Yesterday was Father’s Day–Our first without Bob. While our day was filled with celebrations of my husband and father-in-law–both wonderful dads– Bob’s absence was felt.
Today I’d like to share the eulogy I wrote for him and read at his funeral. I hope it illustrates what kind of person he was and why he inspired us to start this nonprofit:
Many of you may not know this, but I have a terrible fear of public speaking. It seems apt that I stand here today talking to all of you, as this is probably the site of my last public speech, given on the occasion of my Bat Mitzvah 30 years ago.
I had a terrible time with my torah portion. I had studied and practiced, but every time I stood at the bima, I was terrified and went blank. Just days before, I was convinced I wouldn’t get through it.
I remember dad sitting with me in my room, coaching me on how to deliver that torah portion. We set it to a melody, and he said, “just sing it.” If you sing it, you won’t forget it.
It was the perfect advice.
He was my coach again and again throughout my life. Basketball, SATs, college papers, broken hearts. He always gave me the right advice. When Franklin was born and I thought I’d lost my mind from exhaustion and new parenthood, he gave me a magnet that said, “Trust Yourself, You Know More Than You Think You Do.”
I know we will all remember Bob for his intellect and his love of classical music. The bad puns that were still funny—sometimes—the napping, the schlepping, reading long, obscure science fiction novels and biographies of Richard Nixon. I will most remember his hand on my hand as I went through my cancer treatment this past year. There weren’t any words I remember him saying, but he was there. My coach was there, always in my corner.