

Kerry is thriving at the "Fancy Pancake Place," the place that screams “HAPPY.”