In Ancient Roman religion, Sol, is a solar deity.
God of the sun.
In Hebrew, it means Peace.
The man, SOL KRAVETZ, whom I grew to admire and appreciate, transitioned from this world on June 8th, 2017.
He was 92 years BLESSED.
So, his name fit him just fine.
I met Sol at Sunrise Senior Living.
I have been a volunteer at the residence since 2010. As a result, I've seen many, many residents come and go.
Some pack up and go on to another similar residence.
And even more go on to another dimension.
My interaction with Sol was a little different than what I experience with most residents.
It was more personal.
During each of my twice monthly visits, I'd sit and enjoy a spirit-filled lunch hour with him. We'd talk about whatever came to his mind. I could always count on at least one topic of conversation every, single time: Angela Lansbury.
Sol worked many years as a teacher and eventually a Principal. He told me
He talked to me about living in Brooklyn as a boy.
About moving to California.
About his brilliant, older brother, Nathan.
About joining the military and being stationed in France for a bit. He even learned some French back then, too!
And traded cigarettes for candy!
He told me about meeting his late wife, Joan, on a beach.
And that his greatest regret was not treating her as well as he should have.
He told me about his intelligent, goal-driven daughter, Lauren.
And about his daughter, Harriet, who caused him much worry during her youth.
As fate would have it, both of his daughters proved themselves to be faithful daughters who made sure he was comfortable.
He often told me that "Harriet does everything for me. I don't even know how much I pay to live here."
I'd tell him, "You don't need to know how much you pay. You don't need to think about much of anything any longer, except enjoying every, single day."
He'd voice his bewilderment regarding his grandson, Tyler's, lack of interest in learning to drive. The young man eventually got his driver's license.
He'd talk about his older grandson, Austin, being quiet around him.
He'd talk about the boys' father. And I'll leave it at that. :)
One of my fondest memories with him was searching the internet for a new wedding band. He told me he wanted one to let everybody know he was a married man and in love with his wife. I suppose he was adamant about telling me that because I often teased him about hookin' up with one of the ladies in the residence. Lol
On his birthday, Harriet gifted him with a gold band, and he wore it every day afterward. Proudly, might I add.
Last Sunday, June 11th, I attended Sol's burial.
Being there was a privilege. Being asked to be a pallbearer was even more so.
I even was allowed to shovel dirt over his casket. I had never seen such an act done by mourners at a funeral. But then again, that was the first Jewish funeral I had attended.
After the funeral ceremony, I joined the family at a restaurant reception.
Honestly, the atmosphere at the restaurant was truly a celebration of his life. Both the collages pictured above were on display. It was great to see a young Sol since I had only known him as a man in his 90s.
In the photos, he appears:
I was asked to stand up and share with the guests how Sol and I came to know one another. And I did.
Well, I want the world to know I'm hella happy to have met Mr. Sol Kravetz.
And that's Kravetz with an "e." :)