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I’ve reached the point in my life where the rear view mirror is cluttered with faces that I’ll never have the privilege to see again, and my inner ear hears voices that are now silent.  In my family, as in most, holidays are what bind us together, and holidays are when we clearly see who is no longer sitting at the table.

My memories of my Mother are rarely about her holiday cooking; I’d be hard pressed to recall a single entree with certainty.  But she is indelibly etched in my mind as she set the festive table with her best tablecloth and her gold-rimmed dishes, griping in a (I think) good-natured way about how much cooking she’d have to do, and how quickly it would all be eaten.  Her eyes sparkled as she looked at her family gathered around the table, and as my Father said the blessings, the worry lines around her eyes seemed to visibly diminish.

My memories of my Father are often about his legendary love of eating, and that adoration of all things edible gave me the last pleasant Passover memory of him.  Though he was suffering from the effects of a stroke and brain surgery, my family received permission to join my Dad in the hospital for a Passover Seder.  Around that institutional plastic-covered table, my Father basked in the company of his family while voraciously chowing down on the matza lasagne my daughter and I made for his last real dinner.

There are too many empty seats at the Passover table I picture in my mind.  But the people who really fill the seats now are wonderful, and I am most grateful for their company.  I hope that you have a Zissen Pesach or a joyous Easter surrounded by those you love, and those who love you back. 

***

My latest article is now online at Huffington Post:  Scenes from a Greek Restaurant

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