I’m Back!

Posted by at Nov 8, 2012 6:00 am

In the last month, I’ve lost my father, a man I loved dearly, I’ve mourned, grieved, then suffered through Hurricane Sandy, no power for 8 days. It was cold and dark. Tonight it is snowing like crazy and I pray we don’t lose power again. Along the way, I learned a lot about myself (I’m stronger than I thought), I have awesome friends at home and far away, and amazing readers who truly care. So thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your condolences and caring, and for your patience while I tried to come back to myself. Thank you to Julie, Janelle and Leslie, for holding down the fort while I couldn’t be here. I love you all very much and appreciate all the love you showered me with when I needed it most. I’m still not all the way back. I don’t know if I ever will be. I’m lucky enough to have had a very special father and the loss is enormous. Because I think he should be memorialized for posterity, and because they say once things are on the Internet they are there forever, I’m going to post my eulogy. It’s up to you whether or not you want to read it. I just need for it to be here.

My father was all heart, which is ironic since his heart was the weakest part of him. That heart, which was so big and loving, held on longer than anyone, including his doctors, believed it could – because dad loved life and he loved everyone in it.

Unlike most, dad knew what it was to fight to live from a very young age. From being stabbed 37 times while opening one of his supermarkets, to the heart surgery in his early thirties, dad fought for life. He fought for us. Nobody knows this better than my mother. And everyone in this room and even people who aren’t able to be here know, my father wouldn’t have lived as long as he did if not for my mother. Theirs was a love story to be emulated and admired. They set a standard few will ever reach. I just wish he’d lived to see their fifitieth anniversary this coming June.

Most of you know, my brother and I have been preparing for this day from the time I was thirteen and Ross was nine, when dad had quintuple bypass surgery. From that day on, our lives changed. His most especially. After the surgery, my mother had to change his lifestyle. In a decade before low fat was in vogue and before anyone knew about asking for changes to meals in restaurants, my mother stepped up. If my father needed something to live, then she was going to make sure he got what he needed. As a 13 year old kid, I was mortified. As a 47 year old adult, I am so grateful she took care of him this way because that meant we had him 34 more years. That’s 24 more years than she was promised, not that she told us this, but I think we sensed it anyway.

Still, we had an amazing life thanks to my dad. From vacations in Puerto Rico to a family home in Florida, he made sure we enjoyed every minute of life.

Dad loved to laugh. Often he would begin telling a story, only to have to stop because he couldn’t prevent the tears running down his face as he tried to explain what he found so funny. Often this would be a crazy dream he had, where the retelling was as funny as the dream itself.

Dad was proud of Ross and of me. We always knew it. Dad read my books in manuscript form before they were published and he gave copies of my books to all the doctors and nurses he visited, and there were too many.

Dad loved his business. He treated everyone he met with such dignity and respect, that I grew up knowing what a great man my father was. He loved his childhood friends and he loved the new ones he met in Rockland, then Westchester and Florida. Dad loved his Tuesday/Thursday Gin Rummy games with the men. In everything he did, Dad enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest.

When I was in high school, I’d go out for dinner with them before meeting up with my friends. I was always the unique kid that wanted to be with my parents. And when a teenager wants to do that, her parents must be very special indeed.

Dad loved Phil. Oh, in the beginning he thought he talked with marbles in his mouth (that MA accent) and asked my mother how she could understand a word he said, but eventually they bonded. In fact, they complemented each other in very special and unique ways. Phil learned so much from my dad about love, life and business. And Phil gave my dad the ability to live his life and protect his health by running the business so my father could be in Florida where his health was better.

They truly loved and respected each other and that made me so very lucky – because though Phil worked with dad, he still indulged me my Friday night and Sunday night dinners with my parents. If he minded he was smart enough not to say.

From my dad, I learned how important it is to remain close with your relatives. Dad kept in touch with all of his uncles, aunts and cousins and there are many since my grandpa Henry, his father, was one of five children.

