RIP Andrea. You are missed by many.

Not so long ago, I was smitten with a beautiful young woman. My feelings for her weren’t fully reciprocated, though she would complain to me on occasion about someone she was seeing, in that why-can’t-my-boyfriend-be-more-like-you way all-too-familiar to many of us apparently destined to be pruned from the gene pool.

As I recall, the peak of my romantic success was fetching her some boondoggle. I was eleven years old, at Camp Sisol, in Rochester, NY.

Balloon Fest, Lisle, Illinois July, 2017

In the way of modern life, we became Facebook friends thirty-five years later. She would send me questions and firm pronouncements regarding health reform, and post the occasional ribald graphic concerning President Trump. Her chutzpah and acerbic wit remained charming. Last month, she posted some sweet missives about finding a new home for her cats, thanking the people who were providing wonderful palliative care for her advanced breast cancer.

She passed away yesterday. Today’s Facebook is alight as her family and close friends share sweet memories, including old pictures of her on our high school stage. She was perfectly cast as Golde, in Fiddler on the Roof.

RIP, Andrea. You are missed by many.

In my mind’s eye, you will always be that young girl with flowing blonde hair, fending off the flirtations of bolder, pre-adolescent boys.


Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

One thought on “RIP Andrea. You are missed by many.”

  1. I knew Andrea, mostly online, through our mutual appreciation for the New York Football Giants. We met several times at training camp up in Albany.

    She was a great spirit and will indeed be missed by many.

Comments are closed.