Time Again for the Stupid, Stinking, Painted Ponies (with apologies to Joni Mitchell)

Dear Mom:

SOB (sister of blogger) and I had dinner tonight.  FILSOB’s (father-in-law of SOB’s) death has startled us anew about the fragility of life and the incomprehensible temporal divide between life and death.

FILSOB’s death also made us think of you, even though it is a week early for the “dark days” — the time, 9 years ago, when you started your month-long goodbye — December 13 to January 10.  In truth, the “dark days” of 2002-2003 were not all sad; some, in fact, were the most honest, most hilarious and most screwball-comedic of our lives.  The others were, well, depth-defying in their crushing pain.

You died before your peers.  They were there to mourn you and comfort us. What will happen when Dad, MILSOB (mother-in-law of SOB) or FOPOB (father of partner of blogger) — each should live to 120 like Moses — dies?  Who will still be alive, other than us (G-d willing), to mourn them?

Marty Hertz from the synagogue died and his funeral was today.  SOB saw it in the paper and told Dad.  He was grateful to SOB for telling him and glad he went to pay his respects.  He heard that most people get these announcements on email and so he wants us to fix his email so he can have access.  But we have tried dozens of times, and then we get calls from Dad saying, “somehow I can’t get on”, as if it has nothing to do with his pressing buttons in an arbitrary and explosive fashion.  The definition of crazy is to keep trying day after day, month after month, to teach Dad how to use the Internet.  So, since you’ve been gone, your daughters have become certifiable lunatics.

(As an aside, BOB (brother of blogger) wanted us to sign Dad on to Facebook.  What a nightmare that would be.  I told BOB not to have a thought about Dad unless he cleared it with SOB or me first.  Talking Dad down from the Facebook ledge took some serious cajoling.  “Are you telling me I CAN’T be on Facebook?” Dad asked defiantly.  “Yes, yes, I am, Dad — not because we don’t want you to be on Facebook, but because you can’t master email yet.”)

What to do about the email Bulletin of Death from the synagogue?  SOB and I decided that we will ask the synagogue to put us on the recipient list.  Then we can call Dad every day for his Day in Death minute and recap the day’s sad events.  That way, he’ll get the news and we will keep what is left of our sanity.

SOB and I can’t linger on the negatives for more than an hour or so.  We also talked about all of the fabulous life experiences you and Dad gave us.  You had no role models for parenting.  You both grew up poor and in dysfunctional homes.  And yet, you gave us things you never had and were loving and wonderful parents.  And your loving relationship has been a model for your children.

We, your children, are the culmination of generations of strengths, weaknesses, aspirations, stubbornness, love and combativeness.  Who will remember you, your parents and grandparents when SOB, BOB and I are gone?

Maybe, by remembering us, our children will remember the part of you that is in us.  Because your time on this earth cannot be forgotten.

I love you, Mom.

~ Blogger