Friday, October 25, 2013

A Tribute to My Father

I realized recently that my brother and I did not post an obituary for my dad. After all, I had written my mom's obituary mainly to take some of my dad's pain away. My mom was a beautiful, brilliant actress and artist who never noticed how much attention she was getting! People loved her. My dad adored her. Animals thought she was Sow White! Women enjoyed being around her compassion, love, and wisdom. She was the greatest Mom to me. In addition, she had an accomplished career in stage, television and film. I was blessed to work with her in a stage production,a few years before she passed. I cherish this time we had.

In August 2011, i had tried to reach my dad but couldn't. I knew intuitively that something was not right.

I rushed over to his apartment where I found my dad in his chair unable to stand up. Although we don't have a perfect timetable for how his stroke happened, we do know he was home, safe and aware. When I found him, he smiled, spoke clearly to me and was even making jokes!!!

My father is truly an American success story. His father and mother were born and raised in Russia during the time Lenin was changing the entire world. It was clear to my grandfather that he would need to leave the Ukraine in order to avoid fighting against family. Both the Red and White armies were after him. After careful thought, my grandmother decided to remain in the Ukraine due to the fact that she had her first born son there. My grandfather would return shortly to get them out.

Unfortunately, no one counted on World War I breaking out. With my Grandfather here in Pittsburgh, my grandmother would have to wait seven long years before she could escape with her baby boy. They spent those years hiding in the hills and trees away from the fighting. Finally they joined my grandfather's brother (Uncle Pete) and made their way to freedom in the .U.S. My father was born ten months later!

My dad's only goal in his young life was to escape the coal mines and Pittsburgh...growing up, he delivered lunch to his dad in the mines!! At age 16, my father began college at the University of Pittsburgh. By age 21, he was a practicing dentist!! My father is very intelligent -I.e. genius and motivated.

After serving in World War II and the Korean War, he headed for sunshine and a new degree (surgery) in sunny California- More specifically Los Angeles. He set up practice near the Burbank Airport and Lockheed and then met a beautiful and successful actress. - my mom! Their dentist introduced them!

A little while later, they married and had a brand new baby boy (my brother). Sixteen months later, I came along.

I am truly blessed to have been the daughter of two beautiful beings. My parents were loving, wise and dedicated to leaving this world a better place by their thought, words and deeds. I miss them everyday but know they are always with me. I hope I have lived my life with the same dedication to love that they did.

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