Sunday, April 5, 2015

One Year

Dear Mom,

It is April 6th, one year since I held you in my arms, left the room and you flew off to the other side. Almost 93 years old, it was that sense of relief to have you depart from your old body and failing mind and that sure grief knowing I would never hold you again or see your smile or watch you dance to my piano. I wondered how I would bear up without your constant sense of blessing, that unconditional mother’s love that applauded me just for showing up. I hope you’d be pleased to know that such blessing has lived beyond your own mortality and stays with me amidst the usual trials and tribulations of life down here on the planet.

I’m also pleased to report that there has been more jubilation than tribulation in that year since you left. I’ve continued that traveling life I love so much, one I sadly never shared with either you or Dad. (Makes me wonder where my wandering impulse came from?) But since you’ve left, I’ve continued my teaching in Nova Scotia, Ghana, Italy, Toronto, Kentucky, Connecticut, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and more and each trip a great pleasure. I also loved teaching at school for six months, my 40th year, Karen’s 41st and Talia teaching 4th grade. We had five wonderful Interns with us and it was fun to share both the school and San Francisco with them. They also came many times with me to the Jewish Home, where I still sing with Fran and Edie and Bernice and a few other new folks. They loved it, but I have to say I was a little sad that they didn’t get to meet you. Ben is still there at 99 and some of the nurses tell me they miss you.  I’m so grateful for those six years there.

Other news from down here. Zadie is enormous at three and a half years old and enormous in spirit as well. Kerala’s 7 months pregnant with number two, my first grandson-to-be. Ian and Madeleine are expecting (due September) as well. Karen’s Mom passed away in January at 90 years old. The cycle of life keeps spinning.

Mom, I’m writing this from the island of Bali, where I’m at the beginning of a week’s vacation with Talia. My 30th birthday present to her, back to the place she came to a two and a half years old one marvelous summer. I keep saying, “Remember when we…?” and then realize, “No you don’t.” The morning roosters are crowing, the sun begins its climb to beat down on us when we take a walk through the rice fields, we have plans to attend a girl’s gamelan rehearsal later this afternoon.

Mom, you fed me, clothed me, drove me to gymnastics class, many times gave me a look, a hug, a smile that made me feel that we knew each other profoundly and for all of that, I’m eternally grateful. Of course, I miss you terribly and yet you are always with me. What more can I say?

Your loving son,

Doug

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