For any of you that knew my Pop Pop, you know that this isn’t the first time I’ve thought about doing this. For the past five years, my Pop Pop has been very sick, and my family and I have prepared for this day more than once.
But when I think about my Pop Pop, I don’t think about how sick he was, or how he looked, walked, talked, or felt over the past few years. The Pop Pop I remember, and whom I want all of you to remember, was much bigger than anything or anyone I’ve ever known in my whole life.
He was so tall, that when he took my sister and me to Golden Acres Dude Ranch in Gilboa, NY, the only kosher Dude Ranch of its kind; they actually had to bring a horse out of retirement so that he could ride it.
He appreciated the little things in life, and loved telling jokes. I spent many hours in the car wondering just where this man Ishkabible Fafufnick actually lived and if we would ever get to Jepip, and for years I thought that if my sister and I stayed up talking in our bedroom in their house, our other house, that our noses would really start to grow.
He called us, his family, his diamonds – and he cherished us beyond belief. My sister and I grew up with an idea of piety and faith because of him; practiced the alef-beis until our faces were blue time and time again. It always amazed us that a man who had seen as much as he had, who had experienced loss the way that he had, could still believe so steadfastly in G-d. My grandfather knew how to love, and he was a holy man; a man who upheld his faith in the face of many different types of adversity.
I don’t want to say goodbye to my grandfather; rather, I want to say that I will see him later, in another life, or another realm, soon, in our own days.