Just like in the movies, when Dad knew his time with us was nearing an end, he called Larry over and whispered in his ear. He asked him to promise to take care of me. I didn’t feel one tinge of anger; only gratitude and love.
My Dad was simply doing his job.
So…here are just a few of the things I learned from my Dad. You probably know many, but perhaps one or two will help calibrate your life compass as they do for me every day.
- Use soap.
- Turn off the lights.
- Don’t pet stray dogs.
- Matzo Brei is best with sugar.
- Don’t change lanes in an intersection.
- There is no free lunch.
- Good neighbors come in all colors.
- Don’t work on Yom Kippur.
- Life is hard.
- Keep your word.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Sarcasm is an undervalued form of communication.
- Don’t take the last ice cube and not refill the tray.
- Your integrity is everything.
- Regardless of what someone does, if they work hard they deserve respect.
- Work for justice.
- You get what you pay for.
- There are many people suffering and you can’t ignore them.
- Respect is earned.
- Work hard and you will be rewarded.
- Be fair.
- Be kind.
- Be grateful.
- Take care of people you love.
- Do your best.
And maybe the best lesson he taught me, which I almost learned too late: I am loved.
Rest in peace, Pops. I love you too.