Today as we celebrate fathers everywhere with thoughtful cards, BBQ’s, brunches, dinners, day trips and beyond, it’s also important to remember the fathers that aren’t with us. My father passed away almost seven years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, who he was and what could have been had he still been around.
He was a fairly complex character. Very smart, very driven and very charismatic. But he also had his demons. A former soldier in the Israeli army, he fought and survived two wars – the Six Day War in ’67 and the Yom Kippur War in ’73. Following the latter, he left Israel to build a new life in Toronto, Canada with my mother and I. Once he arrived, he wasted no time and started his own jewellery business which he turned into a successful wholesale enterprise over the course of 30 years. He was a workhorse and an excellent salesman.
My parents divorced when I was 10 years old but my father was ever present in our lives. He wanted an heir for the jewellery business and while my sisters and I all tried it out, working with him proved to be a challenge. Eventually stress and other factors began to affect his health and he was diagnosed with Melanoma in 2003. Once again, he went into battle but this time against a deadly disease. Always the soldier, he fought hard until he couldn’t anymore. Cancer took his life at age 64.
This year Karen and I started our own business. If our dad knew that we’d become entrepreneurs, he be shouting from the rooftops. He always maintained that working for yourself was the best job ever. I’m glad he never gave up on us. On this father’s day, I thank him for the gift of life and for his inspiration.