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He Did It His Way

October 1, 2014

felice n papaWe all have priorities. For some it’s to be successful and make a lot of money. For others, it’s work less and spend more time doing what you love. For my grandfather, now 93, his goal has always been to take care of his family. After a lifetime of experiences, some no one should ever have, never once did he say, “Woe is me.” Instead his motto was forge ahead, work hard, save for a rainy day. He raised 3 children and celebrated with the addition of each of his 9 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.“I did it my way,” Papa said last week, reflecting back, as we were out for a walk on The Cape. “I helped put kids through college and helped pay for homes. It wasn’t so easy, but I did de best I could. Now I’m ready to go.”

Of course no opapa n markne wants to hear a loved one talk about “checking out,” but Papa doesn’t say it out of depression as much as he’s ready, his checklist of accomplishments complete. Plus he’s tired, more from constant worrying than years spent working hard. He persevered, despite… well, we know what the despite is.

Over the last few years, the feedback he gets from readers of his life story saying it helped them get through their own hard times, now brings him hope. What a wonderful cycle.

Whenever I haven’t seen or spoken to Papa in awhile, this is how our conversations begin.

andrew n papa hug“How are you sveetheart?” asks Papa.
“I’m good, Papa.”

“How are book sales?”
“They’re good.”

“Are you busy working?”

“Are you saving money?”

“Good. Enjoy your life.”

“Enjoy your life” has become his new tag line. After nine decades that’s what he has deemed most important. And he should know after all those curve balls he had thrown at him.

andrew and papaLast week was the Jewish New Year and for the first time in years Papa was with us. Seated next to his 7-year-old great-grandson, the two were equally enamored with the other, hugging and talking all evening. It reminded me of the film “18 Again” when George Burns, at 81, turns into his 18-year-old grandson. Would Papa like to go through life again? If really given the opportunity, I would bet yes, though according to him, no, he’s prepared to go. But, as we all keep telling him, not yet.


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  1. Marilyn Solomon permalink

    Love it! Love the pics! Love your words! Hugs & kisses to all! Miss you all! 😘

  2. David Schwartz permalink

    Beautiful piece — so much love between you and Papa!!!

  3. Marilyn permalink

    I saved a couple of pics for memories!

    Sent from my iPad


  4. james nomikos permalink

    you are really blessed Felice, happy New year. thanks for sharing naomi

  5. Jamie barr permalink


  6. Nancy Rossman permalink

    Very nice Any new books for u? Nothing for Tomorrow is out. Check out the blurb in amazon if u want Best Nancy

    Sent from my iPhone Nancy Rossman 18650 N Thompson Pk Pkwy #2047 Scottsdale, AZ. 85255 602.418.2000 First love last dance Facebook


  7. Auntie M permalink

    This is a fabulous piece about a fabulous man with fabulous pictures! So glad you all got to enjoy each other.

  8. Albert permalink

    It was nice to read your grandfather story it would and unbelievable story It was an honor to meet him I would say may God bless him but he already did

  9. Dana Arschin permalink

    cute post. love those adorable pics

  10. Theresa permalink

    I simply love Papa! 🙂

  11. Sharon & Larry Lustgarten (the pool people} lol permalink

    Felice, your Papa is one amazing man. I have known him and Toby since we moved into Guildford four years ago. I am so glad he was with his family for the holidays. Happy & Healthy New Year to you and your family.

  12. Richard Aberson permalink

    Your Papa cannot be defeated . He is a true hero. I have had the privilege of being in his company often the last several years.

  13. elaine toth permalink

    What a charming story Felice.
    Enjoyed !

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