Murray Goodman

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Joshua Goodman

It was almost two weeks ago that I jumped on a plane to go to Germany to be with my mom and dad. I could not help thinking how horrible it was for them to be alone in a foreign country thousands of miles from friends and family at a time like this. But during the ensuing vigil, it became apparent that my mom and dad, and, in fact, my two brothers and I, were not alone. We were engulfed by the warmth, friendship and love of so many people, some right there in Munich , and others in places stretching thousands of miles in either direction. Those kinds of feelings and emotions are not given easily, certainly not by so many. They are a mark of and a tribute to the kind of person my father was. He did not walk lightly through life, and the footprints he made throughout the years, the decades, the countries, and the continents, were deep and long lasting. He took people into his life, and was in turn taken into theirs. I am grateful to have experienced my father in those last two weeks through the impact he had on others.

I am also grateful to have been able to spend time at his bedside. I will not pretend that it was not gut wrenching and emotionally exhausting to see him like that and to ride the ups and downs with my mother and brothers, and with so many of you that were with us in spirit. It was. And of course, there were many more downs than ups. But it did give me time to think about my dad, about things we had done together, and, yes, about all the things we would now not be able to do together. We had some pretty amazing experiences with dad. From spending 4 hours on the backs of camels climbing Mt. Sinai in what is now Egypt to see the sun rise, to a visit to Dachau on an earlier trip to Munich . But mostly I thought about the mundane. Calling my dad on the phone to tell him one thing or another about my kids, spending Passover with him, going clothes shopping. He did enjoy shopping for clothes, and although I dont, I always enjoyed doing it with him. I will miss all those everyday mundane things of life we did together. I will miss him.

But as much as I will miss him, as we will all miss him, he will also always be with us. Not just in the lifetime of truly wonderful memories, but in other ways as well. I can clearly remember when my brothers and I simply became to big for him to wrestle with on the bed in a game called chin against the wall. I am afraid I have recently reached that same point with my kids. And so now I look forward to watching my kids teach chin against the wall to their children. That is how it works; one generation to the next.

Coming home here to San Diego was quite an emotional experience. The drive past his lab, through the Farms, and especially the home; it is all so full of him. It makes the loss so much more intense, but that is a good thing. I want to feel him. So I walk through the house and see him everywhere. Mostly I look at the photographs. Photographs everywhere, mostly of family. Which is not a surprise of course, because this is what was really important to him. Family. One generation to the next. So I look for photographs of his children, Andy, David and me. His grandchildren, Mia, Zack, Jessica, Eli, Celia and Noah. And of course of mom, Zelda, his wife of almost 53 years. Their loving and committed relationship was and remains an inspiration. And I remember him.

I have wondered many times over the past two weeks, how do you say goodbye to a father. Maybe I dont have to, at least not completely. I hope that for the rest of my life I will have my private conversations with dad, sharing with him, seeking his advice, and talking to him