In Judaism, we say "may his memory be a blessing" when speaking of someone who has passed. I think it just meant to be a sing of respect, but I prefer to look at it a little deeper. Because with my Papa, the memory of him and the memories we have with him will continue to bless my life...and the lives of my boys...for many more years. He may be gone physically, but I will always remember:
- standing on my tip toes to give him a hug and kiss him good night and/or good bye
- putting the mezuzah he wore around his neck into his mouth to have him spit it back out at me when I was little...and then watching my boys do the same with him years later
- the man's incredible quick wit and amazing one-liners. My personal favorite: as we were driving through Miami as I was a teenager, we passed a billboard at a Christian school that read "thank you Jesus for a great season." My grandfather commented, "that Jesus must have been one hell of a quarterback."
- his fierce love and loyalty to his family
- how proud of us he always was...he may have embellished some facts (like when I was an intern at an NBC affiliate in college, but he told people I was working for NBC), but he sincerely believed that my cousins and I were the best at anything we tried to do
- watching him dance with my Grammy (who passed about 10 years ago) at their 50th anniversary party
- playing with his robot outside their former Florida house when we would visit each Spring Break when I was younger
- getting ice cream for no reason, Butterfinger bars on the way to Disney World, and dessert for dinner because with Papa you could always have sweets
- watching him tear up when he met both boys for the first time
My grandfather was such a good man, and we will miss him more than words can possibly say. At 85, he lived a good, full life and I am incredibly thankful that I had him there at so many of my milestones.
We love you Papa.