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April 19th, 2019

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Overheard: “I am all about the awkward transitions.” Wouldn’t that be fun on a tee shirt?

~~ He texted me that if I wanted to change the date, he was OK with that. “I’m flexible,” he wrote.  “Good,” I replied. “Inflexible people are often snappish.”

~~ The yoga teacher suggested we place our intention for the day (or our life) into our heart, where we would thereafter have an “intentional heart.” I love this concept.

~~ I’m editing a story on an event with the partial title “Dock Day.” My editing software objected and wanted to substitute “Dick Day.” Excuse me? Anyway, that’s not an event. It’s every frickin’ day.

~~The other day, in a public establishment, I saw two women treat a woman of color with barely concealed disdain and then fawn over a pre-teen white girl. When one of the women turned her dazzling smile on me and said, “How may I help you, dear?” I pivoted on my heel and took my business elsewhere.

~~ Passover starts tonight, and somehow my spouse and I have ended up alone on the first night for probably the first time. I adore his company, so I’m not sad, but I admit to becoming nostalgic as I set out to write today’s blog.

On the first two nights of Passover, Jews everywhere sing a song about all the miracles that enabled our ancestors to escape enslavement in Egypt. The song is named for the chorus, “Dayenu,” meaning “it would have been enough.”  As in, if only the Red Sea had parted, we would have been satisfied, if the divine supplied our needs in the desert for forty years, it would have been enough…

Today, “Dayenu” serves as a reminder that I have already received so much from so many who have shaped and encouraged me. While I drive forward, my rear view mirror is cluttered with faces that I’ll never have the privilege to see again. The radio may be bleating today’s news, but my inner ears hear voices long silent. 

As in most families, holidays are what bind mine together. It’s also when we clearly see who is no longer sitting at the table. Some are feasting at tables far from home while others are taking part in an otherworldly seder tonight. My friends Alan and Jill aren’t making Hillel sandwiches with their loved ones, relatives of the previous generation won’t be with my cousins slurping matzoh ball soup, and my husband’s family won’t be gathering in Arizona to eat his aunt’s just-short-of-toxic cooking.

Looming largest for me on Passover is the absence of my parents. I remember fondly how my mother’s eyes sparkled as she looked at her gathered family. As my father said the blessings, the worry lines around mom’s eyes diminished and her physical woes didn’t drain all the color from her face. She was radiant in the candlelight and contented in the esprit de Smith family.

My mother made it to a lot less Passovers than my father, dying just short of the holiday. For another decade, my dad continued eating his way through seder meals, having actually never met a repast that didn’t fill him with pleasure.

My last pleasant memory of my dad involves Passover.  Though suffering from the effects of a stroke and brain surgery, he presided over a picnic-style seder my family created for him in the hospital rec room. Though the table was covered in institutional plastic rather than my mom’s gorgeous linens, my father basked in the glow of his family as he garbled his way through the blessings and ravenously ate forkfuls of his last real meal.

Sigh — the Passover tables of my mind are long gone, but the memories will have to be enough.

~~ Oh, yeah. Every Passover, we retell the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt and the clutches of the evil Pharaoh.


Dasvidaniya. Have a great weekend, a Zissen Pesach, and/or a Happy Easter!



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