My Father in Law

March 21, 2014

20140321-071122.jpg Just typing the words father-in-law 25 years ago would have seemed like a distant dream. But there we were, standing in the sweetest little garden overlooking the Hudson River two and a half years ago getting married, with my soon to be legal husband by my side, with his father standing with us as one of our witnesses. A man who accepted me as part of his family the moment I was introduced to him by his son, now a little more than 26 years ago. He really became my father-in-law then. From day one he always treated me with immense love, tremendous admiration for my work, but above all, respect for the love and life I shared with his son. Certainly this would not be easy for many men and fathers, but not for a second of knowing him has he treated me any different than any of his other children’s spouses. My father-in-law was David Sive. He left us last week peacefully in his sleep at 91. A poetic gesture by a man who lived his life poetically. Known as the “Father of Environmental Law” and a highly accomplished litigator, he was a man who respected all things, with the environment & nature his passion in both life and work. He started such organizations as NRDC (The Natural Resources Defense Council) and Friends of the Earth. His list of accomplishments is quite something. His obituary is in The New York Times this morning. Click here to read it if you don’t have the paper handy. My Ted made the observation the other day that I actually had know David longer than I had known my father. While he never tried to be a father figure to me, I did meet him not quite a year after my dad died, and it was such a comfort as a young man to have his encouragement, love & support as a father-in-law. The above photo of him taken on the steps of The Supreme Court just before he argued a case there, taken by Ted when he was 9 years old. We will head to Hawthorne next week to spend time with our family and remember David. He will be so missed. But like my own father, and Whitney, and now David–they are still with us, just in a different way. Their love and memory swirling around us. Never forgotten.