I began this blog in late 2004...and am now at my 1000th post. Yes, the posts have slowed down over the past year or so -- not because of time restrictions, but because of not always having something to say, or to the other extreme, having TOO MUCH to say yet thinking "Who would want to read these inner-most deep feelings...maybe I should keep something to myself."
But in any case, this post is a tribute to the men in my life, for they are all good men with good hearts, generosity of spirit, and true menschlichkeit.
My father, Jacob, z"l, who passed away on March 8th, reigned supreme among these men. He led by example, he didn't practice idle gossip or slander or lies. He was a straightforward man, a decent businessman, and generous beyond his means. A loving father, a wonderful husband, he only knew how to give. Sometimes he simply reacted to circumstances, not completely thinking them through, but letting his warm self shine through.
Last night, when my husband did something really nice for me, along the same lines as my father would've done, I recalled this incident.
Some 25+ years ago, I had a summer office job, which I'd recently started. At the time there were some serious family matters going on, which often took my parents' attention. One day, around noon, I called and spoke to my mom. I then asked, "Where's Dad?" She didn't know, saying he'd just gone out with the car.
About 10 minutes later, the office door opens, and in walks my dear father...a smile on his face and a bowl in his hands. That bowl held cherries. "I washed them for you. I wanted you to have them." Now some people might think that was some kind of smothering parental tactic, but I say absolutely not. This example simply reflects who my dad was: he thought of something, wanted someone to have it, and made every effort to give that person that something. He took pleasure in others having pleasure.
I wish my father were around today to bring me another bowl of washed cherries...
Last night, I was attending my oldest son's baseball game. My husband had taken my youngest son to his game a couple hours earlier. It was very cold and I could've stood to be wearing a winter jacket and gloves while sitting on those metal benches. But not me, just a long-sleeved top, a hoodie on that and a light spring jacket.
I'd spoken to my husband and asked if he had any blanket in his car, which he could bring to me. He didn't, so I said forget it.
About 40 minutes later, I called home, wanting to know if he'd arrived home and to let him know that I was coming home for something warm. My daughter told me that Ron had already been home and left.
Not 10 minutes later, he's crossing the park field toward me with a blanket and two chair pads to sit on.
I turned to my friend alongside me and said, "That's Ron for you. And that's something my dad would've done too."
And I know that is something my two older brothers, Michael and Jerry, would have also done. They continually give of themselves, expecting nothing in return. We used to say that my brother Michael was most like my dad, but throughout my father's extended illness and hospitalizations, I realized that Jerry too was very much like my dad.
I am proud and thankful to say that my two sons, Avi and Noam, follow the Adler men in their demeanor. They are considerate, they are generous, they are sensitive to others' needs...and it all shows naturally.
May Hashem bless the men in my life to continue living life in the warm and generous way they do...just as my father did.