This is my dad, David Urman, of blessed memory. I think of him today on Father’s Day and every day. In this photo, taken in 1982, he radiates pure joy while holding his first grandchild, my son, Lawrence. Dad was a Holocaust Survivor. After his brutal incarceration at Auschwitz and the catastrophic loss of his family in the Holocaust, he immigrated to the United States with barely a penny in his pocket and only an eighth-grade education. In spite of what seemed like insurmountable odds, he founded a successful wholesale meat business. My father was an extraordinary person. He had such a zest for life. I’ve never known anyone who approached life with such enthusiasm. He had rosy cheeks, a twinkle in his eye, and a spring to his gait. And how he danced! At a simcha (celebration) nobody danced as joyfully or incessantly as my father. He loved to rejoice in life’s happy occasions. Every morning at 4:30 am, before the crack of dawn, my dad left for work. He never missed a day in all my coming-of-age years. He was steadfast, reliable, determined. He was never really ill. If he did catch a cold, his remedy was a glass of hot tea with a shot of vodka and a squirt of lemon. He was better the next day. He loved watching westerns and comedians on TV. I loved to hear him laugh. His laughter was so hearty and exuberant, it was infectious as it reverberated through our home. I was the most fortunate of children to be blessed with such a wonderful father. His love, optimism, and indomitable spirit will live on as we honor his precious memory from generation to generation.
This beautiful lady is my mom, Fela Urman, of blessed memory. She was a Holocaust survivor. In spite of the horrors that befell her and her family, she somehow managed to be the quintessential Jewish mother. When I was little, she sang Yiddish lullabies to me when I was sick or frightened. She nursed me through my childhood illnesses. She fed me endless bowls of chicken soup, placed cold compresses on my fevered brow and hovered over me like a guardian angel until she nursed me back to health. She was always there for me, whether it was to place a bandaid on a skinned knee or to listen to me vent about a problem. I was the most fortunate of children to be so loved and cared for by my mom. I think of her today and every day. She lives on in my memory as a blessing to me.