An extraordinary expression of family love


November 14 (the 25th of Cheshvan) was the 50th anniversary of my father’s death. On his death bed, my father, Louis Shapiro, expressed his love for his son in an unusual way.

While at work in Ellenville, NY where I lived, I received the painful phone call from my sister Frances informing me that my father, who was suffering from urinary tract cancer and more, was just declared dead by his doctor but that he was still barely holding out to see me. I immediately drove to his home on Grand St. on the Lower East Side of NYC (about a 21/2 hour drive). I found him unconscious and barely breathing.

I held him in my arms tenderly and expressed the strong father-son relationship we had and my love for him. I reminded him of the special activities we occasionally had together (he worked 7 days of the week running his candy store except for the high Jewish holidays) and told him how good he was to his wife and five children. After these few minutes I said the Shema Yisrael death bed prayer for him and he immediately expired.

Ralph Shapiro lives in Silver Spring.
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  1. WOW, this is such a great story. Even though Ralph worked hard for so many years (and is till working at 93 years young) he still had all the time in the world for his children. So we have millions of memories of great and special times together. Now DAD, please meet us for Thanksgiving on The Lower East Side. There is no one I would rather go to The Tenement Museum (of which you are a benefactor) than you! Love, YOUR Son David


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