Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
Zaidy and Bubby had a mid-afternoon ritual. He would peel a grapefruit for her each afternoon, concentrating on getting the peel off as perfectly as he could. He would love to show me photos of her as a robust, Rubenesque figure, wistfully recalling her beauty in times gone by. Now she had a perfect model’s figure, but this did not impress him in the least.
They were a couple of opposites but fiercely loyal to one another and to their tight-knit family.
The year was 1984. Bubby had a heart attack and my father was recovering from surgery for cancer. They were a few floors apart in Beth Israel Medical Center.
Daddy was in the ICU, so I couldn’t stay with him all the time. I went to spend some time with Bubby while I waited for my mother-in-law to arrive. Something told me not to leave her side. I stroked her hair and told myself, “Remember this moment.” Bubby slept, but at one point she opened her eyes and took my hands in hers and held them with a very strong grip. She looked deeply into my eyes and thanked me for staying with her.
That was the last time I saw her.
She lapsed into a coma and never recovered.
Zaidy was inconsolable.
Even naming my daughter after Bubby did little to assuage his sadness.
My father passed away within a year of Bubby, and Zaidy promised me that he would buy me a new coat. He would take over where my father left off.
There was a family who moved to Crown Heights temporarily and their brief sojourn turned out to be longer than anticipated. The winter was cold and this family was living in a basement.
I had a warm Shabbos coat that had seen better days. It was stretched out from Baruch Hashem numerous pregnancies. Zaidy took a warm lining from one of his raincoats and sewed it by hand into my coat so that this young mother would be warm.
This was one of the last things that Zaidy did before he too succumbed to cancer.
I wouldn’t leave his side at the hospital. His vision was gone by now, but when he heard my voice it was clear that Zaidy, did in fact know who I was.
“Zaidy, Zaidy, listen, Peninaleh is speaking Yiddish!” He responded, turning his face in my direction.
I said Shema with him and when I was shooed home to nurse my baby, I made sure that he was not alone.
He was niftar during the night on the 9th of MarCheshvan.
I have made several weddings since that time and Baruch Hashem I am now a proud Bubby.
In the year 2000, my husband and I traveled to England to attend the bris of our grandson.
“And his name is called in Israel: Meir Zev.”
Upon hearing the name, my husband cried.
There are now three Meirs who carry Zaidy’s name and Baruch Hashem they spread their own shining lights. Just as Zaidy cried tears of joy upon hearing my son teitch Gemora in Yiddish, I know that Zaidy is kvelling on high to see how his namesakes as well as his entire family bring credit to him.
Two Dinas also grace our family. One is my daughter whose spunk is testimony that Bubba’s genes definitely thrive within her. My little granddaughter Dinaleh is a sweet, unaffected little English maidel, always smiling, always happy to spread good cheer as she dotes on her twin brother, Dovie.
Bubby and Zaidy endured hardships of which they rarely spoke; yet the seeds that they planted have born the best fruit possible.
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“Daddy,” I exclaimed, “Is this how you daven?” Daddy’s response was a hearty laugh. I felt so proud of myself.
He exhorted all of us to continue to reach out to one another each and every day because that is what our tafkid (life’s goal) should be. And because that is what Hashem requires of us.
Parents possess divine inspiration (ruach haKodesh) when naming their children. In instances wherein a child is named after a departed loved one, we take great care in our choice – in the belief that the best character traits of the person we are honoring will be reflected in our precious progeny’s actions.
My home is furnished simply. One notes the customary family photos and bric-a-brac that makes a house a home, but certain items are my priceless treasures.
The zaidie sat at the head of the dining room table. I was a small child and unaware that my friend Esther’s grandfather was the revered rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University, Rav Moshe Aaron Poleyeff, zt”l.
It took a few months, but I finally summoned up what little koach I had to go to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt”l, for “Sunday Dollars.” I wanted to take my new baby to the Rebbe. Although he was about three months old at the time, I had not been strong enough until now to attempt a trip to 770 Eastern Parkway.
With so much to do before our recent trip, I was walking on a cloud.
It must have been evident to one and all, since my feet barely touched the ground.
Who would have believed that I would arrive at this special time – so grateful am I to HaKadosh Baruch Hu?
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/bubby-and-zaidy-an-einikels-remembrance/2009/10/28/
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