Losing our dear grandson Yossi has and will be the greatest tragedy our family will ever known. He was such a special boy. Not because he was our grandson, but every one whose life he touched, friends and family alike, have felt that same special feeling.
We had a very special relationship with Yossi from the momement he was born. Maybe it was because he was our first grandchild & he was named for my father that made him special. But it went much more deeply than that. I never knew either of my grandfathers, so I think I just wanted Yossi to have the relationship that I never had. Our lives have definitely been enriched because of Yossi. We have all been blessed because of Yossi. He gave us all strength and courage.
I want to relate something that occurred the first time Yossi got sick, during a round of chemo. His hair just started falling out; he was running a fever & obviously was not felling well. He sat up in bed & started to cry a little saying it was not fair. (This, by the way, was the extent of his complaining.) I started to cry and all of a sudden he started to comfort me; telling me not to worry, everything will be ok. I got tremendous strength from him. He never said, "Why me? Why has this terrible thing happened."
I have asked this question myself many times over. No one I guess has an answer. It will be extremely difficult to go on with our lives without Yossi.
We were so close. I loved him like a son. He called me, "His true and trusted grandpa”.
Many Sunday mornings after shul, he would come home with me and I would make him his favorite breakfast. (Eggs and cheese with a side order of fish sticks.) This is just one of the many things I will miss not doing with Yossi.
Yossi was the most caring person, polite, friendly, kind, generous, funny and so appreciative of every thing he received, always cared about other people. After his first bone marrow transplant he was told that a 17 year old boy was awaiting a bone marrow transplant in MCV and needed cheering up. He did not hesitate to go down to the hospital and talk to him and let him know that all will be ok.
This is a tremendous loss for Yossi to be taken from us just 6 weeks before his Bar-Mitvah. A time when we as a family should be celebrating, we are instead grieving. His tefillin arrived when Yossi was in the hospital in Minnesota. His father did get a chance to put his tefillin on once, even though he was not aware of it. I would like to believe he knew it and it made him happy.
I know there must be a great many grandparents here today, but I can not imagine that they can love their grandchildren more than Ilene and I loved our dear Yossi.
Yossi our darling grandson, we will always love you, we will treasure and cherish your memory.
One more thing I want to share with you, before Yossi ever got sick he spent one of many Shabbosim with us. After Shabbos was over he wrote me a note. “DEAR GRANDPA, PLEASE ALWAYS REMEMBER ME ALWAYS, LOVE YOSSI." Did he know something? Did he have a premonition of things to come?
This feels like a bad horrible nightmare & we are all going to wake up & Yossi will still be with us, and he is calling me to say “he scored 2 touchdowns at school".
In conclusion, our whole family would like to thank the entire Richmond community for their generous outpouring of support and prayers during our time of need, special thanks to Rabbi and Sharon Ron, Rabbi Bart, Noa Kletzick, Ira and Paula Lutzky, Judy Maizels, Wilma Spritzer, Jonathon Ben Ezra and a host of others to numerous to mention, what you all have done for our family will never be forgotten, and is appreciated more than we could ever say.