In Blessed Memory of my Dear Papa, Gennady “Gino” Chernobylsky (Dec 12 1956 -Mar 6 2015)
Vivid colors of ethereal beauty and passion fill your great soul,
Happiness and wonder wrap around you like a thick, warm blanket,
Joy and compassion glow with effervescent delight from your bursting, green eyes.
There is absolutely no denying it…
Tonight, you are watching us from above.
But this is not the first time you are doing so, is it Papa?
No, you’ve been watching us all along, haven’t you?
Your beautiful emerald eyes have watched us from afar and up close,
Kissed our cheeks and warmed our hearts with your eternal hugs.
Tonight is like any other night, because you are still with us.
Be it this realm or the next, nothing can keep your love separate from us.
And now the truth of your presence in my life reveals itself to me,
The truth of what you wanted to show me, to give me
And to have me treasure in this world that you love so much!
Here is it, Papa.
You wanted to show me the beauty of this world.
You wanted to give me meaning to its beauty.
To give me the aquamarine sky
As it reflects off the turquoise waters
Surrounding the lush Island of Koh Tao
On the serene coast of southern Thailand.
To give me the lush deep green
Of the numerous evergreen leaves
Atop the mountain campsite Algerola,
The jewel of your beloved Italia’s Amalfi Coast.
To give me the misty white
Of those snowy, silvery peaks
Of Mammoth Mountain,
Where you ultimately found your final resting spot,
In the heart of the mountain—with a view to keep your soul satisfied for all eternity.
Your place of solitude and rest, forevermore, shall be my place of reverence and devotion.
You wanted to show me the sweetness of this world
You wanted to give me value in its flavors.
To give me safety in your arms,
When I was too cold to stand the winds
Of that dark-black night
Upon that sandy beach of Athen’s shore.
To give me happiness in your smile,
When I feared for my own life
Sitting upon that top bunk
In our hostel room
Overlooking the Grand Canal
Of your beloved Venice.
To give me warmth in your embrace,
When we recovered from our seemingly-never-ending swims
Be it past Capri’s grand Farilioni Rocks,
Or be it Malibu’s Pirate Cove,
Or be it Thailand’s Island of Koh Pi Pi,
Or be it Puerto Vallarta’s jellyfish-infested waters on the coast of Mexico.
Or be it even the Grand Canal in Venice.
Where did not matter, because you gave me your warmth anywhere and everywhere we were.
You wanted to show me what this life is all about.
You wanted to give me all the love that you could.
To give me wisdom to take this world by storm,
When you talked to me for hours.
Be it the castle upon the steps of beautiful Naples,
Or on a train from Sicily to Florence.
You talked to me for hours.
To give me health to survive the storms of this world
When you placed that onion in my hand and told me to eat it whole.
I tried, and my sinus died. I survived.
Or when you told me to jump from the cliff
Into the crystal clear Mediterranean waters below.
You wanted me to push, to try and to ultimately succeed.
That is what you wanted for me, and for that I am forever grateful.
You gave me a heart full of meaning to share with this turbulent world.
You wanted to show me the power of will
You wanted to give me strength in my dreams
To give me the power of everlasting happiness,
When I laughed with friends
On the dancefloor of the Pink Palace
In the coastal city of Corfu,
An island off the coast of Greece.
To give me the secret of never-ending freedom
When I roamed the streets of Corfu city
Looking for adventure and finding only trouble.
You gave me the one thing no one else could ever give—You, Dad.
You gave all of yourself to me.
All the power, the care, the wisdom, the freedom, the love of life…
The love of our ancestry, our Jewish Heritage and History.
The love of Israel and Jerusalem.
The love of my own Zionist Spirit.
The same spirit that burned inside of you
You passed on to me,
To pass on to my own children and loved ones.
And most importantly, Papa, you gave to me
The desire to live a beautiful, meaningful life.
I love you, Papa. And all of your life gifts that you wanted to give me…
I want you to know
I have them, right here—In my heart.
And I will keep them here, to give to my own children,
To the apples of my eye, and to our beloved Mama.
To always show them and remind Mama
Of the power of your great, grand
I want them to see what I see now.
I want them to see the eternally great
Man, husband, friend and father
You have always been to me, mama and all of your friends
In full entirety
Of your incredibly beautiful life.
There is no one like you,
And there will never ever be again
For me, for Mama, for our friends
In this life
Or in the next.
I love you so much, Papochka,
And words are not,
But there is one word
That shall always remind me of you.
Because that is what you are to me.
I love you, Papochka.
May You Rest in Peace
And May the Clouds of the Universe
Comfort Each and Every Aspect of Your
Impossibly Great Soul.
Your Soul that is not just a Soul,
But a Star upon the Heavens.
Whose Starlight shall never leave us,
Whose Starlight shall always warm my heart
And the hearts of those you loved so dearly.
I love you, Papochka,
All of you,
And shall never forget
The emanating glow of the
Starlight of your Zionist Spirit.