Dad wasn’t a good grandpa, he was an EXCEPTIONAL papa. Dad loved his granddaughters, Jackie, Jen, Jillian and Charlotte. His eyes lit up whenever he spoke about them. Jackie was his first granddaughter and to say he doted on her would be an understatement. He called her “my honey” and the sun rose and set on her. When Jennifer was born, the fact that he now had two granddaughters gave dad endless joy. She was his”Jen-Jen” as we called her then and sometimes still do. Jen would always end up in her papa’s lap in restaurants, crawling in and nobody knew how she actually got there.

Most of all, Dad loved life. Letting go was the most difficult thing he ever did. He didn’t go willingly anymore than we wanted to let him go. Because as much as dad loved us, we love him. And everyone loved Lenny Weinberg. I say this not because he was my father, but because it’s a fact. There will never be anyone like him and I’m so lucky that he was my dad.

48 Comments

48 thoughts on “I’m Back!

  1. 1
    ev says:

    Very beautifully written Carly. My thoughts are with you. Even after 7 years I still miss my dad terribly. It sounds like our dads would have gotten along pretty well. One Catholic, one Jewish, two men who loved life and probably never met a stranger and doted on their grand daughters. Both with hearts that loved and lived longer than any thought that they could.

    I hope this nor’easter didn’t hit too hard. I’m feeling so bad for everyone that has had a double whammy. We’ve been lucky, they have both missed us up here. I don’t know how.

    Hugs.

  2. 2
    Macy Beckett says:

    Carly, that was beautiful. What a remarkable man–thank you for sharing this with us. I’m so sorry for your loss. {big hugs}

  3. 3
    pat says:

    That was beautiful, thanks for sharing. You had a special bond which so few of us never knew.

  4. 4
    CateS says:

    You are so blessed to have such a wonderful family… I’m sorry for you and the rest of the family’s loss. May your grief be lightened by the many wonderful memories.

  5. 5
    Liza says:

    What a beautiful tribute to an amazing man. Your dad sounds so much like my own. Know you and your family remain in my prayers. :hugging:

  6. 6
    Limecello says:

    What a beautiful eulogy, Carly. Thank you for sharing it with us. I’m so sorry for your loss. You and your family are often in my thoughts.
    I’m so glad you have power now, and I’ve got my fingers crossed the nor’easter doesn’t do anything
    Thank you for sharing with us! I’m glad to see you’re back. <3

  7. 7
    Sue Peace says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your father, Carly. :heart: Thank you so much for sharing this and your photos. Having lost my father 16 years ago I can tell you the feelings don’t go away because I always wish I still had him here, but they get easier to cope with and not as overwhelming. Thinking of you. :heart:

  8. 8
    Cindy says:

    What a beautiful tribute , Carly. I am so sorry for your loss and all the hardship that came with Hurricane Sandy.

    I was the exact same age as you when my dad got sick. I got an extra 24 years with mine so your story resonates deeply with me. 8 years later I still think of my dad daily. The pain fades but some people leave enormous holes in your life and that continues to help make us who we are and keep their memories alive.

    You are in my thoughts.

    Cindy

  9. 9
    Lori says:

    What a beautiful post. I admit to crying; your dad sounds a lot like mine, who passed away 8 years ago. I still miss him every day. I’m so glad you remember such wonderdul times and have such a beautiful legacy. Take care.

  10. 10
    Heather F. says:

    Carly, this was a beautiful, loving, heartfelt tribute to your Dad and I’m really glad that you shared it with us. My thoughts and prayers are with you still today as you continue to feel his loss. I’ve also thought a lot about you and all of my other friends that have and are still being affected by Hurricane Sandy.

    I’m glad you’re back and I know things will continue to get better one day at a time. :heart:

  11. 11
    Lynne says:

    What a beautiful eulogy. Your Dad sounds like he was an amazing man. God bless you and may your wonderful memories ease your sorrow and give you comfort.

  12. 12
    Alina D says:

    Carly that was absolutly beautiful. Your Dad sounds like a very amazing man. He sounds alot like my Dad who passed away almost 7 years ago now from lung cancer. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  13. 13
    Mirmie says:

    Speaking as another “Daddy’s Girl”, that was an amazing tribute. Mine has been gone almost 20 years now (way too soon) and I can tell you from living through it that the pain of their loss may not get “better” but it does eventually get easier to bear. Remember how much you loved and were loved by him and all the wonderful memories you have of his life. :hugging:

  14. 14
    Pennie says:

    Carly, I am so sorry for your loss. You are infinitely blessed to have the wonderful memories. Hold them close, they will keep you warm and safe as the years go by.

