September 16, 2013 · 7:32 pm
There are countless milestones and rites of passage in the lives of our children, but none have quite the impact of turning 21. We can heave that great sigh of relief that they are now ‘legal’. Don’t get me (or my newly 21-year-old) started on the legal drinking age, but let’s just say I am thrilled to announce my offspring have kept the track record of not getting ticketed (or worse) for underage drinking or fake/borrowed IDs. Quite the feat in a Big 10 college town.
All that nonsense aside, becoming an adult has little to do with chronological age. My boy has done me proud in the grown-up department way before he crossed this legal threshold, without ever losing the lightness of heart of the child he once was. His 4th grade teacher called him a happy go lucky deep thinker, and that description still fits him perfectly.
This past year our family has learned a boatload about what it means to be there for each other, and young Dan has risen to that occasion every time. All while still finding a way to make me laugh no matter what the circumstances.
Happy 21st Birthday, Danny boy, may you always keep your sense of self. And may you stay forever young. We love you.
September 3, 2013 · 6:24 pm
This might be the first post ever to combine Dave Matthews and the Jewish Holidays; but that seems fitting since this is a post about firsts.
Here we are – playing holiday dominoes – with those of the tribe watching Labor Day cascade into Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
This particular holiday is a tough one for our family. We are still stumbling through the ‘firsts’… the things we are doing for the first time without my mom. Although three and half months have passed, it seems like both a moment and a lifetime. Just when I think I have found my footing, my new normal, my ability to feel sad but somewhat whole, it hits me. I have avoided sharing here but somehow this seems the right thing to do, so here goes.
Although no one can stop me from starting to circle the drain, there is always someone there to grab my hand and pull me out. I have my army of grief guides; my friends who have been there and let me know with their steely strength that I will, in fact, make it through. In spite of myself and because of them.
I am beyond fortunate.
Yesterday I had just finished the massive guerrilla food shop. I was cleaning chickens to make my soup and as I was doing it I thought of how when I was first married I could not bear to clean a chicken and my mom used to laugh with me on the phone as I did it to talk me through. And it hit me. Hard. The drain, she was a- calling me to circle to the left.
And then the phone rang. My Rabbi! Seriously, do they learn this in rabbinic school? Do they become hyper-trained to sense the drain circling? Or was it a coincidence? I think not. He also called on her birthday without knowing it. Both times to check on me; to make me try to find the sweet in all the bitter. To hold my hand so I would not succumb to that proverbial plumbing.
I am beyond fortunate.
And then I had a nice long phone visit with my mom’s best friend since childhood – Aunt Arlene (who is not my aunt), as we called her. Her laugh, her stories, her way… all a piece of my mom. As we talked about how much we missed her I felt another hand reach through the phone to keep me from slipping down those pesky pipes.
What I want, is what I’ve not got. But what I need, is all around me.
Wishing all who celebrate a sweet new year. And all who are grieving the strength to stay away from the plumbing during the holidays.
Filed under aging parents, friendship, holidays, loss
Tagged as dave matthews, family, friendship, grief, Jewish holiday, Jewish New Year, judaism, labor day, loss, New Year, plumbing, rosh hashanah