My first instinct is to make food. Lots of food.

A friend's father passed away yesterday and her family is sitting Shiva this week. Shiva is such a lovely tradition in the Jewish faith; in the days after my Nanas passed away last summer, I wished we'd had a way to remember them. Not only on the day of their funerals, nor in the days leading up to them: choosing dresses, caskets, hymns. But in a live feeling-fest.

They passed away in Pennsylvania and the reality of it faded somewhere in New Jersey on the way home. The book closed; we still thought of them and we still mourned for them, but we didn't live it the same way my uncles and cousins did. We had the Tappan Zee Bridge as a barrier. And our jobs. Our busy New York jobs.


I missed them a few weeks ago, randomly. I saw something on the news and thought about asking someone older about politics 60 years ago.

"Nana, which was your favorite president?"
"Oh, I don't know. Kennedy was good, I guess."

"Nana, what do you remember about being little?"
"We had chickens. And a farm."

The Nanas are unavailable now. I'll have to look elsewhere to appease my love of history's stories.


It feels the same way when I see married friends' Facebook profiles, cuddled up to their sons in Easter photos. I sleep in on Saturdays; no doubt they're exhausted with cleaning and playing and car-seat buckling by the time I roll out of bed. I feel selfish; I feel free. I'm an asshole whose profile picture is posing with a beer; I'm thankful that I've sown some oats in the hopes of one day being a more settled mother. In the end, I have no choice.


And so my instinct is to make food. Lots of food. To give something, anything to make a small dent in the insurmountable pain of losing your father in your mid-20s. To harness that mothering energy, to be counted upon, to be useful to someone other than to myself.

It feels like it helps.

1 comment:

Goldie said...

This entry made me both crack up and tear up. Mostly tugged on my heartstrings, though. Great post.