Remembering Murray

My step-grandfather Murray passed away over Pesach this year. He had been sick for a very long time and was 95 years old. I found out a lot of things about him at his funeral, including the fact that he'd served on Omaha Beach in Normandy on June 6, 1944 (D-day). He was a decorated war veteran and was well respected by many people. There was a full house in attendance for his funeral and at the lunch afterwards at the shul.

I gave a eulogy at the funeral; the first time I've ever done that. I would like to share it here so that it can live on:

Until about 10 years ago, I associated the name Murray with Murray Avenue, one of the main streets where I live in Pittsburgh. Then, seemingly from out of nowhere, a new Murray entered my life, and I’m really glad he did. When I called my Bubby on Friday afternoons I heard “Murray and I this…” and “Murray and I that…” I could tell right away that she was having such a great time with this new man named Murray and that made me happy too.
I distinctly remember flying in for the wedding. My family went ahead of my but I had a test in school and came in the day of the wedding. I flew Southwest and sat in the first row of the plane. What a fun wedding that was. Bubby had the greatest bouquet of kitchen gadgets and Murray played his heart out with his Klezmer band. The omelet station was fantastic too, and it was so nice to see so much of the family together for such a happy occasion.
I can’t say that Murray and I got to know each other really well. In the years since Bubby and Murray got married we only really got to spend short visits together and maybe only once or twice a year. However, we made the most of those visits, playing chess (he always won) or fixing some issue he was having with his computer (I usually won). Whatever it was, I don’t think he and I ever shared a bad moment. Even when Rivkah and I came over to Delaware to introduce my daughters to the family, they took to him right away and call him Zeidy Murray and he always had a glowing smile on his face around them. I wish my Zeidy could've met them, but Murray made a great great grandfather all the same. 
When I got married back in 2009, I was sad that my Zeidy couldn’t be there at my wedding with me. I’m sure he would have loved Rivkah and the kids. But thankfully, Murray was there to celebrate my special day with me and be my Zeidy that day.
I know that in the grand scheme of things, 8 years isn’t really all that long. It wasn’t even 10% of his life. Heck, I’m coming up on 5 years of marriage and it doesn’t seem like any time has gone by. But these 8 years have been really great. My Bubby has been so happy. We’ve made some great memories. And most importantly, Bubby and Murray have taught me what it means to care for and love someone “in sickness and in health”. I’m going to miss you Murray.
Murray was a really great man and we will miss him dearly. He lived a long and full life, and I hope that I can live my life in such a way that when my time comes, people will remember me as fondly as they now remember him.

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