It seems like only yesterday, but it happened forty-one years ago. I have often thought that time (on a certain level) stopped for me at that moment. Of course, it didn't really. I was blessed with a heroic, wonderful mother and siblings. I found my עזר כנגדו with whom I had the merit and love that allowed us to build a family based on אהבת ד, אהבת העם ואהבת הארץ. I was privileged to study at the feet of the greatest leaders of my generation, both Torah giants and Leaders in צדקה and חסד.
God has blessed me in so many ways.
Yet, the cold chill of that moment never goes away. Someone is always missing. I miss smiling, fun-loving man who was always there and able to show us how to enjoy life (especially on the spur of the moment. 'Full of Fun' is how a cousin described him). I so wish he'd been here longer for me to learn that lesson, or to just have someone to talk to (as I imagine sons speak to fathers). Not only my life, but that of my children would've been that much better for it. I miss sitting with him in Shul, with his hand lightly on my shoulder. He was an emotionally shy man, who poured his obvious love for us into actions and hesitant words. We played Little League, he was the team manager. We were in Cub Scouts, he was the Packmaster....You get the idea.
But, oh, if I could I could only summon up the memory of his voice.
He was such a good, kind man. Like every good man, he told none of us of the many many acts of חסד that he performed. We only heard about many of them during the Shiva and after. Perhaps the greatest tribute to him was the large contingent of Blacks who he had helped to buy their own homes who came to the funeral and, one by one before the service, came forward to kiss the casket. (A ringing denial of a nefarious, agenda-ridden history of the times.)
Forty One years, only yesterday and lifetime ago.
Maybe this year I'll learn to embody the lessons of his short life to a greater degree. That would restart the clock.
יהי זכרו ברוך.