December 2, 2015
(If we live with an open and grateful attitude, every day will bring a gift. This is one of 365 gifts during the year I turned 70.)
In the past couple of years, we have lost family and friends—my aunt, two of David’s aunts and his brother, and too many friends. A year ago on this day, my father passed away after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. I take this day to remember him and all those who have left us. Each one brings the pain of loss but also memories of how our lives connected and how each one has left something special with us.
Recently, David and I visited the cemetery where his family is buried. In the Jewish tradition, visitors leave stones on top of the headstones, a reminder that the buried are not forgotten. David stood by his namesake, his grandfather’s grave, David Kaplan who died at the young age of 66.
I tell David stories of my grandparents and my uncle he never knew and they become part of our narrative. Sadly, I only knew my father-in-law for a short while because he died in the 80’s but I’m glad I had a chance to get to know my mother-in-law and was able to make her smile shortly before her life ended. She lay in a hospital bed. Like my Aunt Leona just before she died, Rose had a beautiful glow and I told her sincerely how beautiful she looked at that moment. She smiled and held my hand.
I remember her words to my father at one of our family gatherings. “Alvin,” she said, “do the best you can with what you have.” With most of her hearing and sight gone, she did.
My gift today is memories.
> Day 359: Hidden Narrative
You can find links to my other posts on this project here: