My Dadby Dr. Richard Janis on 09/23/13
My dad passed
away peacefully in his sleep last month at the age of 87. He had a great influence on my life and I
miss him very much. He was a veteran of
World War II, fought in the Battle of Okinawa, and was training to be involved
in the invasion of
When I was growing up, we did a lot of great things together, one of which was to go to a lot of baseball games as we shared a passion for the game. My dad just missed seeing Babe Ruth but he saw all of the other great players of his era. We attended hundreds of games together and it was always fun and interesting to talk with him about different aspects of the game.
We also went to a lot of great museums. My dad would take me to museums of natural history, history, and science and it sparked my interest in those subjects.
My dad liked to take me to see movies and we saw some great ones, some that had a big impact on me. One that I will never forget is a movie that he took me to when I was a teenager, “The Man Who Would Be King”, which is still my favorite. He knew that it was a movie that would inspire me due to the great story of adventure. For many years we would reminisce about that film and how much we enjoyed it.
My dad read to me when I was very young and reading is something I still love to do. He got me interested in writers like Jack London and Mark Twain (still two of my favorites) and great adventure stories like “Mutiny on the Bounty.” History, especially American history, was a passion that we both shared. He was always giving me articles or books to read about the Civil War, World War II, or other interesting events in American history that we could talk about.
My dad was a man of deep faith and became very spiritually oriented later in life. Judaism became very important to him and gave him great comfort, direction, and a sense of peace.
Some years ago, my dad gave me a birthday card. It was very simple and just said, “To the best of sons.” I was lucky to have him as a dad. I was inspired by his desire to be a perpetual student and always keep learning. In the last year of his life, he read several books on history, which he recommended to me. I plan on reading them and in my mind I’ll imagine talking to him and sharing ideas with him as we would always do. I’ll imagine talking to him about baseball when I watch a game. I miss him and there is an emptiness that is difficult to describe. I know my dad would want me to keep learning new things and grow as a person. This is what I intend to do.