On this the second yahrzeit for my who dad battled valiantly for his health and waged a war against his body and debilitating illnesses that even an army of doctors and medications simply couldn’t contain what I remember most about his final days was us waiting, hoping and praying for more time; we wanted more time with him.
We wanted more time to see him smile, more time to play gin rummy, more time to hear him complain about the fact that Alex Trebek needs to lose his cocky attitude, especially because he has the answers to those atypical jeopardy questions. We wanted more time to hear him kvell about how much he enjoyed when his grandson told him that he needed to get a haircut ( when indeed he knew his zaydie had not even a wisp of hair left to cut). We wanted more time to sit with him and watch Twilight Zone episodes and marvel at Rod Serling’s imagination. We wanted more time to hear him regale us with stories of his childhood, although we’d heard them so many times before, with each re telling he’d include a new detail (or perhaps invent one!).
In the three weeks that my dear father had been hospitalized, before he had the heart surgery he couldn’t recover from and which ultimately claimed his life I remember we tried to cram all these moments and time we wanted to spend, into small fleeting hospital visits just to get a glimpse of him; to see him smile, to hear him say he was proud of us. That as his family we were his greatest accomplishment and that all those years spent as a business man and the ones chasing his entrepreneurial dreams were nothing in comparison to the time and moments he spent with us- the time we shared just being together. And I can’t help but feel like that experience, whether I’d liked it to or not, forced me to reevaluate my priorities and just how fragile, precious and evanescent that time truly can be.
In my father’s passing, his love and legacy endures in that each day it has forced me to ask myself; am I spending my time exactly as I should or need to be. Daddy I miss you everyday and hope you are soaring like a starburst- painfree and basking in the sun.