Monday, January 26, 2015

In Loving Memory of Meyer Millman

Today marks the 17th anniversary of my father's death. Serendipitous that my brother Bruce was over yesterday to look through the boxes of army memorabilia that Dad had saved. Sifting through the boxes of photos and postcards from every city he served in, letters (in triplicate) of every order he received or authorized, army-issued books and maps, and even telegrams to our mother, gave us a glimpse of the man he was and the father he was to become.

Coincidently, two days ago I also came across the eulogy I had given at his funeral. I am proud to remember him here, again with those words:

Though a communicator by profession, how hard it is for me to stand up here and convey to you my love for my father and what made him a very special person.

The consummate educator, he taught me many things that have guided and shaped my life and how, hopefully, shape the lives of his grandchildren.

He taught me to be passionate about work, for he truly put his heart and soul into his job. He was dedicated to his students, to his teachers, and to his building.

An honorable man, he taught me right from wrong. His ethics were grounded in his Jewish background and his love of Judaism—which he passed along to me.

He taught me that family comes first. There was always time for us, even after a long day's fight with the district office.

He also taught me that:

  • Money doesn't grown on trees;
  • We don't own the utility company;
  • I wasn't born in a barn;
  • If something is worth doing, it's worth doing right;
  • I could be anything I wanted...though he advised me against being a teacher...but I have to work hard to get what I wanted.
I would like to read from Psalm 15, which describes the character of a man worthy to come into the presence of God. I think my father was such.

Adonai, who shall sojourn in thy tabernacle?
Who shall dwell upon thy holy mountain?

He that walks uprightly, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.
That has no slander upon his tongue,
Nor does evil to his fellow,
Nor makes a false charge against his neighbor.
In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors them that fear Adonai.
He keeps his promise at all costs, and changes not.
He that lends not his money on interest,
Nor takes a bribe to injure the innocent.
He that does these things shall never be moved.

He was a supportive and good husband; a loving father and grandfather. I still miss his calm demeanor, his warm embrace, and his wry (and sometimes dirty) sense of humor. 

Pops, I love you.

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