Lessons From Dad, A Son Reflects on Loss

It’s with a heavy heart, the heaviest that I tell you my brother-in-law Danny Goldstein passed away early Thursday morning. My nephew Adam took pen to paper again.  Here is what he had to say. LR

 

By Adam Goldstein

The author, Adam Goldstein, with his late father Danny.

The author, Adam Goldstein, with his late father Danny.

 

After a long, arduous battle with lung cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, my dad of 52 years young passed away early this morning. No one can really know the right words to say or things to do at a time like this. No words can bring my father back to me. I think about all the things my father won’t be there for. He won’t be there when I graduate from college. He won’t be there when I get married. He won’t be there to grandfather any future children I may have. I think of any future experience I may have and the only thing that remains constant is that my father won’t be there to see me through it.
My father was taken from me at a time when I felt I needed him most. A part of me knew at the time of his diagnosis that no medical treatment was going to be able to save him. Knowing that he had gone through the same thing with his own father at the young age of sixteen scared me. Even 36 years later, talking about his own father’s death was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever seen my dad struggle with.
I remember on our last birthday together, this past January, sitting alone with my dad off a dock in the Florida Keys looking out over the ocean. It was about two weeks after we found out he had lung cancer. I was still at a place where I wasn’t sure what to say to him. I wanted a way to make him feel better. I knew he was struggling, mentally, no matter how hard he tried to hide it. We were both sitting there, speechless, just enjoying each other’s company. Finally, my dad broke the silence and said something to me that will stick with me forever. It went somewhere along the lines of, “I may not make it through this and that scares me. I’m scared for myself and I’m scared for you and your mother. But no one guarantees us with a long life, son, their are no certainties. You have to stay strong through all of this and take care of your mom. You need to live your life to the fullest and be happy whether it’s with or without me. Even if I’m not there in person, I’ll be there in spirit.” The words were surreal. It was all so unfair. Neither of could believe that our lives had come to this moment of uncertainty. I didn’t even want to think about a life without my father in it.
But that was who my father was. He cared about his family unconditionally. He was more worried about my mom and I then he was worried about himself. I could sit here, feeling sorry for myself that my dad was taken from me and life will never be the same. I could sit here and play out all the things my father is going to miss in my own life. But it’s not what he would’ve wanted, so I’m not going to live my life that way. His life is a life worth celebrating. In truth, I couldn’t have asked for a better father. He was there to teach me how to ride my bike. He was there for every single basketball game I ever played in. He was there for my Bar Mitzvah and my graduation. And in a time where all I wanted was to make him feel better, he was there with the right words to make me feel better. We got to spend 20 great years together and I have an unlimited amount of amazing stories and memories filled with laughter and joy. He backed me through it all and taught me how to be a good and decent man.
Most importantly, I got to say goodbye to my father in his final moments, a pleasantry he never had with his own father. We told each other that we loved each other. I got to hear him tell me that everything would be okay and that he would always be proud of me. I told him that everything I do from now on would be in his memory, because he is who always kept me strong. That’s something his death can’t take away from me. His memory is, and always will be, what keeps me strong.
I’m not going to let my father’s death get the best of me. I don’t want it to cripple me fifteen years down the road the way my grandfather’s death did for my own dad. I won’t let that happen. It’s the way we rebound from our darkest times in life that shape who we are deep down. Recovery could take some time, but I’m going to get there. For my father and for me. Honor and remembrance are the best gifts I can give him now. I like to think my father’s generosity and dedication rubbed off on me and that’s the best gift he could’ve given me. He was truly an amazing man who positively affected every person he knew. I feel such pride to be able to call him my father.

I love you more than can even fathom, Dad, and I hope by some way, shape, or form that this reaches you. I couldn’t have asked for a better role model, mentor, or father.

Rest In Peace
Daniel Andrew Goldstein
“Goldie” ; “Popsy”
January 19th, 1962 – May 8th, 2014

 

Editor’s Note: Due to the heartfelt and sensitive nature of the material, we at TBBReality.com have elected to leave the piece as is without any editing. We send our deepest condolences to Adam, Lesley, and their family and friends. 

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About mommyrou

I am a Miami raised wife and mom of three. Actually six if you count my 3 dogs. I have always been a TV junkie and I'm not embarrassed to admit it!

2 thoughts on “Lessons From Dad, A Son Reflects on Loss

  1. i am deeply touched by this article and adam, i too feel that honor and remembrance are the best blessings to gift…you have honored your dad in such a loving way by this tribute and i hope you always feel the wonderful energy and influence he imparted onto you….

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