Mother, since your death, I have felt perfectly comfortable continuing my dialogue with you. One thing is for sure, in the past year my phone bills have been smaller. There are no charges for daily international phone calls to you Yes, I do miss those phone calls. No, I don’t miss the charges. During this first year, two months and five days since your death on many more occasions than I care to count, I have caught myself thinking: “Its been a while since I’ve spoken with Me-teeta”. Only when I am about to reach for the phone to call you do I suddenly realize (yet again) that you are gone and that you won’t be answering the phone, that’s when I sit down and write you a letter.
The day you died I decided that neither your vision nor your hearing have been seriously affected by this new state of being and that it is possible to continue communicating with you. As you know, sometimes, I write you long letters and sometimes I just sit and talk to you. I have kept these conversations between us private and off my blog because I am always extremely mindful of your strong need for privacy. I remember you always said “Los secretos de tu pecho, si son muy grandes para tu pecho, son muy grandes para el ajeno!” (“If the secrets of your heart are to great for your heart, then they are a burden on someone else’s heart!”). I have never really understood how you balanced your great need for privacy with your exuberant, outgoing nature but I do know that you had a good working relationship with and between these two opposing characteristics in your personality. At any rate until last night I thought it best to keep our dialogue private and off my blog – you know out of respect for you. But after last night’s dream, Thank you for the lovely sleep-time visit, it had been a while! I understand that you are comfortable with the idea that I publicly share just a bit about you.
Your first secular “Yahrzeit” (“Year’s Time/Tide”) was back on 19th April, the next day I happened to be in southern Israel. I decided that I wanted to drive over to the Nitzana Border Crossing so that in your memory I could look out from the Promised Land towards the Sinai Desert, which is in Egypt, which is in Africa. As I faced Africa and chatted with you, I burst out laughing as I realized that this tribute to you remembers you at one of your less than favorable moments. Anytime that as children, my sister or I, succeeded in pushing your very last button just before you got to “go to your room before I ground you for the rest of your life” angry with us, you’d say “Estoy cansada! Me voy para Africa!” (“I am tired! I am going to Africa!”). We must have been exceedingly difficult children because it seems to me that I remember hearing that sentence with great frequency throughout my childhood! As I faced Africa, suddenly the spring wind blew hot and strong, and I felt your gentle Me-teeta caress wiping the tears away from my eyes.
(Photo for this blog post is an original work by Isa David-Ben-Rafael and is owned by IsraeLightly)