Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Usual Selves
That I Have Known

My Nephews, Having Fun with Their Dad
Ron ~ Jerrod ~ Dan

A Memorial Tribute for Ronald Ben Rosenbluth
31 March 1951 - 20 June 2015
given by his son, Daniel J. Rosenbluth

In 1986, when I was eight years old, my father and I were in a car accident that by all rights should have killed us both. The particulars aren't important; what's important is that Dad's only concern was making sure I was safe.

Twenty - nine years later, on a sunny day in late June, I held Dad's hand as he passed away. I couldn't save him; all I could do was try to reassure him that the rest of us would be okay, and watch as the strongest man I've ever known slipped away in front of me.

I'll never forget what Dad told me the day w e found that his illness was terminal. "It's not your fault," he said. "You were there with me every step of the way, and I will continue to fight with whatever tools they give me." And he did. Even to the very end, he tried to carry on. But it wasn't enough; even two liters of my bone marrow did nothing to stop the cancer, and a week later, he was gone. My hero, the man who gave his family more than I will ever be able to repay, was eaten alive by his own body. Shakespeare once wrote:

"Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off . . .
Do not forever with thy vail├Ęd lids
Seek for thy noble father in the dust.
Thou know’st ’tis common. All that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity."

That didn't make Hamlet feel any better, and it didn't help me either.

Nothing I can say or do will ever make it okay for any of us. Dad loved us, and we loved him. But we an take comfort in the fact that his legacy will on through us. He gave us humor, wisdom, and most importantly, he gave us unconditional love. My father was many things -- solider, engineer, husband, father, student and teacher -- but the most important thing I can think of is simply this: He was Ronald Ben Rosenbluth. He was everything I want to be, and if I can be even half the man that he was, then I hope he'll be proud, wherever he may be.

I love you, Dad.

Dan is right, nothing will ever take away the sadness or make it okay, but thankfully we have many shared memories to look back on and to carry forward as we go. However, when my brother Bruce quoted the following poem at Ron's funeral service . . .

Sing Well! ~ by Joyce Grenfell
If I should die before the rest of you,
Break not a flower, nor inscribe a stone,
Nor, when I’m gone, speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known,
Weep if you must:
Parting is hell,
But life goes on
So . . . sing as well!

[emphasis added]

. . . the following songs came to mind:

"Those Were The Days" - Mary Hopkin, 1968
"Light a Light" - Janis Ian, 1974
"Seasons In The Sun" - Terry Jacks, 1974

Read more Eulogies for Ron on my current post

~ "We Had Fun, Didn't We? " ~

@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker:
A Fortnightly [every 14th & 28th] Literary Blog of
Connection & Coincidence; Custom & Ceremony

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