What a perfect Sunday. If you've never lived around snow, you can't imagine the wonder of its first falling - big wet flakes piling up, covering dead leaves and dirt, silencing passing car noises and footsteps. You take a step and there's a palpable give in the surface, and a wonderful squeaking sound. Here's how our street looked and...
This is what our house looked like yesterday -- the whole neighborhood was one big fairy tale. Some friends with (wonderful) small children invited us to come watch them slide down the local sledding hill.. an invitation we accepted happily. It was such a joy to watch them revel in the snow, the speed, the make-believe strawberry/snow candy, and manufacture of snowballs aimed, somewhat haphazardly (they are little) at us.
In the evening some friends who had parked their car in our driveway came over to dig it out and stayed for soup and toast. It was lovely. After they left, we both fell asleep during the Oscars and woke up in fine fettle. And then.
Of course, there's an "and then." What did you think? At around 9:30 this morning my husband called me to tell me that his father had died. He was 87 and quite ill, so it was not, in that sense, a surprise, but it was still painful. He's lived in LA for years, we saw him less often since we moved back east -- and it was a complicated relationship, but still... I'm sitting here now listening to my husband make arrangements and work with his brother in Philadelphia and our rabbi to get things together --- and worrying.
I have some strong opinions about all this myself and am having a terrible time keeping my mouth (almost completely) shut about it all. It was his dad and his reactions are the ones to be honored but as the one who usually does all these kinds of things it's tough to stay on the sidelines - where he seems to want me to be.
I worry, too. How will it be when the arrangements are done, when there's no place left to call? It's my prayer that our new, observant life will help to support and protect him as he deals with the loss of the last of our four parents to leave us. And help us travel this newest journey together. There are rituals to follow for a year, so we will have some structure to his grief. For that I'm truly grateful. Not only does it offer us the comfort that comes with faith and the privilege of a community of loving friends - it also has served to bring Rick and his brother closer, since they also are observant - and that has made making all these arrangements much easier. You never know where the blessings are going to land, I guess. Wish us well.