Monday, September 22, 2014

Thirty-Four Years, Gone but Always in our Hearts.....


Tonight is my father Louis Small [Eliezer David ben Chana v’Yitzchak] HaKohen a"h 34th yartzeit and in his memory I would like to dedicate this blog to him. 

My father left us and this world on September 9th,1980 / 28th Elul 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.

My father cared about the community we lived in. He spent countless hours working on fundraisers for the shul [Young Israel of Chomedey] that our community wanted to build.

My father was a food chemist and would love to look at new products on the shelves in grocery stores. 

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 at 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.

My dad and I did the dishes together every evening. He would ask me about my day in school. I cherished those few minutes. My dad taught me to work ‘clean’ and always have a clean kitchen.

My daddy would help me with my homework. One time, when I was ten years old, I had a geography project from school. I had to make a scrapbook about each province in Canada and write 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. I had information only on one province.

It was late at night and I couldn't sleep. I was so worried about the trouble I was in. At ten o'clock in the evening, I finally told my parents my problem. My father was really upset with me, but he told me that he would try and help me out 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 me great information on every province. 

Five o'clock in the morning, he woke me up and said, "here is your information, now get to work." I worked like I never worked in my life. By eight thirty, when I had to go to school, my project was more than half finished. I told my teacher that I would hand in my project after lunch.

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

And when I was a Kallah, just before the badeken my dad asked me if I was sure Brahm was the man I wanted to spend my life with. When I told him I was sure, he and my mother made us a real prince and princess wedding.

I still remember when Brahm called my dad in the middle of the night to say I was in labour and that he had to take me to the hospital because he [Braham] was too nervous to drive. And when Naomi, their first grandchild was born, my dad was the proudest Zeidi in the world.   

Daddy, even though so many years have passed, I remember our last days together, as if it were just today. It was Moetzi Shabbos, the night of Selichot. For some reason I just felt the need to cook for Yom Tov. I went to Selichot, and when I came home I just couldn't go to bed, so I cooked all night. 

Eight o'clock Sunday morning Mommy called and said that you had a heart attack during the night and that I should come to Montreal. I told her I would get the next flight out. I then understood what I was feeling all night. By Sunday afternoon, I was at your bedside. Yitzchak arrived from Detroit a couple of hours later. We spent as much time as the hospital would allow us to visit with you and talk to your doctors. 

Tuesday morning you told Mommy that you wanted to speak to each of us alone. You somehow knew you were dying, but you didn't say so. You told me to go home and be with my family for Yom Tov. Yom Tov was Wednesday night. When I protested that my family was in good hands, you told me not to argue, and that I could come back after Yom Tov. What I didn't realize was that you were saying good-bye.

With a heavy heart, Yitzchak and I returned to our respective homes. From Montreal to Hamilton the flight is a little over an hour. I arrived in Hamilton in time to go and pick up the girls from school.

As we entered the hall of our apartment building, I could hear the phone ringing. It was Mommy, saying that you had just passed away. Two hours later, Yitzchak and I were on our way back to Montreal.
Your funeral was the next day, Erev Rosh Hashana. 

We sat shiva for 1 hour and in that hour I heard so many stories from people I didn't know about your generosity and how you quietly helped so many people. 

Daddy, I know you and Mommy are watching over us from above. I want you both to know that your grandchildren have grown up to be wonderful parents. Baruch Hashem, you have over forty plus great-grandchildren.  

We love you and miss you! 

I would like to wish everyone L’Shana Tovah. May this new year be a year full of brachot, good health, happiness and nachas.
G’Mar Chatima Tova