Yes I’m breaking my own declaration of trying to break my electronic habit, in my defense I did say ‘try’. I felt I should write something little in memory of my former father in law, Norman. He passed away last wednesday. I still remember one of the 1st times I met him, a quiet man about 5’10 who looked nothing like my Ex, with a heavy Macedonian accent and twinkle in his eye. It was Orthodox Easter and the 1st time I tasted “raki”. I wish I had a picture to post.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with raki it’s a homemade alcohol made from little plums, that burns going in, going down and out!! If you’re ever offered it, I would strongly suggest turning it down. One of Norm’s friends offered it to me, it was in a vodka bottle and this man didn’t speak english very well so I thought it was vodka and there was just a communication gap…there was a gap alright, with me! Needless to say I didn’t have any for years after that 1st encounter.
Throughout the years Norman would make wine for us to drink at every family gathering, he was in charge of taking family pictures and usually got us with food in our mouths or booze in our hands. He had a great sense of humor, often cracking jokes that he’d heard that day and wanted to pass along. He, with my former mother in law had a huge garden they planted every year and he always made sure there were hot peppers.
I think my fondest memory of him, something he did just for me, was the time we drove to New Jersey to see his brother’s family (Theo Vasili who died last year) it was Easter and my birthday and Norm arranged (with the help of his brother who was a pastry chef at one of the Trump hotels) to have a cake made for me. The best part was that he’d given them the spelling of my name like he said it with an “e” Samentha.….I’ve never forgotten how sweet that was and for some reason I loved that he spelled my name wrong.
I haven’t seen Norman since my Ex and I broke up. I know he was getting sick before I left and was diagnosed after I had moved to the east coast. For the entire time I was with this family Norm was a stand in father for me, since my dad and godfather had died years before. He will be in my thoughts and I hope that he’s out of pain now and in a better place looking down on all of us, realizing what a huge impact he had on those of us who loved him.
Good bye Norm,