I still remember the day all too well. I was 5 years old, and walking excitedly back to our house, knowing Uncle Marvin would be there. I ran to the side door and knocked, and someone opened the door - I asked, smiling, "Where's Uncle Marvin?!" and ran into the living room. I saw everyone sitting there quietly, and someone explained that Uncle Marvin all of a sudden got very sick and was at the hospital with my father. I was very upset, having expected to play with my very fun uncle. I still remember my father walking in, just before Shabbos, with that look on his face.
Uncle Marvin hadn't made it.
He would be thrilled to know what his 3 children accomplished,
My uncle's daughter, a math teacher in Neve Ya'akov, is incredibly raising 7 children on her own - I lived down the block from them for 6 months, and they are nothing short of astonishing. We have a beautiful painting in our apartment of Kever Rochel [Rachel's Tomb] that one of the girls drew for us when she was just 12. My uncle's younger son is a well-respected (re: genius) learning man who learns in R' Efrati's kollel in Jerusalem, and has put out a couple of small seforim. He, too, has 7 children, and I'm waiting for the oldest to put out a CD, perhaps with his brothers' help, at some point. I have *never* heard a kid with a better voice, and he was composing songs at 14.
All in all, my uncle would be bursting with pride. His 3 kids, 24 grandchildren - three of them named for him - and 3 great-grandchildren are happy, healthy, bright, talented, and sweet. I was very close with all of them throughout the two years I was in Israel, watching them grow so much during that time. To some, I was like an older brother; to others, a climbing toy. I miss them.
I was only 5, but I will always remember that day. I still remember the feeling in my stomach, the devastation on my father's face. I only wish I could have more memories of him.
Yechiel Michel (Marvin) ben Benyamin Goldish, A'H
d. 15 Iyar, 5749