My Father Gave Me

DadToday is my Father’s 87th birthday.  He almost made it.  He died on July 15th. I post today, my first post since his passing, in honor of his birthday.

My father was a tremendous influence on my life. I can’t even begin to detail all the gifts he gave me. I was honored to give the Eulogy at his funeral.  Here are the words I spoke:

My father gave me:

  • A deep knowing that I am valuable and I am loved.
  • A love of language and communication – but most specifically puns.
  • An understanding of the glory of humans in all of our complexity, our uniqueness, our foibles and our fragility – that will inspire both laughter and tears, but most importantly compassion and empathy.
  • A sense of a world that is both glorious and terrible and that is always filled with hope and possibility.
  • A nose for the ridiculous and an abundance of laughter and humor. That all things can be made better with laughter.
  • A deep valuing of beauty as expressed in music, in art, in theatre and the value of emotions expressed and inspired by art.
  • The importance of equity, fairness and truth and that there are no problems that thinking differently cannot solve.
  • The absolute of family – that our family is everything and his definition of family was ever expanding and inclusive.
  • A foundation of ambition – to always do the best that I am capable of in all circumstances, to never quit and never surrender and to leave every situation I touch better than I found it.

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Khalil Gibran

If you wish to make a donation in my Father’s memory, Dr. Robert Irwin Rosenthal, PhD, please consider Temple Beth Or, 200 Van Zile Road, Brick, NJ; any Parkinson’s Disease organization or the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 8218, Red Bank, NJ 07701. (My father was concert master, board member and played violin with them for years).

Acknowledgements can be sent to his widow (Mom):
Rita Rosenthal
c/o Artist’s EDGE
561 Atlantic City Boulevard, Suite 4
Bayville, NJ 08755

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  • Marianne Kadunc

    Hello Deborah,

    Blessings to you & your family. What a beautiful tribute to your wonderful father, so touching!! May this year be filled with peace & happiness or you all!

    Cheers Marianne (from Sydney)

    • Thanks Marianne – good to hear from you 🙂