(a letter that I am thinking about sending to my mother and siblings)
This morning, the day after Abba's sloshim, I didn't feel so great. But I'm getting over the flu, so that makes sense. Then I got annoyed when the baby woke up too early, but that also makes sense because once he's up, cute as he is and as much as I love playing with him, my morning is gone and I will have to write at night, which is not as easy for me. Also cleaning becomes a matching of wits and speeds. Sweeping, for example, involves me starring in the running-sweep, and him in the crawling-after at my heels...thing. (Whatevers, not so good with the made-up titles.) I sweep the pile at a furious pace, an inch away from his chubby little grasping fingers. Good for cardio, probably.
Then I got annoyed at Outdoorsman for something silly. Then, I started folding little underwear into a neat pile. Then I stopped and started crying because I didn't want to fold little underwear into a neat pile. It was the kind of crying that is real and loud and ugly. The kind that makes you need to blow your nose, not just wipe it daintily, and makes your face all blotchy.
I was holding the little tiny pairs of My Little Pony underwear and crying because I missed my Abba so much. I was crying because all I have now are stories, and stories are so nice but they end and I didn't want him to end, I wanted to write him letters again and be worried about him and jump when the phone rang.
Then while I'm wanting, I want him the way my overused rerun little memories remember him--big and strong and quirky.
It was this last word that made me realize what was really bothering me. My Abba, like every other human being on this planet, had his own unique quirks and likes and dislikes. In the stories, he just sounds like a tzaddik.
Don't missunderstand! I KNOW he was a tzaddik. I witnessed it, and so did many of you and so many of our dear friends. And it's important that his memory inspire us just as he did when he was still with us.
But I don't LOVE tzaddikim. I don't MISS tzaddikim. I miss people, quirky unique people.
When I think of Bubby, I know she lived for her family. But what makes me smile is when I think of how she ran to put on her shaitel before we took a picture. I know Sabba changed his world for the better, and I think often about his contributions to the klal. But I feel a pang in my heart when I remember his complete lack of tune when he would sing (using the word lightly) aishes chayil on friday night. Zeidy, who would sit with the women in his bulgalow colony and do needlepoint makes me misty-eyed, even though I also call to mind a man who became frum again years after the war destroyed his faith.
So. I am thinking about this book we want to write about Abba. And I am hoping that with all of the amazing stories that are sure to flow and SHOULD flow--we can also include some of THAT. Something human, something precious. Something unique. Something quirky. I don't really remember much, but I would love to borrow and cherrish the memories of those of you that do.
with you in pain and in joy,