family life, jewish wedding, harlan yaffe, yaffe, fatherhood

When the Last Laugh IS the Last Laugh

by • May 16, 2011 • Family Life, Things My Father Taught Me, Verbal SnapshotsComments (0)

Zandra and Marvin Yaffe | February 7, 1960 | Collingwood Avenue Temple, Toledo, Ohio

During their wedding rehearsal, when the Rabbi asked “Do you take this woman…?” my dad jokingly replied with a shrug of his shoulders, then said “I do???” with an audible “questioning” in his voice, and finally, “Okay, I do.” At the dinner after, both his father and future-father-in-law were “giving him the business,” saying he better practice the right way or he might choke when it was time to do it for real.

Apparently those words resonated with him as the next day, when it came to that point in the ceremony, making sure he didn’t mess up, my dad said “I DO” so emphatically & loud, that it made his father crack up – and audibly so.

My dad’s father passed away 10 days later, while my parents were on their honeymoon.

All centered around the same story associated with this picture, I heard this story for the final time from my father in March of 1978, during one of the last conversation we were able to have. But that was also the very first time dad pointed out not just to me, but to himself, that as it turned out, that would be the very last time he was able to hear his father’s laugh. He then chuckled briefly at the memory. And as it turned out, that would be the very last time I was able to hear my father’s laugh.

The Circle of Life continues.

“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.”
~Yiddish Proverb

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