Every year it hits me again. Each Yom Kippur it sneaks up on me just to overwhelm me. This year was particularly intense. Probably, because it was still so close to the cancer. Hell, it is still in the middle of my having cancer. Until, the swelling goes down enough there is no answer. No answer to the question: Did all this pain and humiliation cure the cancer?
I want to believe it has. But, I will not know for a month or more. So, I shrug and carry on.
Back to the subject of this blog post. (I know, I know, you are all grateful I am about to get back to it already!)
This Yom Kippur, as usual, during the remembrance of our ancestors Dad creeps back in. It is not like I have not lost my Mom, all my Grandparents, Uncles… Dad was the first and most impactful loss of loved ones in my life. In many ways I am still that thirteen year-old who just a little over a month before showed Dad that after nearly seven months I was out of the wheelchair. Other than me he was probably the most happy.
I started to write a poem about Dad. Sitting on my four or five inch cushion that keeps my feet off the ground I search around in my purse for a pen. Me? I could not find a pen. Sharpie? Sure. Two of them, in fact. Oh well, that is what I have and I choose one to use. A green one. Now, Sharpies on paper are best used on side of paper. I had more than one paper side to write upon. Which, makes it hard to read on both sides.
I brought what I wrote home. I have copied it from my non-WORD program (it is still on the fritz) and added to it.
I do not care what you think about my writing or poetry. It seems I have no choice. Here it is.
I do not recall the days before. Before before.
How many days you were there,
Waiting at the dinner table. Anxious to eat to cut the tension.
To hear the noise of the car’s engine
finally coming home.
It was the car before the bomb that brought you back to us.
The arguments between Dad and Mom, Mom and Dad, each of us to the other. Any one of us to Dad or
Mom. Only some few of them I recall.
Scenes of building, brick by red brick, upon the chat and the sand grout
On my knees next to you in this maddening heat. And loving it. Loving you, Dad.
With my brother on bright summer Sunday mornings.
No Sunday school.
Wake up, Wake up, Wake up, you GOTTA wake up!
You know you have to wake up.
We need to see you.
To hear your base voice bellowing at us to, “Stop it already. I’m up.”
We run to our rooms to get dressed as fast as we can.
Taking just one or two of us to the Deli to get lox, bagel, cream cheese, sweet, flaky pastry meat
Begging you to get me the chocolate drenched cupcake just above the cash register.
You trying to get us together and get the groceries into the car without killing one or both of us.
Or dropping the bag.
Making Mom angry during the day usually guaranteed that the first thing she would say to him was,
“He or she did this or that, YOU need to get the belt out!”
We could see he hated to get the belt out.
But, he felt he had to.
You died at the hospital one night.
You died one night.
You left us.
For weeks my ears would stretch away from my head to flow out the kitchen door, through the
breezeway, flowing to the driveway.
Up the street and down the street they stretch.
My body waiting to hear the engine of your car coming up the street and up the driveway.
It never came again.
Except in my day dreams for the rest of my childhood
and later in nightmares.