Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Norman Fisch, Z'L

Today is the 10th yahrzeit of my father-in-law, Norman Fisch. It's hard to believe that a decade went by so quickly. It seems just yesterday that he was in our lives, laughing and singing through all his health struggles. He had been ill with diabetes, heart problems, and other related conditions for almost 25 years, and had been on peritoneal dialysis for five years, before his passing. So we know well that much of the time he did have with us, far beyond the most optimistic medical expectations, was nothing but a gift. Yet his absence still pains.

The period of my father-in-law's loss was especially arduous and confused for Debbie and me because our youngest child, Shayna, had been born just ten days earlier. In fact, the bad turn that culminated with Debbie's dad leaving this world, occurred on the same day and even the very hour that Shayna entered it. An odd and gripping coincidence, if such truly exists. And yet, not really paradoxical at that. Our religion certainly contains many object-lessons on the overlap, the utter co-dependence, of happiness and sorrow, rejoicing and mourning. Yizkor recited on our most joyous holidays. Yom Kippur giving way to Sukkos, Yom HaZikaron to Yom HaAtzmaut. The glass broken at weddings. Birth and death, forever intertwined.

I asked Ben last night what he remembers most of his Zaidah Norman. He spoke of the funny songs that his Zaidah composed, his jokes, his board games, and his love for sports, which Ben himself has since inherited in full measure. Ben knew him only through the prism of young childhood, and I only as an adult, yet my perspective is very much the same. My father-in-law never let his illness, which physically restricted him in so many fundamental ways, take away what mattered most to him; his knack for finding fun and laughter in every situation, his zest for life, and most of all, the smile and genuine acceptance he had for every friend, family member, and visitor. As I noted at his funeral, he may have had a bum ticker, but he had a heart of gold.

May his soul be intertwined in the bundle of life, and may he be a heavenly advocate for those he has left behind.


At 1/3/06, 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norm Fisch was a sweet guy.

At 1/3/06, 11:48 PM, Blogger Alan aka Avrum ben Avrum said...

Dear Reb Elie,

A beautiful tribute with words that seem so finely chosen as to remind me of the great care with which many of the ultra pious choose their arba minim.

May his neshuma have an aliya! I am ...

Very Sincerely yours,

Alan D. Busch


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