Today, all my emotions lay just beneath the surface. One minute I was fine. The next minute I was in tears. I am told this is normal, but I feel so unstable.
I did not sleep well last night; maybe that’s why. I kept waking and sleeping with so many things on my mind. The one thing that bothered me the most was how was I going to “properly” say the mourner’s prayers for my father back in The Zone? There’s not a large Jewish population. WineGuy really does not want all those people in our house every night this week. I do not want to put any more stress on him, but I want to do what is right. When it finally reached a normal hour this morning, I called WineGuy and discussed things with him. We worked out a compromise that will meet my needs and his but will not likely be halachically acceptable. I am supposed to say the Mourner’s Kaddish (Prayer for the Dead) daily with a minyan, a gathering of ten Jewish men and women. Without the support of a large synagogue, I won’t be able to accomplish this. My synagogue is very small but very close. Three couples will drive 2 hours to the funeral and 2 hours home just to support me.
I will say the prayers on my own everyday. I will go to Sabbath services this coming weekend when there will definitely be a minyan. That’s the best I can do, and I hope my father will understand. Hopefully, he would have wanted me to be more concerned with intent than formality.
Finally, what really prompted me to post today — after being trapped in my mother’s house with hoards of people — was a quiet moment with my first cousin, Lee. Lee’s mother is Aunt Mary, my favorite aunt, and her father was Dad’s brother, Uncle Ozzie. Lee flew in just to escort her mother to the funeral. Aunt Mary walked in, and I went outside to greet Lee. She was my father’s very favorite niece. I started sobbing the moment I saw her. She was comforting and kind and asked me about Jeopardy. I told her I regretted not telling my father how I did. She replied to me, “Don’t worry. You know that my father pulled your dad into his arms and welcomed him. They will sit and watch you arm in arm.” What a peaceful image: Uncle Ozzie pulling my father toward him in a long-awaited, warm embrace.
Lee, you were always the coolest. You still are.