Wage Hope at PurpleStride. The walk to end pancreatic cancer.
Wage Hope to end pancreatic cancer
Without a doubt, this is the hardest thing I have tried to write. I keep asking myself how can I tell the story of Daddy and do him justice…just like I did before when I gave his eulogy. Here’s the thing. When it came to his eulogy, I could not write. My husband, and everyone else, kept telling me to just speak from my heart, but, like I said then: “How can you speak from your heart when there is such a huge massive hole in it that you know whatever you do for the rest of your life will never, ever be filled again? Can anyone tell me? Please?” In the end, I did not write anything and just talked about my Daddy from my point of view…I winged it. I do not actually remember most of what I said.
All I can do here is try and capture the spirit of an exceptional man, who had so much more to give and share with world and passed away at the age of 69.
Robert David Jarrach a/k/a Daddy was born into poverty on June 19, 1945 in Queens, New York. He was first generation German and Lithuanian to parents who immigrated fleeing Hitler. Note: To the best of my knowledge, it was not because they were Jewish. Growing up he lived with holes in his shoes and not enough food, but dreams of something better.
The short version of his career and the reason for our name. He spent over 50 years in the newspaper business. Not doing the flashy stuff like being a reporter or winning any prizes or anything like that. No. He was a quiet man behind the scenes that made things run. He made sure the paper got printed. Through hurricanes, floods, equipment and employee problems, he did not miss a run. They might have been short runs at times, but the paper always went out. He went from being a messenger at Long Island Press, NY, to a Vice President and Production Manager of Times Picayune, LA, to VP and Production Manager of Times of Trenton, NJ and eventually a Plant Manager of Star Ledger, NJ.
The thing about my Daddy…is that there was not one minute, not one iota of a second in my life, no matter how much he worked, or how busy he was, did I ever doubt that I was loved… cherished… wanted…
In the end, if you do not read anything else, know about why I am part of this organization. I played the theme to the “Gilmore Girls” and Bette Midler singing the “Wind Beneath My Wings” at the service I had for him. Our relationship developed into one where we could talk about anything. We spoke almost daily after I moved away from home. I miss him every day. He passed on September 8, 2014, when I was 44. I was in charge of his Living Will. I cry just thinking about though days.
In this day and age, he died way too young. We need to prevent this.
Robert David Jarrach a/k/a Daddy was born into poverty on June 19, 1945 in Queens, New York. He was first generation German and Lithuanian to parents who immigrated fleeing Hitler. Note: To the best of my knowledge, it was not because they were Jewish.
Daddy’s first job was at a butcher shop. He detested that job. He was mostly paid by leftover scraps that he was allowed to take home to his parents, older bother and younger sister.
As it was described to me and I am paraphrasing: This scrawny kid with holes in shoes, but a look in his eyes, showed up for an interview. I was not sure what to do, but decided to give him a chance. (Thank you!!! My brain wiped out a lot from Daddy’s service, including your name. But your kindness meant a lot!)
This was the start of Daddy’s career in the newspaper business. He became a messenger for the Long Island Press. He worked hard. He hung around the plant learning what he could about the business. He got noticed. He eventually earned a promotion as an assistant in the Production Department.
During this time period, he married my Mom, had my brother Drew and almost two years later me. He was also following his dream of designing airplanes. He had one year left in college before his schedule became too much. I was a very sickly baby. He dropped out to spend more time us and help my Mom.
Even though it meant a long commute into NYC, we moved to Seldon, NY. We had a three-bedroom house, a big backyard including a tire swing and crazy Daddy up for fun anytime, anywhere, anytime. Including the time he came with a motorcycle that he tried driving in our backyard to show my Mom that it was safe and flew over the back fence! Needless to say, the motorcycle was gone the next day. Bummer!
Two weeks before my 8th Birthday, the Long Island Press “ceased publication”. Daddy was one of five people transferred to other plants. We moved to New Orleans.
I am going to stop here…because I want to sign up the team… but I will post more later. Like I said. This is just hard.