Once we were young and different people but now we are older and different but the same.
There is something going on now, a pain that I can’t quite identify and I can’t ignore.
It is not a physical thing but I suspect if it was I would probably do as I am doing now, push, pull, poke and prod.
Every time I have dislocated a finger I have tried to reset it myself…every time.
Never quite did it, but only because I feared making it worse but it never stopped me from trying.
Some of you heard me curse as I made the effort and asked me why I wouldn’t use my health plan.
“See the doc, it is there job and it is easier for them to do it because they have two good hands. They can get better leverage than you.”
Always nodded and then took another crack at doing it myself just to see if I could sort it out.
I wasn’t entirely accurate when I said I don’t know what is bothering me. I know, I am just surprised by some of it. So I am stirring up the ashes and looking under the surface because it will provide clarity.
And it occurs to me that is why some of you are reluctant to do more reading. Those words will take you back and maybe complicate things so it is easier to ignore….for now.
Everyone who is named in this obituary is gone and most for quite some time. Most of the grandchildren are too but the great-grandchildren, well we are still around.
Some of us are as old or older than my great-grandfather’s kids were when this was written. Most if not all have buried at at least one of our parents.
We have moved from being in the early parts of our lives to about the middle or just past so we have enough life experience for some of what was written in
You Can’t Predict What Will Happen to resonate a little louder and more clearly.
There is a gavel in my closet that belonged to my great-grandfather but I can’t remember exactly what he used it for.
Some of his furniture made it to my parents and some made it to me. I appreciate having it but I sometimes wonder if it was important to him.
If I close my eyes I can picture visiting my paternal grandfather in the hospital. He is about 91 and been there long enough to be a little confused.
He looks at me and says “Orrie, go get Mark. We’re going to leave.” He’ll follow it up with a comment about going to see grandpa.
I figure I am on a trip with him sometime in the 1950s but not sure. The moment will pass relatively quickly and he’ll recognize me.
There came a point where I was never surprised to be called “Orrie” when I answered the telephone but I don’t think my son will experience that.
Landlines aren’t prevalent any more and I haven’t had one in years. It’s highly uncommon for anyone but me to answer my cell.
We made eye contact but neither of us was honest us to say what we were thinking and not that it would have mattered to me.
That familiar scent hadn’t been around in so long I had almost forgotten it and then the wave of memory hit me and I got lost floating in it.
Wasn’t the first time a smell took me somewhere and won’t be the last. Scent is a powerful thing as is music and both or either can send me on a journey.
Some of the things I am trying to remember are tiny and in some ways unimportant details but collectively they would add layers and flesh out the patterns I am trying to piece together.
Many are hard to come by but sometimes I go looking online for older people speaking Yiddish.
I put on my headphones, close my eyes and listen. Occasionally it works and I can feel myself riding the river backwards through decades and I remember things.
Sometimes they come in pieces during my sleep and sometimes they come unbidden and unexpected from other places.
Most of the information I seek is pretty basic and probably not of huge interest to many but to me it is part of a giant tapestry whose entirety I want to see.
I want to enter the castle and walk around the kingdom again because I have more information this time and a more focused idea.
It is clear to me I am on the journey and probably have been for a while but for how much longer and farther, well that is less clear.
Most of the time I am good with that and not just because I want to be, but because I need to.
So I sit at the computer tapping away at the keys to see where they take me and know that for some these words will take you back whether you want them to or not.
It is the joy of life…mostly.