Eulogies for Rick Levitt
Memorial service for Rick Levitt was held at the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood Cemetery on Friday December 27, 2014.
Letter from Tisha
I know that right now, you are going through a lot of difficulty, even as far as speaking is concerned. Rather than call you and have you exert yourself trying to speak, I figured it may be best for me to write to you. It will give me the chance to say everything to you that I have always felt you deserved to hear, but maybe never told you.
First things first…I love you and miss you. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you. I hate that we live so far apart, but know that you are never far from my thoughts or my heart.
Second, you are a fantastic father. We didn’t have the typical father-daughter relationship where I could see you whenever I wanted, or we went out to the parks and played outside. But that doesn’t change the fact that I find you to be the best father I could have asked for. Not many girls I know have a father that listens to them. I always loved being able to call you and speak to you for long amounts of time and you always listened. You never sounded bored and asked me to wait because you were busy. That is a great feeling; to know that your parents are actually LISTENING to you when you speak.
Third, I want to tell you that you are the strongest person I know. You have fought and fought so many times over the past 20-something years. I know that personally, I probably wouldn’t have made it as far as you have. The strength and bravery that you possess often leaves me in awe. I hope to be like you if I ever have to deal with any of the challenges that you have faced.
I know that right now, you are in pain, and it kills me to know this. Auntie Fran, Tiara and I are trying very hard to get you any treatment you need, without putting you in anymore discomfort. I hope you are able to find the energy and strength to keep fighting! I would love to be able to come visit you and I know Tiara would love for you to meet your new granddaughter, Arianna. She is beautiful! She looks just like Tiara, who we all know is the female version of you!
Whatever happens, know that you are loved beyond words, an inspiration to not only you daughters, but many others, and in my personal opinion, the best father ever! I love you daddy!!
Love your princess,
Letter from Tiara
You are the best man and father any child could hope for and not only am I proud, but honored to be your daughter. Your have showed me what the term strength is and I know that you will fight your best! I am glad you saw pictures of Arianna and I talk to her about you all the time because she truly has a one of a kind popu. I love you beyond what words can describe and I hope one day to be the best parent I can be because I have you as a teacher of what unconditional love is. Even though we are far apart you have ALWAYS been my #1supporter in anything I have done.
I know you are in pain right now but I know you will try your hardest to get better. I hope by hearing this letter is helps to remind you that you are loved beyond measure, I am proud to be Ricki Joe's twin aka Rico Suave. Hearing your voice right now would be amazing but I know you need to rest and I want you to know that no matter what happens you are in my heart forever and always.
Thank you for always taking the time to listen no matter how silly what I had to say was, you always treated me like I am the center of your world and I want you to know that you are mine as well. If you have taught be anything it is how to love despite whatever obstacle is thrown my way, to persevere and to fight, because that's what you have always done. What's written is just words but I have seen your remarkable actions and know that you are the best father, friend and role model anyone could have. I love you so much and I can't wait til we are together again.
Love you forever and always
Tiara (munchkin...that's his nickname for me)
Only the good die young…..Ashley Silver (niece)
Death is never easy. It's never been something I'm comfortable with, either. But during the holidays, when you're 2,100 miles from home, it's even harder. On Christmas Eve, I lost my uncle. He had been fighting Multiple Sclerosis for about 23 years, but that doesn't mean it's any easier to accept the sudden passing of a loved one. While my mama and sisters make the trek to Seattle to put him to rest, all I can do is the one thing I'm semi-okay at...write about it. I would say that Rick was lucky to have such wonderful hospital staff, nurses, friends, and family, but truthfully, I think that everyone that knew Rick was lucky to have him. He was a brother, a son, a father, a grandpa, an uncle, and a godfather. But he was more than all that. He was my hero.
I've never met a man stronger than him, or who dealt with such extreme circumstances in such a positive light. MS is a terrible disease but he was always the happiest person I knew. He fought for over 20 years with a fierce passion and vivacious laughter that could fill a room. He never complained. He never showed pain. We complain about our daily inconveniences all the time, and I can't help but be disgusted with myself as to why. Despite him being bound to a wheelchair in an assisted living center for over two decades, he never let anyone know of his suffering and lived with it for over 20 years whilst keeping his dignity and a smile on his face. Always a selfless man, he would put others first, and as someone who loved a good laugh, his jokes and pranks were one to be reckoned with (I may have inherited it from him...). How does someone who has had everything stripped from him-- family, friends, vision, movement, everything-- have such inner positivity and strength? I think we can all learn a little something from Rick. He fought for so long and never gave up. He had a lot of close calls, but like a resilient cat, he had way more than nine lives. I think his energy radiated through not only his life, but the lives of everyone around him, and it's that positivity and will to live that kept him around for so long. We can all hope to adopt such charisma and hopefulness. We are all just busy creatures hoping to get by in life. But it's in moments like losing someone you so deeply love that we realize our lives are just built out of this chaos and hope. This desire to be loved and understood-- that's all he ever wanted. To be loved and to make people laugh; and that he did. I am proud to say he was my uncle, and going into this new year, I think it's a wonderful time to take on some of the amazing traits he held, to make this world a bit better.
Although I got to speak to him over the phone a few weeks ago, I am heartbroken that I can't be there to say a final goodbye tomorrow. We have lost a one of a kind human being and someone like him can never be replaced, but I hope we can send him away with words of love. He wouldn't want us to mourn, but to laugh and play and speak of things that inspire us. And I think we can all agree that if we learned anything from Rick, he is what inspires us.