So many years have passed since you left this world. However, I feel that you are always here with me. The lessons that we learn from our grandparents, the things that we possess within us, the attributes that are passed down to us from generation to generation, is the power that keeps us alive.
As a parent and a grandparent, there are so many times in the day that I think of my grandparents and how they would react. And then I know what to do. Although I lived miles away in Israel from my beloved grandfather, the memories that I have with him are stronger than any physical distance, and they live within me and give me strength at all times.
My grandfather used to call me his precious little Michali and I cherished those words every time I saw him. I knew that I was like sunshine to him, and no matter what kind day he was having, if I were to walk into his study or into his office, he would stop everything and smile at me and say, “Oh sweet little Michali how are you? What are you doing here? Do you need anything?” No matter what I asked of him, he always said yes.
I remember the great summers when he used to take us to the hotel, and I remember the great times we had there. On Shabbat our table was filled with divrei Torah and Shabbat songs. My brothers used to learn with my grandfather Gemara and he used to take pride in them when they would finish a Masechet or two. I didn’t sit and learn with him, but I knew that I could make him smile more than anybody else could. Once I bought him a sunflower that used to sing when you clap your hands. Every time I walked into the room I would start clapping and the flower would start to sing. My grandparents loved this. My grandfather loved this flower so much he used to tell my mother, “Every time I look at the flower it makes me smile. I think of my little Michali and am always happy.”
I’m all grown up today and a grandmother myself. Yet these fond memories of my childhood keep me going on tough days. My grandchildren also keep me going. And I wish to build bonds with them of special moments that will last them forever. In spite of the ups and the downs of life, I have strength to continue.
I had a great relationship with my grandparents, and that says it all. Thank you Zaidy for all the love you gave me. That love is with me at all times. Although we lived in different countries, the times I saw you were a lifeline for me. May your neshama keep going to higher and higher levels up in Heaven, and please keep watching over me and my family and especially my grandchildren forever. In memory of Rabbi Sholom Klass.