I was deeply touched by the following dedication on one of the books my daughter had borrowed at the library recently – Lucy the Good, by Marianne Musgrove:
“In memory of Dad: the trips to the museum, bush walks in the Gorge, our special rock, the bagatelles and Chocolate Night, Channel Two, the Alhambra and that terry-toweling hat.”
I don’t really understand half of the memories described in the dedication, but that’s exactly why I find it so moving – it obviously captures some very special, private moments between father and daughter. I like that instead of trying to describe the love, or the relationship, it simply captures moments.
It got me thinking. If my children were given the assignment to capture their favorite moments with me in just a few sentences, what would they say? Am I creating enough of these amazing childhood memories, or am I so busy busy busy that I sometimes forget the important things?
Then I thought about the people in my own life and how I would describe them. Most of them are thankfully alive, and that’s exactly my point – I don’t want to wait until loved ones pass away to say these things.
So here’s my attempt at capturing special moments with my loved ones, the living and the dead.
To Mom: long talks about the meaning of life, tanning our legs in the Jerusalem sun, poppy seed cakes at the pool, milk chocolate and Coca Cola when I was sick, meatballs in tomato sauce, and sitting at the kitchen table reading newspapers cover to cover on Friday night.
To Dad: thick pannenkoeken sprinkled with sugar, crying together when Holland loses a soccer game, watching Superman in Eilat’s movie theater, weekend trips to Ammunition Hill, and that redhead Barbie Doll that got a VERY short haircut.
To my husband: freezing together in the Jerusalem winter after that movie, five huge samosas, wearing your T-shirt under my military uniform, Pasta Ido, Seinfeld reruns, my first fillet Mignon, and staying up all night on that first night.
To my brother: Playing poor, Esther and Shmana, laughing so hard at the Seder table that our eyes tear up, surviving Janogly, half an order of falafel for you and a full one for me, and those jelly filled flower shaped cookies.
To grandma Chava: Your purse filled with candy for us, hanging up laundry by colors on that last weekend together, going to Gizbari for fresh bread, fresh tomatoes simply dressed with oil and salt, and that blue dress for my Bat Mitzvah that you loved so much but never got to wear.
To grandpa Yakov: liquor candy in the cupboard, beautifully decorated sukkah and a fragrant etrog, going over old photos together, watching you manually grind meat in that meat grinder, sweet fruit compote for dessert, and the pain in your beautiful blue eyes after grandmother died.
To grandma Miep: long, lazy walks on Shabbat mornings, fragrant boterkoek, plaid wool blankets, colorful cotton balls in the bathroom, apricot pie, and that strong Dutch coffee that kept me up at night but was well worth it.
To grandpa Ari: the way you sprinkled sugar on your leben and ate sandwiches with a knife and a fork, gorgeous salmon mousse decorated with fresh veggies, impeccably dressed in a suit and a tie even on the hottest Mediterranean days, and the way you looked in my direction and smiled when I visited you at the hospital, even though you couldn’t see much by then.
To my friend N.: Slamming down tequila shots in that Jerusalem pub and feeling so grown up, staying up all night talking, borrowing your white jeans and “forgetting” to return them, and trying a different cheesecake every weekend.
To my friend S.: Lunches at Picasso, those detailed 10-page letters that I still keep, trying to figure out what men really want (huh!), broccoli cream soup, and our night in Santa Monica.
I love you all.