Looking up. August 2012, Manhattan.
Last weekend was my Dibi’s unveiling. In the Jewish tradition, you wait a year to dedicate the gravestone of a loved one. It was a short, simple ceremony at the cemetery, with our family and a few close friends. We placed little stones, another Jewish tradition, on the graves we knew — Dibi’s mom and dad, her aunts and uncles, her in-laws, Pop Pop’s mom and dad. I cried. Of course I did. But it was a homecoming, a reunion, a party. It was just the way my grandmother would have wanted it.
I came across a journal entry my mom wrote a few months ago, during a visit to Pennsylvania. She went to the cemetery with Pop Pop and my aunt.
I felt the urge to lie down beside the grave, but I didn’t. I placed my hand flat on the ground and kind of stroked the grass, pretending I was stroking the skin on her arm, like I did as she was dying nine months ago. I remember the many times we would bring her home for lunch and a visit in the afternoon. She would lie down in Dad’s bed and take a nap. I would lie beside her and cuddle. I so want to do that again. I realize I will never have that luxury again. What a lovely, sweet person my mother was. I have so much to tell her, but mostly that I love her.
I think she heard you, Mom. And I think she heard us all together.