Saturday, July 26, 2014


A few days ago, my father would've turned 91 years old. Last year, at his 90th birthday, I forgot and didn't think about him. Or, maybe, I did and don't remember it now. 
My dad was about 5 feet 4 inches tall. He had squinty, red eyes, suffering from lifelong allergies. I never saw it before, and neither he nor anyone else in Russia ever said it, but the kindness and the wisdom on his face made him look simply beautiful! 
He told me: he never thought he would live into his late eighties. The soldiering and hard, hard work left him with a multitude of ailments, but in the United States the medicine took good care of him, and he wasn't feeling badly even at 89. It took a bad fall and an intracranial bleeding - and then a pneumonia - to kill him. 
Here is what I wrote about him in my story Rimka, that I published a year ago:

"Meyer was a simple fellow, his family was crude and uninteresting in her [Rimka's, my mother's] eyes. She couldn't 
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The Cathedral of the Archangel in
see beyond the dirty fingernails and bad table manners, that her unassuming boyfriend was a true craftsman. He joined the crew of, mostly, his relatives, who did various jobs in Moscow. Sure, when there was nothing else, they painted apartments or made safety posters to keep their families fed, but their main work was that of restoration. They put gold leaf on the great cupolas of the Russian churches (Jewish men, risking their lives on the flimsy scaffolding, to uplift and uphold the Russian spirit), painted and restored the train and, later, the metro 
stations, the historical buildings and the public offices. They were supposed to use stencils to create the appearance that the patterns were sculpted on the walls and the ceilings. Eventually, my father began to just paint them freehand. The Moscow Synagogue, after they were done with it, became a jewel, in 
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Moscow Synagougue
hundreds of intricate blue, green and gold patterns. In fifty years that they spent together, Rimka will rarely think of that or appreciate his talent. She felt that she could be an unchallenged leader of him and their family and that's why she agreed to marry him."

  Dad always did his damndest to help out.  
Even though during his last years he lived with us and didn't do much in a way of physical help, he was my rock, someone who never stopped loving and supporting me in every decision and situation that our family faced. No matter, how frazzled I felt, the look in his eyes when he spoke to or about his grandchildren, never failed to warm my heart. 
Enjoying ice-cream with little Hamah.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you dear, she wrote about our beloved papochka, I also always think of him and very sorry he could still live to 100. I can imagine how he reacted to all the ugliness that is currently going on in the world THERE is peaceful and perhaps he was there met his beloved little wife. Let the they rest in peace. L