Two years to the day when you left us. Always astounding to think that so much time could have passed, time that I suspect doesn’t have the same meaning for the new you you’ve become. But so it is.
I’m writing from Portland, Oregon, visiting your granddaughters and two great-grandchildren. Malik you’ve never met, but I can picture you squishing his cheeks with abandon and giving him the same kind of love you gave me. All is as well as it can be. Kerala’s a good mom, is enjoying her work, Ronnie about to finish his first of three years of school to launch his career. Tomorrow we’ll see your grandson Ian and his son Ezra. The family ties live on.
Talia is right now reading a goodnight story to Zadie, who’s having a sleepover with us at our Air B n B and they’re both giggling and snuggling in bed. Talia’s teaching 5th grade at our school and so masterfully and speaking of which, is about to get her Masters. Karen’s retiring after 42 years of teaching art (Yikes! Big changes!), I’m still mixing school with traveling hither and yon to spread the good news about music. And often these days, I show the video of you dancing so joyfully in your wheelchair while a group I’m leading plays “I Got Rhythm”— and you did!
And the end of that video, I lean over and kiss you and how I miss that! I’m still playing with Fran and Edie at the Jewish Home and you’re still by my side, but not in kissable form. Ben, the resident piano player there, just passed away at 100 years old and so it continues— some getting off the merry-go-round, new ones coming on, most of us still circling around year after year until we don’t.
Of course, there’s more news to tell from Planet Earth, things like the astounding highs and lows of this election year, all the people who come out to parade their hate and all the people out to trumpet forth their hope and no one knows yet what the real numbers are. But you were never much interested in politics and can’t say that I blame you.
Mom, when you left, I worried that no one was left to give me the kind of unconditional love that you did. And that’s true. But it turns out that yours seeped so deep into the Soul that it echoes there still, holds me up in ways I’m not even wholly aware of. First you gave me the precious gift of life and then you gave me the precious gift of love and at the end of the matter, what else is there? There are no words to thank you, but I hope some part of you can still feel those kisses at the end of the songs and that they bring you some peace and happiness.
Your always-loving son,