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After I recently told my father how I felt about him, what a great father he had been, how he and my mother always had my back I started to cry.  I know he doesn’t like emotional displays like that so I told him he didn’t have to respond, that I just felt if you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to tell someone how you feel you should.  He waited a few minutes and then he said ‘Well at least you figured out that I am always right.’  We cracked up.  I told him that if he had had three weeks to come up with a response he would not have found a better one.


My work ethic and spirituality are direct gifts from my father.  He worked a tremendous amount when I was growing up but between dinners—he would often take my sisters and I so that my mother could have a break—and shabbos I never felt he wasn’t around.  As a child every Friday night he would come up with a gift for us to do after shul and lunch—often legos—and cookies from the bakery.  His work/life balance wasn’t perfect but as a working outside the home mother he helped to set the seeds for the notion.


One time when my father was sick he went to Wisconsin on business.  The client owned a resort and he took my mother with him for the week.  Things had been difficult for him at the time—his health, business—and when I spoke to my mother in the morning I asked where he was.  ‘Davening.’  She said.  I don’t know why I was surprised, as my father davened at the kitchen table every morning that I can remember living with him.  He said kodesh for my mother’s parents.  He took us to shul every week, he observed every holiday.  He believed and he lived his life according to those beliefs.


While my heart breaks for his suffering I got to spend some incredible time with my father—getting on the floor with Jaron when he was a baby just starting to crawl, humoring him through a Fox News excerpt, being able to talk to him about death.  I know he has always believed that everything is bashert and that he was completely at peace with his fate.


I am pleased he got to speak with Rabbi Silberberg and grateful to Kenny, Shalom and Sidell and Joel for being there.  My family is especially appreciative of the Visiting Nurses Hospice and Dr. Zaks and Mary Jo—you are so amazing.  And speaking of amazing my nephew Benjamin is an example of what a grandson should be and I hope my own son grows up to be as compassionate and understanding.


I know he is resting in peace with my mother—reunited with his BFF.  I know my Papa is ready to greet Mr. Erv and I know that wherever the most pious belong he is on his way.  It just doesn’t make me miss him any less.

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