Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Kindest, Most Compassionate And Wisest Man I Have Ever Met On The Face Of This Earth

I usually try and refrain from really personal things on my blogs, especially on Cobwebs Of The Mind, where the goal is to discuss the aspects of being an author and the life of one. However, today I will break from this tradition just once, as it is something that I think I must write about. Maybe, I am getting hit with "memoir disease" so excuse this post if you are not into it.

Tonight and tomorrow is the "Yureitzeit" that is a Yiddish word, which means "Anniversary of the Death" of my father. This year it worked out on Thanksgiving. The Hebrew calendar is Lunar and thus we go according to Hebrew dates and not English ones. It also is a fact that my Mom's birthday (who is long gone as well) is Thanksgiving. So I guess this year is a double whammy for walking down memory lane.

I am astounded that my father has been gone for 26 years now. One would think after so much time a child will no longer miss his father or mother. Time heals all wounds as they say. Certainly after 26 years it is time to move on. Or is it?

I have lived through a great many events in my lifetime. I have met thousands of people. I have seen pure goodness and pure evil. I have been the recipient of both evil and good. I have taken part in war and reaped the blessings of peace.

Through the years I have listened to a great many people express themselves. I have watched them and their actions. I have learned or try to learn from everything and everyone.

And I would still give my right arm for the wisdom my father possessed in his little pinky. In this sojourn upon the earth, I have rarely come across one whom I could hope to compare to Pop. And I have never, ever, come across anyone, who had the kindness and compassion for all humanity that Pop had.

He taught me from a very young age two simple rules.

"When you see," he would say, "someone better off than you, do not let jealousy take hold. Because you never know what that person is carrying around inside and what his sorrows are. And when you see someone worse off than you, always remember, 'If not but for the grace of God there goes I'."

That is great advice. Best you can get as far as I am concerned.

Pop was kind. Too kind, some people would say and have said. Perhaps you can never be too kind, I truly don't know. He knew the measure of compassion that people required. This was a measure of his wisdom.

This is not the place to eulogize Pop or Mom, nor is it the place to describe how much good they did in this world.

When I was all of 20 we went to visit my Grandmother's grave. At that time Pop had been without his Mother for 21 years. (I never met any of my grandparents.) I will never forget that day in the cemetery in Queens, off the Long Island Expressway when snow flurries floated down from the sky. Pop drove to that grave as if he had been there the day before. Not one wrong turn along the many pathways in that huge cemetery. Then Pop stood over his mother's grave and cried like a baby. And I remember thinking a not so good thought at the time. I remember wondering if I would be able to cry like that 20 years after my father died. I did not think it was truly possible to be honest. Pop was well, Pop. He was special beyond the words that a post in a blog can describe. I was not Pop. I could not see myself that emotionally upset 20 years after my parents died.

Well it is over 20 years since he died. I miss him terribly. Still. And I know I will always miss him, even if I live to be 120. It simply is the legacy he left me with. I have learned the hard way and with great pain, that when you know someone like Pop, well you have no control over the tears.

But this I also know. Pop was the kindest, most compassionate and wisest man I have ever met on the face of this earth.

In the end that is all I wanted to say. That is my thanksgiving on this holiday of Thanksgiving. Thank you Pop and thank you Mom - for being mine.

Posted On: Cobwebs Of The Mind


Paula's Poetry said...

Certain losses never ease over time. You are blessed to have had such great parents and to recall them with such a fondness in your heart.

It shows, their gift remains with you, today and always.

A perfect day for a walk down memory lane, a day for reflection and thanks.

Thank you for sharing this.

Susan said...

Whoever said "time heals" was lying...but perhaps it's a lie we need to hear to get through the terrible first days.

I still cry for my Daddy some days even 20 years after he's gone, and suppose I always will. I share an honour with you, in that I had the very best of parents, and will be forever grateful for that.

How I loved your post. Thanks for sharing it!