It's taken so long to send this. Since I heard the devastating news, I couldn't find any words. I still don't, so I hope this will do.
The last time I was in Crown Heights Chaim Meir and Sara were at a Shabbaton, so I didn't have a chance to see them, which meant that the last time I saw Chaim Meir was at my brother's wedding in Pittsburgh.
Chaim Meir was such a pillar in my life, it is hard to imagine a world without him. Whenever I would visit Crown Heights, as infrequent as it was, I would make sure to swing by 724 and visit Chaim Meir and Sara, just to say hi and let them know what I'd been up to. Whenever Chaim Meir saw me, he would start asking me, in that direct, no-BS way of his, about my life choices. Although he was tough, and direct, I enjoyed it, and looked forward to it, because I knew his comments were coming from a place of caring.
Often, the thought, "what would Chaim Meir say about this:", will pop in my head.
I can't imagine a world without Chaim Meir in it.
There was a request for stories of Chaim Meir. When I started thinking, one story came to mind (you'll pardon me if I get some of the details wrong, it's been a couple decades). Chaim Meir had a policy, not only for himself, but for all the kids he taught to drive. When going around the arch at Grand Army Plaza, it was a requirement to drive on the cobblestones on the innermost lane. Why? Because one time a cop tried to give him a ticket for driving on the cobblestones, even though it was marked as part of the road. I forget if he argued his way out of the ticket with the cop or if he went to court and got the ticket dismissed, but either way, from then on, when going around, it was imperative to drive in the cobblestone lane.
No one could fix like Chaim Meir.