26 July 2011 evening
As bazaar as it might sound, we have another funeral to go to tomorrow. David’s Uncle Walter Sarvet died last night. He has fought Parkinson’s disease for many years, and his death does not shock but the timing is unnerving. As if there is a tear in the fabric between the planes of existence and room for another soul to pass from one world to the next. Existence feels so very fluid and life very, very fragile.
We will travel out to Queens tomorrow after Cheshire collects some of grandpa’s record collection. We will listen to another Rabbi pray and sing. I will think of how it would have been if David was here, doing these things, going to these places. And I will feel as I feel. Here. Now.
Last night, we were asked if there were any words any of us would like to say at today’s service. I forgot all about this request until an hour before we needed to leave today. I know I frustrated Cheshire with my forgetfulness. I jotted a few notes, and said the following:
I want to share two small parts of Dad that I will carry with me always.
The relationship that he had with David. It was a relationship that deepened and grew through the years. David and his father shared books and movies, ideas and opinions, and pieces from the New York Times which arrived at regular intervals in our mail box. Dad did not always understand David’s choices, but I hope he took real joy from David’s achievements because David always wanted to make his father proud.
Dad loved his grandchildren. He doted on Cheshire, worrying about her choices, applauding her achievements, and always wanting to know what was next for her. He wanted always to be a part of her life. And I heard, sometimes through David, all about Wendy and Michael -- their lives, their partners and most recently their children. Dad took a lot of joy in this younger generation, I think more than he expected.
Dad was curious and kind, generous and gracious, intelligent and interesting, and I was so very fortunate to have him in my life for such a long time.
David would have been more eloquent, his text would have been richer, but I do what I can and honor both men as I am able.
At the service and at shiva at cousin Ilene’s house which followed, Julia behaved very well. She was quiet, she listened to what was going on, she did not fidget or act bored, she did as I asked. When she was able and had my permission, she colored, played with lego, and played with her leapster. This is not easy for her. I know that. She knows that I am pleased but I hope I can find something really special for her in the next days.
I know I’ve written this before, but I had wondered how to spend this week. How foolish this wondering. Life, the end of it and the celebration of it, rushes in without thought to my wonderings.