Thursday, September 11, 2003
I went with Mom last night to a movie about a dad who loses his son. It was called Seabiscuit. Oh yeah, there was a horse in it, too. I think I told you about the story back in April when I read the book. The woman who wrote it lives in Nicky-Picky's house. Mom and I sat about 2 rows in front of where you and Jack and I sat for E.T. It was the first time that I ever almost walked out of a movie. I knew that the boy was going to die and I had prepared myself for that. At first they didn't show how he died, they just showed his dad's reaction. I whispered to Mom, "Thank god." I knew both she and I would be too sad to see him dying. I thought that it was tastefully done without having to show too much detail. But then they went and showed the dad holding his dead son. That was way too much for me to handle. I saw you and me. I saw Mom holding you after you died. I started to weep. Mom was crying too. I pulled my shirt over my head so I wouldn't bother anyone with the sound of my sobbing. I really wanted to walk out but I sat there. Mom had talked forever about wanting to see the movie. So I ate a whole box of Snow Caps and "toughed" it out. You liked Snow Caps, right? I can't think of a candy you didn't like. Remember the time at Morgan's Pharmacy when we bought the chocolate Twizzlers. I think it sounded better than it tasted.
Seabiscuit wore an "H." It was for "Howard," but let's say it stood for "Henry."
The rest of the movie was good because the actor who played the dad really seemed to capture how sad it feels to lose a son. At one point he looks at some kids playing and you could tell that he was hurting. Later in the movie he just drops his head down and I was thinking, "yes, yes, yes," that is right. He never seemed to "get over it" and that felt reassuring to me. I never want to get over it, get over you. You would have liked the movie. The horse was a scrappy little guy who won because he had a lot of heart. Remember how we loved watching the Black Stallion DVD and the boy and his horse won that big race. It was just like that.
I wonder if there is a book about fathers who lose their kids. Maybe I should write it. Off the top of my head I can think of a lot of famous fathers whose children have died. I'd want to know how they live their lives, how they keep on keepin' on while living with broken hearts.
Earlier in the day yesterday I went to Adas Israel to have them print your name in the Memorial Book for the High Holidays. I bought one of the bronze memorial plaques in the sanctuary for you. Now generations of little kids will run their fingers along the raised letters of your name and the date you died (in Hebrew). They'll play with the little light bulbs they light up (by screwing 'em in) when it is your Yahrzeit, the anniverary of your death. I was on the verge of tears when I was in the office discussing the details. Walking downstairs to the Gan to look around I finally let myself cry thinking of my memories of you there.
When I walked outside I ran into Pamela and she gave me a hug. That was nice. I didn't realize that I was there at the time parents come to pick up their kids from lunch bunch. Aunt Tracey showed up, too. It was good to see her. Then it was back to work. Fighting back my sadness is hard to do during the day at work. I thought that if I was really busy I would be okay. It doesn't work that way.
I love you.