Where do I begin? There are no words to describe my grandfather or how much he will be missed. But his memory will always live within everyone he touched.
There are so many memories. I could take a lesson from each and every memory. In his 80's he started taking English lessons at the Great Neck Adult School. He always wanted to better himself, challenge himself. He never sat still. He used to call me 3-4 times a week to ask me about certain phrases or certain words. What I enjoyed most was that I was helping someone who had helped so many others. This was my way of repaying him for everything that he had done. He was amazing. He was never embarrassed to ask questions. Always ask questions, challenge!!! This is the lesson I took.
Starting about 10 years ago, my grandfather and I had a standing appointment to go grocery shopping every Friday. Why did I look forward to going to the supermarket? Because that was my chance to find out about the next Jewish holiday. What was its significance, what was the origin, etc? He enjoyed teaching as much as he enjoyed learning. But what I remember the most about Fridays at the market was that I would ask him about his childhood, about his courtship with my grandmother. When he spoke of my grandmother, he would have such a glee. Although I had heard the story, I could not resist asking about it again and again just to hear the happiness in his voice. He loved her until the end.
Whenever we said goodbye, he would tell me, "aghebatetoon bekhare bashe," (which roughly translates into 'May G-D bless your final destination') I once asked him if this was a blessing for when you get old? He said it was for everyone, its for everyday of ones life. May you be successful in your daily activities? Do a
mitzvah good deed) daily, so that when you go to bed at the end of the day, you will feel fulfilled.
I am so glad that he was able to meet my new born son, his great grandson. That was the last time I saw him. Not only will I be able to tell my son about the time he met his great grandfather, but I will be able to show him pictures of that meeting. How many people can say that they were in the presence of their great grandfather, well my son will.
My grandfather was a student of life. He loved his religion and his family. In 100 or 200 years, no one will remember specifics about what type of man he was or what he looked like or even what he did. But people will remember and pass on his ideals that are instilled within each and everyone of us.
I thank you for all you taught me and promise to keep your memory in my heart for ever, for eternity.
As Baba Mousa would say: Aghebatetoon bekhare bashe.
Pedram E. Doustan
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