  15. 15
    Patoct says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. You were all blessed to have such a wonderful man in your lives. I know he is looking down on you and smiling at your loving words.

    Again, my warmest condolences to you and your family.

  16. 16
    katie says:

    That was so beautiful, Carly. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like a truly amazing man. Lots of hugs and love to you and your family.

  17. 17
    Sue G. says:

    :hugging: What a sweet, wonderful description of your dad. I bet all your friends loved to hang around your house too! My mom is like that too! All my friends still love my mom!

    Hugs to you.

  18. 18
    IRT says:

    Carly, that was a beautiful tribute to your Dad. I was a daddy’s girl too, I had five older brothers, was the only girl and the baby of the family. I lost my dad in 1989, I still miss him terribly!

    Just remember he is not gone, he is just away, and will always be in your heart.

    Hugs :heart:

  19. 19
    jcp says:

    My thoughts are with you on the the loss of your father.

    I hope you were able to stock up on groceries, DVD’s and books before the snow hit again.

  20. 20
    Donna says:

    That was so beautiful… I did send an email at 6 a.m., not sure if you got to see that one. Treasure your memories forever it will get you through each day….

  21. 21
    CrystalGB says:

    Wonderful tribute to your father. It is so hard when a parent passes away. I lost my mother in January and it has been a rough year without her.

  22. 22
    Lisa B says:

    You have a wonderful family. Your parents sounds amazing. Not many are fortunate to have what you did growing up and i can tell how much you appreciated it and how much it shaped you as an adult. When things like this happen in life it changes us forever. Sometimes just a little some time a whole lot. Then we have to learn to live with those changes. Good or bad.

    You did a beautiful job with your eulogy but i can’t imagine it was the easiest to get through it speaking. (((HUGS))) your dad would be proud of how your are doing. As they say your one tough cookie. lol Hang in there.

    Lisa B

    Hope the power doesn’t do out again.

  23. 23
    Gigi says:

    Carly, that was lovely.
    Your father was a special guy.
    I wish I could have be as lucky as you were.

  24. 24
    Donna M says:

    :hugging: Carly, I’m so glad you are strong enough to come be here with us. You have been missed. I can appreciate that you needed time to heal some, something we each do at our own pace. It is unfortunate that Sandy added to a difficult time in your life.

    Thank you for sharing the eulogy, it is beautiful done. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been. My dad passed away in 1980, I still miss him but it is easier now. How blessed you were to have such a wonderful dad & a great family. Even though he is not here physically he is still in your heart which means he continues to be with you at all times. I think he must be watching over you & the rest of his family.

    My heart goes out to you & the family. Take care, stay strong. :heart:

  25. 25
    LSUReader says:

    What a wonderful, heartfelt post. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care.

  26. 26
    Carly says:

    I’m so humbled and grateful for everyone’s comments. Thank you. My dad was a very special man, a family man, and I KNOW how fortunate I was to have him in my life. Thanks again, all. xo

  27. 27
    Tina S says:

    Carly, First let me say WELCOME BACK! Missed you terribly. That is a beautiful tribute to your DAD. I’m sure there were many tears. I lost my DAD 11 years ago and it’s weird but sometimes it seems like yesterday and at other times it feels like a lifetime ago. I was his “TINY TINA” and he was ‘MY DADDY”. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. If I could have one wish it would be to hear his voice and ornery laugh just one more time. The pain never goes away. I think it just dulls over time. There will be good and bad days but just remember he would not want his “LITTLE GIRL” to be so sad. My DAD loved to make me laugh. Always said come on now no tears. So when I have a bad day I hear that voice telling me just that. My heart goes out to you Carly. You probably think “Why my DAD?” I know I was mad at anyone who still had their DAD. Crazy, HUH?? I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  28. 28
    MamaKitty says:

    My condolences to you and your family and thank you for sharing this with us. Losing someone that amazing and wonderful is never easy. Many hugs to you.

  29. 29
    Diane says:

    I read it all and I cried; the best eulogy one could give her father!

