by Aliza Pescovitz
December 16, 2010
We used to tease my dad that he was the least social person in the family and that talking to people was basically torture. But looking out at all of you, I can see that we clearly underestimated our father's threshold for pain.
I have so many wonderful memories of my dad. In fact, standing before you now, I have at least several dozen stories that I could tell just off the top of my head. Although, I'm extremely heart broken at the loss of my father, I feel extremely blessed to have had the sweetest, most caring, and, frankly, the best father in the whole world. I want to share just a few memories of my father with you today.
My parents always urged me to work as hard as I could in school. In fact, in 8th grade, even though I only tested into pre-algebra, my dad sat with me every night for two months trying to teach me algebra so that I could transfer to the higher class. What I didn't know at the time, was that my dad was teaching me algebra using calculus. It wasn't until after I finally managed to switch into the algebra class that I realized that algebra really wasn't as hard as I thought.
When I was 13 years old, I was determined to wear my talit, or prayer shawl, to prayers at school. Although I could have fought with the principal for days on end without rest, I was unable to articulate my arguments for why I should be allowed to wear it, in a coherent and persuasive manner. My dad saw my fledgling legal skills and bought me a book about Women in Jewish Law. He then worked with me for hours; reading through the book and helping me to structure my very first legal argument. Actually, my only legal argument to date. I'm proud to say that thanks to my dad, I won my first case. I don't know if either of us knew it at the time, but my dad is responsible for setting me on my path towards becoming a lawyer.
When I was 17, I decided to go visit my old summer camp, which was only 15 minutes from the house. I forgot how to get there, and was too embarrassed to ask for directions. Before I knew it, I was about an hour away from home and half-way to Lebanon, IN. I finally called my dad for help. Even though I had no idea where I was, my dad somehow found me and came to my rescue. I later found out that he was really mad at me, but at the time, he gave me a hug, handed me a map of Indiana (which I couldn't read), and led me home, going not more that 40 mph on the expressway so he could make sure I was following him.
My dad was always there for us. There was nothing more important to him. He even left the operating room in the middle of surgery to come sit on top of me while the dentist pulled a tooth. He never missed an important event in our lives. He was our great motivator, our source of strength, and our nurturer. He taught me how to remain (somewhat) calm in a crisis. He didn't talk much, but when he did we all stopped to listen. The truth is, words cannot express the amazing way he has affected my life and the affect he will continue to have on me. Even though he's gone he'll still be with me always; guiding me, helping me, and making me laugh. I love you dad.