Sunday, September 1, 2013

Dedicated in Memory of my Dad

I would like to dedicate this blog to my father, Louis David Small [Eliezer David Ha Kohen] a”H, who left us and this world on September 9,1980 / 28thElul 5740. 

My dad was a wonderful man. He was a great husband, a super father and a loving grandfather. He was kind. He was good natured and he really cared about the next person. He would give you the shirt off his back, if that was what you needed. Our family was the most important part of his life. 

When my brother and I were children, he was always there for us. No matter the situation. He would do anything for his children. 

My dad would speak softly, but directly to us, never down to us. When I had a problem we would go for a walk or a drive in the country and talk all the way. He made every problem seem not so bad. 

As a teenager, my dad and I washed the supper dishes every evening. He taught me how organize the kitchen and work clean....The few minutes it took to clean-up was my best part of the day. He always asked me how was my day? 

My dad would help me with my homework. One time, when I was ten years old, I had a geography project in school. I had to make a scrapbook about each province in Canada and say what it was known for. Now I had weeks to get this project done, but I procrastinated and before I knew it the project was due, and I had information only on one province. 

The night before the due date, I couldn’t sleep because I was so worried about the trouble I was in. At 10:00 in the evening, I finally told my parents my problem. My father was really upset with me, but gently he told me he would try and help me and that I should go to sleep.. 

A few minutes later he was out of the house and drove to the train station. Since we lived in Montreal, the Canadian National Railways had a very large station underneath the Queen Elizabeth Hotel that was opened all the time. My father was able to get great information on every province. 

Five o’clock in the morning, he woke me up and said to me “here is your information, now get to work.” I worked like I never worked in my life. By 8:30 when I had to go to school, my project was more than half finished. I told my teacher that I would bring my project after lunch. 

In those days, we came home for lunch. I finished the project while munching on a sandwich.  I couldn’t believe it. My project was completed.  I thanked my father a million times for getting the information for me and I promised that I would never procrastinate again. 

To this very day, many years later, I never procrastinate. 

Daddy, even though 33 years have passed, I remember our lasts days together as if it was just today. 

It was Moetzi Shabbos, the night of Selichot. For some reason, I couldn’t go to sleep. I just felt the need to cook for Rosh Hashana and I cooked up a storm until it was time to go to Selichot. When we came home, I went back to the kitchen to continue cooking. 

Eight o’clock Sunday morning my mother a”H called and said that my dad had a heart attack and that I should come to Montreal. I told her I would get the next flight out. I then understood what I was feeling. 

By Sunday afternoon I was his bedside. My brother Yitzchak arrived from Detroit a couple of hours later. We spent as much time as the hospital would allow visiting with and talking with the doctors. 

Tuesday morning, my dad said that he wanted to speak to me alone. He told me to go home to my family. When I protested and said that my family was in good hands he told me not to argue and said I could come back after Rosh Hashana. He then requested to speak to my brother and told him to go home. Yom Tov was the following evening. What I didn’t realize at the time was that he was saying good-bye. 

With a very heavy heart, we returned to our respective homes. I to Hamilton and Yitzchak to Detroit. 

From Montreal to Hamilton the flight is a little over an hour. I arrived in Hamilton in time to go and pick up my daughters from school. As we entered the hall of our apartment building, I could hear my telephone ringing. It was my mother, saying that my dad had just passed away. Two hours later, Yitzchak and I were on our way back to Montreal.   

Daddy, in your memory, I wrote these words to you......

Thirty-three years have passed,
where has the time gone.
Since you were taken from us 
to a better world above.

So many grandchildren do you have
and great-grandchildren too!
Oh how we miss your presence
in our daily lives,
to share in our simchas
or to comfort
when we need a good cry.

We know you are watching over us
from your resting place
and smiling down at us
happy we all live in Eretz Yisrael.

Fourteen years ago Mommy left us
to join you in paradise
we miss you both so very much
that no words can ever say.

The younger generation lost out
on knowing two special people. 
Oh how they would have loved to bounce
and sit and play upon your knee. 

And the nachas you both could have shepped
when they entertained.
Shomer Mitzvah Jews
so proudly they remain!

So many of the grandchildren 
And more than 40 great-grandchildren 
share your looks, your character and your talents. 

Daddy, now it is time to end my poem
two more lines to say 
we love and miss you everyday 

A loving daughter....