I wanted to write about my dad on Father’s Day and now it’s too late. You’re probably thinking who cares about Father’s Day now? But I do. You see, my dad, Sanford Brown, died April 28th, barely two months ago, and I’m still grieving.
It feels like I always will grieve, and maybe that’s why I haven’t been able write about him. If it were any other topic, I’d just call it procrastination, but here, now, it’s more poignant.
I want to write about how close I was to my dad–tell you how I miss our telephone conversations about politics, books, current events, my work, and family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren. At times, I find myself reaching for the phone to call, and then I realize that I will never hear his voice again. Yes, it’s very sad.
My dad was 85, and one week before he died, I traveled to Cleveland to celebrate his 85th birthday and Passover with our family. He was especially proud to witness his nine-year-old great grandson, Jacob, conduct the entire Seder not only in English but Hebrew, too. It was truly a spectacular day.
Days after I got home, my sister called to say Dad was in the hospital, and it didn’t look good. Back I went, hoping it would all work out. Like many of you with aging parents, I always knew that dreaded call would come one day, but somehow, I still wasn’t prepared. Despite the fact that my dad was 85 and had lived a good long life, it still seems too short. And, despite the fact that he was not really sick and lived in the same house for the last 56 years surrounded by family and friends, it’s still too short.
If anyone were to ask me what I learned from my dad, I would tell them: how to love unconditionally, the importance of family, loyalty, forgiveness, charity, to travel and see the world; maintain a strong work ethic, and make sure there is laughter in your life.
While I haven’t perfected all of these qualities, I am forever grateful to have my dad’s teachings to guide me through my life’s journey.