My Dad...

My Dad...
Herbie "Pompeii" Pilato

Monday, April 11, 2016

Eva Easton Leaf: A Celebration of Everyone's Best Friend

One of my best friends has died.  Eva Easton Leaf, otherwise known as Evie.  Although Evie was a first cousin to me and my sister Pam (our mothers were sisters), she was more like a sister to us.  We grew up in the same house, a duplex with two households. My sister and I lived with our parents, Herbie Pompeii, and Frances Turri, on one side.  Evie lived with her parents, Carl and Elva, on the other side.  The address was on Erie Street, in the inner city of our hometown of Rochester, New York (which is located today one block away from where now stands Frontier Field, behind the global headquarters of Eastman Kodak).
Evie moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s, and married David Leaf.  Theirs was an astounding love-story.  Theirs remains an astounding love story.
David honored me with a request to say a few words at Evie’s memorial service on April 8th.  Below is what I said about Ev.  


Every day we see unspeakable tragedies - and we respond by being sad.  Yet our faith tells us to “rejoice and be glad…for this is the day the Lord has made.”
So how can we be sad and have faith at the same time?
We either have faith or we don’t.
It doesn’t make sense, and yet it does…because we live in a broken world…and it’s impossible to seek perfection in an imperfect world. 
I say all of this because Eva…Evie…Ev…Eve… had faith…an unwavering faith…a steady faith that kept her strong and on target every day of her life.
St. Augustine had said “A prayer sung is a prayer said twice.”
And Eva had the kind of faith that sings.
She understood the power of music…heavenly music…which she recognized on a daily basis.
She understood the music of life...and the delicate dance of life.
A few hours after she passed away in the hospital, I got in my car to drive home.  I turned on the radio and heard the song, “I Can See Clearly Now...the Rain is Gone.”
I never realized the true beauty of that song until I heard it that day…when…I viewed that as a message that Eva okay….enjoying “a bright, sunshiny day”…in Heaven.  And when I later told this to David…he said that same song was always one of his favorites.  To me, that doubled confirmed Eva’s “bright sunshiny day” - and new life - in Heaven.
On Earth, Eva was my number one fan.
She was everyone’s number one fan.  She always made you feel like you were the only person in the room. 
So, it’s tough not to be sad in this broken world.
But we have to be tougher….because that’s truly what Eva would want.  She would want us to “rejoice and be glad”…as much as possible.
We should not deny our tears…because they make us human.
But Eva would want us to be comforted by our faith…by every good faith…which is based in Love…because Love is God…and God is Love…and no one that I know knew that more than Eva.
She mirrored Love when it mattered.  She was generous in every way that mattered. She was Love in the way she listened…in the way she lived…in the way she died…and in the way how our faith tells us she now lives again in Heaven…with dignity, intelligence, courage…and music.


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