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I remember when you all first came to our house in 2004 the night before kindergarten, the beginning of that – maybe 16 year tradition (I’m trying to do the math). I was a wee little hot-dog sized boy peering down from the upstairs rungs at the four of you in the foyer. Ari must also have been tiny-weeny, and Ilana would have been chiwawa-sized! So long ago but I remember being very happy to have a new friend also about to embark upon the scariest period we had yet to encounter – the great, uncharted waters of Bridge Street Elementary kindergarten. That day we all played in the “playroom” upstairs in our house (we still call it that for some unexplainable reason) and Ari, Lucy (perhaps Ilana too) built little castles and houses out of these big colorful pillows we had. It was fun and imaginative in a way that all toddlers love, in that formative year on the brink of ye-old kindergarten. I remember just being pleased to have a companion, especially one that loved constructing things as much as I did as a little boy. We must have all eaten greasy pizza and bland salad that night. While we – Ari, me, Lucy, Ilana and the “adults” (whatever that means) were ever growing people, one thing was steadfast; Ari would smile and hug us, and laugh about something funny that had happened that summer, would tell us her hopes and dreams for the year, or what music she was listening to . . . In other words, Ari was without fail a loving and loyal friend. And if anything is ever certain, I know that Ari shined light at that table, and made me happy. Whatever state I was in, whoever I was, and whoever Ari was, she was the strong-arm of affection. It will always be difficult for me that she is gone. . . . But I want you to know and I would want Ari to know that these memoriesof which I have described only a few {shared below} – could not be more dear to me. Whether in life or in memory, Ari has and will always be, a breath of spring air for me.

Memorial Group

Ari’s Facebook

Ari’s Instagram

Ari’s Tattoo Insta

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