Dear Dad, we named the dog after you

Dear Dad,

April 5, 2012 marked 17 years since your sudden death at only 65.

While the years have mellowed some of the sharpest pangs of missing you, we are always aware of your absence and often think about how you would have enjoyed so much that has happened. This year especially, when your grandchildren are both graduating from college, you would have been front and center at their ceremonies, showing them off to friends and strangers alike.

I was always fond and proud of your exotic-sounding name – Gedaliah. No name could be more fitting for the man that stood in black robes on Friday nights and sang the Sabbath service with a resonant base baritone voice. Your more casual everyday name, Gus, was equally fitting. New York born and bred, you were a big man with a big voice and a big heart. Definitely a Gus as well as a Gedaliah.

You were an animal lover, of course, and dogs and cats were always a part of our lives. Your most special dog, Brutus was fittingly adopted when you found him as a stray outside Temple Israel, and you treasured each other. Brutus was cremated when he died, and when you died, we mixed Brutus’ ashes with yours. Some people might have found that odd, but we knew it was a good thing, and something you would appreciate.

Many dogs have been in our lives since Brutus. Ellie and Beauty are gone now, but Darwin, Lobo, and Garrison are with us. You would have enjoyed knowing them all. A few days ago we adopted a new boy rescued from a puppy mill. He has a lot of black hair and a twinkle in his eye. He’s young, but we think he will have a big bark and a big heart.

We’ve named him Gus. We thought you’d like that.

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