Tag Archives: dad

A Tribute 2.2

In January I wrote 3 tributes to my father (123) when he passed away. This Sunday was his unveiling (a Jewish tradition of returning to the grave a year later) during which we once again shared stories of my Dad. This week I’ll offer three more tributes.

My Dad’s Mom passed away when I was in graduate school. I remember going to her unveiling a year later and then out to a local restaurant with all the family members. My Dad brought his camera and was snapping away.
I was very surprised. And I asked him, “Dad, why would you want pictures of this event. This is a sad moment to hold onto.”
He said, “Noah, look around you. How often do you get to see all this family together. That’s something to appreciate and enjoy, even if it is tinged with sadness.”

A Tribute 3

On January 24 my father passed away. Today I offer the my third tribute to him and the lessons he offered me which made me who I am.

“Noah, I want you to know something. Twelve years ago I was going through a tough time in my life. Your father was there for me. He helped where no one else was able . . .”

That is the conversation I had more than any other at my Dad’s funeral and during shiva. Over and over again people talked about my father reaching out to help them in times of crisis and need.

It was strange.

I knew my father was a great source of inspiration and support and wisdom for me. But I’m his son. These comments came from family members, friends, and people I didn’t even know.

The lesson I took away from these comments related to my father is to help people.

Selflessly, consistently, throughout your life, help people.

You will enrich your life and theirs. And while I know I did learn this from my father while he was living, this past week reminded me of the lesson and filled me with pride and love for the man who taught me so much.

A Tribute 2

On Monday my father passed away. Today I offer the second in a series of tributes to him and the lessons he offered me which made me who I am.

The last few days of my father’s life he could barely speak. Completing a single sentence took a great act of will. Yet the doctors always had questions for him.

One of the groups of questions they always asked was a mental status exam. On one occasion a doctor entered the room and proceeded to give him this exam.

“Do you know where you are?” the doctor asked.

“Yes,” my father replied.

“Where are you?” the doctor asked.

“Thomas Jefferson University Hospital,” my father answered.

“Where is that?” the doctor asked.

“Philadelphia, PA,” my father said.

This doctor then began looking through the various machines and IV lines hooked up to my father, and another doctor entered the room.

“Do you know where you are?” the new doctor asked.

“Yes,” my father replied.

“Where are you?” the new doctor asked.

“Ask her,” my dad said, pointing to the first doctor. “She knows.”

My father taught me never to lose my sense of humor. Even in illness. Even staring at death, don’t stop living, loving, and laughing.


A Tribute

On Monday my father passed away. Today I will offer the first in a series of tributes to him and the lessons he offered me which made me who I am.

Perhaps my most vivid memory of my father is an exchange that lasted no more than 30 seconds and occurred over 20 years ago. I had been at a friend’s house. It was one of those wonderful warm spring days after a rain and we decided to play football with some other neighborhood kids. Time flew by and before I knew it, it was time for my mom to pick me up to go home.

Only my mom didn’t pick me up. My dad did.

In his new car.

I was a mess, mud from head to toe. And his new car still had that wonderful new car smell.

He pulled up and I hesitated to get in.

He asked me what was wrong and I said I didn’t want to get his car dirty.

Then he said, “Noah, it’s just a thing. Get in.”

And I did.

While that moment crystalized the lesson, throughout my life my dad taught me over and over again never to put things above people. He taught me to care about and for others. And I will miss him continuing to teach me this and so many other lessons I still need from him.

Just a Thing

Yesterday I wrote about my upcoming commencement speech and asked you to think about the stories from your past that influenced who you are today. Here’s one of mine.

I was 13 years old and it was a perfect spring day after a night of rain. I met up with some friends after school to play some tackle football in a particularly muddy field. It was awesome.

When it came time for my ride home something unexpected happened.

Instead of my mom, I saw driving down the street my father in his brand new car. It still had that new car smell. It was spotless. It was beautiful.

And I was a mess. Filthy.

My dad pulled up and saw me hesitate. He asked me what was wrong. I told him I didn’t want to get mud all over his brand new car.

He said, “Noah, get in. It’s just a thing.”

This moment carried with it many lessons.

  • I learned the value of things.
  • I learned the value of people.
  • I learned about priorities, caring and compassion.
  • I learned it’s okay to have a filthy car.

Keep thinking about your life lessons. Graduation is less than a week away. It’s a good time to remember.