I can't leave well enough alone.
I was there when he died, which is more than I ever thought I would have.
When I cried for more, I got a word document.
Then I got greedy again. I wanted him, I wanted to see him, not his sightless body before he died, not his philosophy, found in the computer.
I grew preoccupied with how it would be when he finally came to me in a dream.
"Hi D," he'd say. "My pesach kneidel. I love you."
"Why did you have to leave me?" I would say.
And he would answer, and it would all make sense, everything.
Then I would say how I have no one to ask for advice, and he would say, about what, and we would talk, and he would give me his opinion on the neighborhood that we are looking into, and the apartment. He would reassure me that living in Israel is the right decision for us, and that all the little things that are tangling up my life right now will pass.
Then he would promise to be back.
I would dream about the dream before I went to sleep.
I would wake up every morning feeling let down.
Finally, he sent me a note.
We were in my mother's house, cleaning the bookshelves for Pesach, and Outdoorsman deigned to roll up his manly sleeves and help with the girly chores. The first sefer than he opened was an old gemorah. A note fell out and fluttered to the ground. Outdoorsman picked it up. "Whose handwriting is this?" He asked my mother.
She took it from him. A soft smile fluttered to her lips and her eyes brimmed. "Abba's," she said. She blinked a few times, and handed it back to Outdoorsman, who read it and then held it out to me.
"I think it's for you," he said.
It is now in a picture frame above my computer.
"Every hardship I should say Hashem I accept your punishments. And not curse. Mikabel B'ahava!"
Which is my gentle father's way of telling me to shut up and leave him alone.
Got it, Abba. I'll stop being such a kvetch.
Thanks for the note.
I love you.