|things you discover|
The Truth Behind The
Man: All of my life my father, in his own subtle way, preached
for peace in the Middle East. This was the man who cried in front of me
for the first and only time in my life when I was about 13 years old and
our planes fired their first missiles at Iraqi targets for the start of
the Gulf War. At that point I was able to see the fear in my father's
soul, the fear for himself, for his family and for the world. That was
one of the first times my father spoke to me about the terrors that lied
abroad and the hatred for Americans.
Memory Lane: Upon graduation from College, I had the pleasure of securing a job in Manhattan and commuting to and from work each day, with my father. Every morning I would get up extra early to be on time to leave for the Rosedale train station. It was a bonding experience like no other. Looking back now, it is bittersweet to think about these times. I say bittersweet because although my father is no longer with us, everyday that passes by I appreciate more and more the times I did have with my father.
At the end of each work day, I would rush over to Penn Station to catch the 6:02pm train to Rosedale. As I flew into the entrance and down the escalator I would look around and out of the crowd of thousands of sweaty rushing commuters, I would see my father with a sweet smirk on his face. As sure as paddleball on Sat/Sun Mornings at 6:00am, my father would be there to greet me with that same, sweet, smirk. At first I didn’t really care. But soon it started to bother me and one day walking back to the car at Rosedale I asked Ira “What’s with the smirk when you see me”. The answer I got summed it up perfectly.
“It’s GREAT, you are doing the same F*cking commute that
I have been doing for 20 something years!!!”
I had so many laughs with my father and there are so many stories I could tell. I reflect on my fathers responses all of the time. That particular response really does sum up my fathers humor. Well maybe the time that he asked me to smell my Mom’s mashed potatoes because they smelled “weird” is a better example.
Yes, he did push my face into them. Hahahaha.
After hearing and listening to many people speak about my father, it really confirmed what I knew to be the one of the best qualities about him. He was a great listener. Problems or great news, little jokes or something hilarious, the good, the bad or even the ugly, whether you were a family member, friend or just happened to be in a conversation with Ira, he was there to share it with you. He was great company and made you feel the same way.
I look back all of the time and see these quality’s in every memory. Even if there wasn’t a clear solution to a problem of mine, my father would say to me “I know, I know… It sucks, it really sucks”. Somehow that actually made me feel better. I was never alone. Anyone that knew my Father Ira was never alone. He would never brush off a conversation, question or proposed problem. He would listen and carefully word his response. My father cared.
He was fair. Fair with people regardless of ethnicity, race, color, religion or the like. I remember playing traveling soccer on the Vikings as a little kid. Everyone played. As my friend Yoni put it “One season I don’t think we scored just one goal!!! But man, we had FUN and the soccer Moms SURE WERE HAPPY!!!” That was just one bad season. As the years with the team progressed, pretty much the same group managed to win a big tournament. But that was Ira! A great coach, a great friend and an even better father.
The Ira Zaslow Foundation ™ represents who my father truly was. He was a caring, fun person who wanted to solve problems by helping. Whether he could do something himself or just help someone by sharing the problem, letting you know that someone else is there with you to help. No one should be alone with their problems. In fact not only does the foundation represent who Ira was, it represents who he still is, because he lives on in everything that is accomplished.
By Adam M. Zaslow
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