Monday, October 21, 2019

Friendship, Death, Facebook, and Bieganski

Dr Morton A Goldberg and I were Facebook friends on and off for at least four years, probably longer.

He was incredibly generous to me. He proofread "God through Binoculars" and picked up errors. He was kind enough to review the book on Amazon.

We talked a lot, both on his page and in private messages.

I really enjoyed his intelligence and decency.

I admire that he was a conservative but saw right through Trump.

I really admired that he allowed people he was not friends with to post on his page. It takes great courage and generosity of spirit to allow that. To allow strangers to comment on your posts.

Morton posted about food, politics, and culture.

Morton described to me in private posts the medical conditions he was struggling with. I recognized from what he told me that his time on earth was limited.

I sent him mass cards purchased from Maryknoll. I am Catholic and Morton was Jewish. He did not object to my praying Catholic prayers for Morton.

When I prayed my rosary and I prayed for Facebook friends, Morton was usually the first friend to come to mind. His body was enduring so much.

He was a doctor himself, a veterinarian, so I'm sure he recognized what his symptoms spelled out for his future.

There was so much struggle. Struggle to get his blood sugar right, to make it so he could stand up, his kidneys. One drug interacting badly with another drug. One drug exacerbating a symptom another drug was meant to fix.

In and out of health care facilities. At one point he hadn't seen a card I sent him because he couldn't make it downstairs to the mail box.

I say we were friends "on and off" because Morton posted some things that caused me to unfriend him twice. One class of posts were attacks on HRC that struck me as misogynist.

The other issue was Morton's identity as the son of a mother who lived in Poland, among, as he put it in one post, "ignorant peasants."

My parents were "ignorant peasants" and that comment didn't work for me.

More seriously in spring he posted about an obscure and tiny village in Poland that carried out a "beating Judas" custom. The article was clearly anti-Polish. What's more, one of Morton's friends made anti-Polish comments to me and about me. I objected. Morton rejected my objection and he said some harsh things to me in private messages. I unfriended him.

In the past few days, my little voice told me that I needed to get in touch with him; that his time was drawing near. I left a message on his page.

I just went to his page and saw the announcement.

Morton, you will remain with all of us who knew you for our entire lives. You are not the type to leave or to be silent.

Morton, for you: Wieczne odpoczywanie racz mu dać, Panie, a światłość wiekuista niechaj mu świeci. Niech odpoczywa w pokoju wiecznym. Amen


I posted the above on Facebook last night.

I can't get over the fact that Morton allowed anti-Polish sentiment to lose him a friend six months before he died, after knowing me for years. 

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Bieganski the Blog exists to further explore the themes of the book Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture.
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