“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” was a mantra I often heard from Alec. That was how he faced the tragedy of his son’s mental illness and, later, his own battle with Alzheimer’s. Acceptance of the things he could not change and wisdom to make the most of each day carried Alec through until the end.
Not only did Alec accept the things he could not change but he also helped others to change their lot. Alec was available and willing to help whenever he could: Habonim, Parent Teachers associations, Rotary, or simply as a friend. In his work with Enosh, Israel’s Mental Health Association, Alec fought the stigma associated with mental illness and encouraged the acceptance of the mentally ill in the community. Alec was also instrumental in establishing the Ramat Hasharon Enosh Center which helps the mentally ill emerge from their loneliness and alienation and teaches necessary skills for interpersonal relationships and community involvement.
Alec was a keen and serious stamp collector, and supported a program to promote stamp collecting in a school club where pupils could broaden their knowledge of geography and world events.
In his professional capacity as an accountant Alec was held in universal high regard – including by income tax clerks. He was respected for the way he cared about his clients, his integrity, and for being an honest “mensch”.
A couple of nights before he died I had dinner with Alec and his wife, Jill, in their home. Yes, he had changed somewhat over the years, but no-one would have guessed how ill he was as he sat smiling and cracking the odd joke, making a comment and telling us how much he loved his wife.
Alec’s true strength and happiness came from Jill and their unfailing mutual love and appreciation. Throughout Alec’s final illness Jill did everything possible to ensure that Alec continued to live a normal life at home. She saw to it that he went for his daily walk, played bridge, went to Rotary and had regular contact with family and friends.
Through his long and sometimes difficult journey from Cape Town to Bloemfontein and then Israel where he lived in Holon, Ramat Hasharon and finally Raanana, Alec was always admired and valued for his down-to-earth decency, sense of humor and warmth. All who knew him will miss him.
Our heartfelt condolences go to Jill, Michal and Ilan, Tami and Gabi and their families.
Post a Comment
- life's journey – exploring relationships, resolving conflicts. a review
- schneider children's medical center not just any hospital
- children without shadows
- stop driving before it is too late
- encountering israel
- the strawberry woman
- for the love of god and virgins - a review
- fighting cancer with hyperthermia
- ex-volunteers-kibbutz movement wants to hear from you
- watt lights my light