Last night I posted a plea to my Jewish friends here for condolence etiquette. What an amazing response by so many -- Jewish and non-Jewish good folks. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I forwarded the post and comments to my Mom who is so grateful for your generosity and excellent advice.
Ruby passed into the universe last night. His son and daughter-in-law will be sitting shiva for three days. And, of course, we are expecting a stupid snow storm Monday through Tuesday so I most likely won't make it to NYC. My Mom is on the West Coast.
She is already acting on the advice from so many of you -- writing down the memories and sending a donation to the Cancer Society as requested by Ruby's son. Ruby's wife died of cancer. She has hundreds and hundreds of lovely stories plus a copy of the blessing Ruby gave at their 50th anniversary.
I just spoke to my Mom and she said he was ready to let go. In his weekly phone call to her, he would always tell her a joke -- often it was the same joke she heard a zillion times. She always laughed as hard as the first time.
As I wrote last night, Ruby had been on two different ships in the Pacific during WWII. Both were torpedoed. The first one limped back to "safety" but he was injured. He was given treatment and sent back to another ship. The second, the USS Helena was sunk. My Dad's ship, the USS Radford, after repeated attempts under heavy air fire and torpedo attacks, pulled 468 men from the water (I thought it was over 300, but found the accurate number). Ruby was in the water for over 24 hours.
My Mom asked him if he had been terrified by the sharks. He said: "they don't eat kosher meat." That was Ruby. He had a million of them. We loved him like family. He was the type of guy that made a smart person understand that religion can be instructional, but all of us can be a piece of G-d.
Peace and blessings beloved Ruby. Peace and blessings for your loving son and daughter in law. May you find the energy and atoms of your beloved wife and my Irish Catholic father out there.
Much love to this community.