  30. 30
    Eileen A-W says:

    Thank you so much for sharing that with us. It was beautiful and filled with the love you have for your day. I am so sorry you lost him but may he live on in your memories and in your heart. I also hope things are improving for all of you affected by Hurricane Sandy & now the latest storm. {{{Hugs}}} to all who need them.

  31. 31
    Leslie says:

    Read this with tears in my eyes. Again, I’m so terribly sorry for your loss. I truly regret that I never had a chance to meet this wonderful man!

  32. 32
    sharlene Wegner says:

    Thank you. That was beautiful. So sorry for your loss & glad you have such good memories to sustain you.

  33. 33

    What beautiful words! I’m so sorry for your loss, and for all the difficulties you’ve had since with the storm. :hugging:

  34. 34
    Patricia says:

    Karen, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your Dad sounds like an extraordinary man, husband, father & grandfather. I hope you get through this difficult time in your life. My thoughts are w/you.

    Patricia

  35. 35
    Brenda Rumsey says:

    Though I’ve never met your father, through your words I have a glimpse of the man that he was and it has touched my life. Thank you for sharing. A part of him will always live on through you and his granddaughters. I’m glad you have friends, family, and your readers to help you get through these days.
    My heart goes out to you and all those affected by Sandy and the new storm blowing through your area. You will be in my prayers.

  36. 36
    Laurel N says:

    Such lovely words from your heart. Thank you for sharing this bit of him with all of us.

    May you and yours reach a place where the sorrow of his passing is outweighed by the joys of loving him and being loved by him.

    Blessings and hugs.

    Laurel

  37. 37
    Donna says:

    Carly,
    I just read your eulogy and must tell you it was so very beautiful and I have tears running down my face…so sorry you had to lose him. How is your mom doing? Take care of yourself and try t remember all the good times which I know you have a lot of… Holidays will be hard but your dad is watching over you and your family from up above…

    Donna

  38. 38
    Martha mckenna says:

    Beautiful! Made me cry and miss my Mom and Grandfather so much more. Thank you for sharing your story with us. You are a stronger person because of your father and he would be so proud. I hope your power stays on, especially the heat. It sounds like you have been blessed with a wonderful marriage and husband. I am fortunate to say the same. Many happy blessings to you now. One being your gift to share your heart through writing and another your precious memories that you are able to capture and share so eloquently. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  39. 39
    Eileen says:

    What a beautiful eulogy. Thank you for sharing. And welcome back!

  40. 40
    Bobbie says:

    Thank you for that wonderful eulogy and post about your father. It was wonderful. We have missed you not only here on PlotMonkeys but on Facebook and Twitter. I always look to Carly to see what she is reading and commenting on to know where my next “fix” is going to come from.

    Glad to have you back. You were missed and loved even in your absence .

  41. 41
    Zeneida says:

    Carly, your were so luckly to have a father like that. It was so beautiful and yes it made me cry, and really miss that father figure that I never had.

    Welcome back!!

  42. 42

    What an awesome tribute to your father. I am so glad you had that special relationship. I’m sorry for your loss and the hardship you endured because of the Hurricane. Glad you’re back and praying that God gives you a peace that passes all understanding.

    Have a blessed day.

  43. 43
    Barrie says:

    Oh, Carly, I’m so very sorry for your loss! I can’t imagine losing a parent and the loss you must feel. The eulogy you wrote was a beautiful testament to your father’s life. Like most readers I’m sure, know that prayers, hugs and kisses are with you!

  44. 44
    Kathleen O says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Your father sound like he was a remarkable man.. You did him proud.
    My father will be gone 7yrs this January, and I still miss him everyday. But they are in your heart everyday and you know that they are looking out for you no matter where they are.

  45. 45
    sherie says:

    beautifully written, carly! So sorry for your loss!

  46. 46
    Missy says:

    What a beautiful tribute Carly ~ Take one day at a time. My mother passed away 22 years ago this Christmas Eve, not a day goes by that I don’t think of her.

  47. 47
    Krysten H says:

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your dad. That was a great tribute to him.

  48. 48
    Diane Sallans says:

    Wonderful tribute – I’m sure it brought tears & smiles to those who heard it & now read it. My Dad’s been gone almost five years now – still miss hime every day.

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