Not sure how it happened, but somehow my entire life I have been blessed to be in the presence of many men who could unequivocally be called a “Mensch.” So…what is a Mensch you might ask? Jewish Healing pretty much sums it up by saying:

A mensch literally means “a person” in Yiddish, but figuratively it means something much deeper. A mensch is a person with whom you would be happy to befriend and associate with, because you feel genuine in a mensch’s presence. A mensch is a highly evolved human being. Menschlichkeit (the art of the mensch) has nothing to do with looks, with wealth, with success or with intellect. A mensch exudes a certain magnetism that attracts us, whether or not words or glances are exchanged. A person is a mensch because he simply makes others feel good.

This wonderful group of “Mensches” was together in New Orleans, February of 2011. From l to r: Henry Cook, my wonderful hubby Brett Perry, my father Sherman Marcus and Sir JJ Witmeyer. I think the Earth moved that day as 4 great men got to spend some time together.

The word Mensch is not be carelessly thrown around, or it would destroy the integrity and value by which the title can be used. My whole life, people have referred to my father as a “Mensch.” During his funeral, the eulogy written by my brother used the word often. I am blessed to have been raised by a true “Mensch,” my Papa is one, I married one and have several in my life that I have the honor of calling my friends. I am the luckiest girl in the world!

My Grandfather “Papa,” Carl Brennion, an Iwo Jima Veteran is still a “Mensch” at 93. Every nurse in the VA loves him. How could you not?

Even if my Dad could not remember my name, when I mentioned JJ, his eyes lit up and he always referred to him as “my friend.” Though they only knew each other for 5 years, in Dad’s mind they knew each other from childhood. They had a true connection.

My husband Brett is truly a gift. I am far from perfect, yet he continues to love me unconditionally. He never hesitated when my father living with us became an option. He watched almost every Red Sox game with him last season and did all the heavy lifting when Dad needed it. He already said he misses having him around.

One last thing, of the 5 men I mentioned here, 4 are Veterans. My father is the only one who never served as he had to care for his mother while his brother Joe (who was also a Mensch) served. They are all heroes in my book!

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