Saturday, October 25, 2008
Happy Birthday. We went out to the cemetery after Jake's Bar Mitzvah. It was pouring so hard that we didn't spend much time with you. Mom bought a pumpkin - she is so smart - to put on your headstone. I left a Barack Obama button (off of Mom's coat) and Grandma Phyllis' grave. I am sorry she isn't alive to see what is about to happen.
I guess it was fitting that in one of the driest Octobers ever, it should rain and be dark and dreary. Friday beautiful. Sunday gorgeous. Saturday smokey, rainy and miserable.
The Bar Mitzvah was great. It was warm and perfect. Jake was impressive. You'd have been proud of your friend.
To have you with me, I wore one of your old kippahs. It is falling apart. It was a good reminder of you.
For the Torah service, I read Bereshit and then Helaine read and then Jake's aunt and his uncle and grandfather. I felt like I was part of the family which made it very special. I got a great hug from Richard when I came down from the Bimah. I know he was welling up with incredible pride for Jake and his beautiful family, but he was also thinking of you.
It was interesting that the Rabbi made mention of Adam and Eve's "excruciating" loss of Abel, "the loss of a child." But I read the text and commentary and there seemed to be no mention of how Adam and Eve felt when their child died. They just went and had a replacement kid - Seth.
Pretty amazing that the loss of a child is right up there at the very beginning of the Torah.
Jake did his D'var Torah on Cain asking God, "Am I My Brother's Keeper." As Jake pointed out, Bereshit is the most-well know part of the bible, but I felt like I didn't really know it all that well. I want to read into it a bit more.
Of course, being your birthday made it extra emotional for a lot of people who were there. I looked down our aisle and saw Nana and Papa, and behind us were Ari, Simon, Alex, Sid and Susan. We were surrounded by all our friends - everyone who'd be there for your Bar Mitzvah or the annual dinners we have on your birthday at Cactus Cantina ever since you died.
Strangely and unexpectedly to me, I wasn't emotional or anything when I was up there reading. I was in a zone and actually my mind started to wander while I read - it went for about 10 minutes because you go through each day of creation - but not to any place sad. I had been sad leading up to it all.
I had gone to the synagogue on Thursday to get a sneak peak at the Torah when Jake was having pictures taken and doing a run-through for the Cantor. While I sat there and watched Jake practice his speech, tears rolled right down my cheeks. Also, when we were over at their house earlier in the week to eat in the Sukkah, I watched an early cut of the video that Helaine made and I welled up.
It wasn't the picture of you and Ari and Jake and Simon that made me sad. It was thinking that I wasn't going to make this video for you, or maybe that I will. Here is the shot that Helaine put in of you guys. Me being me, I grabbed them at the Bar Mitzvah party and took an updated photo. Ten years later and everyone's still pretty good buds.
The party was a lot of fun. Jack got into it more than I've seen at any other of these. Personally, I'm not in love with the Kayne West shades or trucker hats, but it was good that everyone else was letting loose.