Hello friends and family of beloved Phil.
Alan, Frank, and I are collecting favorite sayings of our father's. Such as: "work hard, play hard"; "let me tell you what I understand you are saying"; "no one works, nothing works"; "burning the candle at both ends"; "a real wow"; "a win-win situation"; "it's a 'dance.'" Can you hear Phil's voice? Send us your favorite expression. We'll collect them & share the list. We hope you are all doing ok.
Many of you know that at the time of his passing Phil was serving as president of the Gershman Y, known as the arts and cultural home of the Jewish community in Center City . Another organization you might consider in making a donation in Phil's memory is the Gershman Y. Friends wishing to honor Phil's memory this way may kindly direct a contribution to:
The Gershman Y
401 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Friendos wishing to make a donation in Phil's memory are welcomed to direct a contribution to:
(Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development), 3624 Market Street, Suite 5W, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6215
c/o Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, 2100 Arch Street #3, Philadelphia, PA or ASAP (After School Activities Partnerships) - The Philadelphia Youth Chess Challenge, 1520 Locust Street, Suite 1104, Philadelphia, PA. 19102.
As you know, funeral services will be held on Monday at 1pm at Joseph Levine & Sons at 4737 East Street Road, Feasterville-Trevose, PA 19053. The service will be followed by a burial at Roosevelt Memorial Park in Feasterville-Trevose, PA. and Shiva at the Academy House apartment.
Please note adjusted start times: The first Shiva tomorrow night, at The Academy House #33-K at 1420 Locust Street, will start at 7pm. The second Shiva on Tuesday night, at Or Hadash in Fort Washington, will start at 7:30pm. The third Shiva on Wednesday night in Elkins Park will start at 7:30pm.
For those of you unable to travel, you will be able to view the funeral service through a web cam provided by the funeral home. Tomorrow at 1pm, go to http://www.levinefuneral.com/webcam. Select the fifth blue box on the right, "Funeral Webcam."
For those of you who are flying, fewer airlines provide bereavement rates than in the past. However if your airline permits a bereavement rate, the information often needed is the name, address and phone number of the funeral home. Joseph Levine, 4737 East Street Road, Feasterville-Trevose, PA 19053, (215) 942-4700.
This morning at 8:50 Phil passed away. His last 24 hours were peaceful and surrounded by family, and passed in the arms of his three children. At the end he was enveloped by love.
While we cannot begin to imagine the gulf in our lives going forward, the outpouring of support from you has already created a lifeline for us.
Please post on this website, if you like, your favorite stories about Phil. You may have a good story about wise Phil; funny Phil; put-things-together-in-a-way-that-no-one-ever-thought-about Phil; philanthropist Phil; bridge, chess, or tennis player Phil, good friend Phil, Uncle Phil, Grampy. Sharing your story helps us all heal and even now, to get to know him even better.
Please know that funeral services will be held on Monday at 1pm at Joseph Levine & Sons at 4737 East Street Road, Feasterville-Trevose, PA 19053. The service will be followed by a burial at Roosevelt Memorial Park in Feasterville-Trevose, PA. and Shiva at his apartment.
The second shiva will be held on Tuesday at 7:00pm at Or Hadash, 190 Camp Hill Road, Fort Washington, PA (215-283-0276).
The 3rd shiva will be held on Wednesday at 7:00pm at Frank and Chung Lindy's home at 8364 Fisher Road, Elkins Park PA 19027.
Alan writes the following, and it is conveyed with love to each of you:
Dear Loved Ones,
Our father struggles, though he seems comfortable and stable. Elaine, Frank and I, with you, have prayed for his heart to gain strength. But, despite our father’s matchless vitality, his heart has simply failed to recover. Dad is sustained by life supports, offering time for a stronger heart, a hope that has not come to be.
Dad was very clear, both in his written instructions and his conversations, that he has lived an amazing, full life. He does not fear passing, but dreaded an end of a life void of happiness and purpose. Dad’s physician’s team suggested considering withdrawing life supports, especially given his clear instructions and the remote likelihood of a future robust life with dignity and enjoyment.
Elaine, Frank and I expect to follow this incredibly painful path, accepting his expressed wishes to be spared pain, loss of function, and indignities. Before fully committing, we are allowing ourselves 24 hours to fully accept the gravity, perhaps a miracle, and our own piece of mind.
You may prefer holding your most recent and most fond memory of our Dad. However, if you wish to say good-bye, please visit tomorrow (Thursday) at Pennsylvania Hospital, to the ICU, between 2:00 and 6:00. Please come to the reception room on the third floor.
Throughout our tears and pain, your continued prayers and support have been our own blessing.
Alan, Elaine and Frank
A day of mixed signals. This is something we were forewarned about. One indicator was never better since he was admitted over a week ago. Other indicators trended in directions not what the doctors wanted to see. Phil seemed more comfortable today, was breathing more comfortably. He now has a kind of expandable bed that puffs out and contracts from time to time, and the motion seems to provide him more comfort in breathing.
A new week begins.
Meant to mention. This morning a doctor came in and said "Phil, can you open your eyes?" followed by "Good!" As soon as he left I took the opportunity while my father was more aware to read him each of your messages.
An incrementally good day. As my brothers and I wrap our minds around the various choices and adjustments the doctors and nurses make, it becomes clear to us that overall, the name of the game is letting Phil's body get stronger. The doctors and nurses are managing a balancing act. On one hand, trying to keep adverse scenarios at bay, while adjusting the meds to stabilize his basic functions as well as possible. All while providing slow nutrition and in this way, allowing the body to slowly heal.
The longest day of the year, and so it felt. Yet by nighttime, a bit of uptick. Phil's blood level had stayed stable all day long. Tonight, nutrition feeding to the stomach could be resumed (instead of just intravenous). The environment remains precarious. Still, it was a necessary step.