Last week we celebrated Rosh Hashanah, as we ushered in the Jewish New Year 5771 (we've been around a while y'all).
The next day we were off to a post-services lunch in New Jersey, a small gathering that included 60 or so of Danny's relatives. Did I ever mention my husband comes from a LARGE close-knit family? Did I mention we affectionately refer to them as "The Borg Collective"? (Star Trek reference revealing my true geek nature here.) And while Blanche was clearly too frail to travel, we happily brought my mother along.
The one positive thing my father's passing has brought about is the opening up of my mother's life. In the past few years, his increasing fragility kept him mostly home-bound (a sorry state for my adventurous far-traveling father) and Mom's loyalty to him kept her from leaving him behind, even for an afternoon ("But honey, he'd be so lonely.") My mother does so love nature, and it was good for her soul to bring her out of the city last Thursday.
Coming up is Yom Kippur, the somberest of days, when we close out the old year and open up the new. When we particularly mourn our dead. I will be saying goodbye to the year my father died. I will be stepping into this new year, this 5771, fatherless, lightened of the burden of his care, but heavy of heart.
I will hold my mother's hand and feel the heaving of her shoulders as she cries again for the man she dearly loved, her true partner. My mother, too is both lighter and heavier now. She is slowly coming back to life, and I will help her move forward into to this new year, help her fill in the empty spaces with grandchildren and greenery.
It's not the same as a partner, but for now, it will do.
I’m linking up to Wordless Wednesday at Angry Julie Monday.