Category: Remembering

To acknowledge the passing of Charles N. Breitborde, my father and hero.  Aug. 18, 1915 - Aug. 1, 2003
Spoken at the service for Charles on Aug. 3rd -

We are here to pay tribute to the life of a man.  It is certainly difficult to honor another’s life with mere words. For one so loved and endeared by so many it is far easier to do so with our hearts.  Albeit for many of us with broken ones for a time to come. 

There are many ways to describe my father.  Beautiful is one I have often heard.  He was proud of his family and friends.  A sensitive and compassionate fellow were also words used to describe him.  Sheltering, nurturing.  He was emotional, worry-some, delightfully jovial – He would almost always narrate TV shows the family would watch together, especially my mothers favorite mysteries.  Warning the good guy not to open that door or turn that dark corner.  My mother jokingly scolding him for ruining the show!  My sister and I laughing at the delight he took in seemingly having already known the story line.

Did I mention worry-some?

He cared so very much about people's well being, which fed right into his worry-some nature.

His tidbits of good-natured advice were often coined and quoted by family and friends. Like, if you were going to be driving on a trip he would be sure you understood that if you got tired, you pull over!  Ok ...  He was also always willing to offer any wise ache-er  a  good "shmice"!

He had a funny forgetfulness of words that just happened to be crucial to the conversation he was having with you.  Like, "How is that new, you know, thing you just picked up."  Remembering you had just bought a new record player or toaster three weeks earlier.  He knew exactly what he meant, but sometimes nobody else did!

He told me he lived a good life.  He was happy and content with the path he chose. 

My sister and I would sometimes see my father on weekend mornings grab hold of my mother making breakfast in the kitchen, listening to “Your Hit Parade” and dance to the big bands.  Just like they did before they married while he was in the service.

He taught us the most important things in life.

He was my hero as a child & still today I aspire to be just like him.

He wasn’t perfect and I do blame him for my nervous stomach and worry-some nature.  An affliction it seems borne to all Breitborde men.  Along with a few others we don’t need to mention here.

He was innovative, once while eating cookies over the sink so there would be no evidence of his “snack”.  He snorted a whole Oreo up his nose when my mother surprised him by sneaking up from behind.

If I am any measure of a good man, an honest, decent human being – it is most assuredly because I am my father’s son. He is as much a part of me as I am of him.

For myself I choose not to remember him.  For remembering is for those who have forgotten. And I will not forget.