My stepfather Irving passed away on Monday night February 6th shortly after 7:30 PM. Before I get back to my usual posting I wanted to say a few words about Irv’s life and death.
Irv had been fighting lung cancer for nearly four years and had really managed to beat the odds to make it this long. The last few years alternated between various treatments and surgeries and periods of seemingly good health. As recently as Thanksgiving I had seen him up and around, joking and laughing like he always had. He almost reached his goal of working till his last day, having worked right through till the new year.
He passed away peacefully and his last few days were spent peacefully and painlessly in hospice care. While death is always sad, we were all grateful that Irv’s last days were not ones of anguish. He had made his peace with death in the previous weeks and was ready for whatever comes next. His last days were spent surrounded by loved ones and filled mostly with quiet sleep.
While his passing was not unexpected it was still too sudden. I still have a hard time believing he won’t pick up the phone when I call home. He seemed to be present the entire week I was in New York and we think he was causing mischief around the house the day before and the day of his funeral.
When I was home in November I had connected wireless router to allow me to work on my laptop and had named it Irving since the day I connected it he kept getting in my way preventing me from completing the setup. The connection has always worked extremely well yet on the day after his passing it was giving me trouble all day. By the next day it was working again as well as it always had.
On that same day an outlet at my brother’s house a few blocks away stopped working shutting down the fridge and the answering machine.
On the day of the funeral the shower head in Irv’s bathroom sprung a leak and eventually fell off. It had never given any indication of a problem until that day.
Irv was an imp and it was easy to see his spirit hanging around the house just to play a few last jokes on us all.
One of our favorite ‘Irv’ stories involved some squirrels. Irv set up a bird feeder in the backyard and was always bothered by the squirrels that would come and eat the bird food he put out. He decided to solve the problem by buying a bb gun to shoot at and scare off the squirrels. One day he walked up to my mom, head hung low and said “I did a bad thing.” Seems on that day Irv forgot to open the window and instead of shooting at a squirrel he shot out the bedroom window. He fixed the window and that was the last anyone saw of the bb gun.
Irv was a very intelligent man who read voraciously on a variety of subjects though most often politics and science. He was always quick to make someone laugh and to help out around his house and yours. He loved to travel and take pictures and was as comfortable at the ballet as he was watching tv on the couch.
While Irv and I did not always get along and our early relationship was often filled with conflict, over the years we each came to appreciate each other more and had put all of our differences behind us and grown to like and care about each other. He will surely be missed.