March 22, 2008 § Leave a comment
I am sitting in my grandfather’s sunny office in Delray, Florida. The decision to spend a weekend of my 3-week vacation to the States here in warm, humid, sunny Florida was a good one. My skin is still baby soft from the couple hours we stole to go to the beach yesterday. How long had it been since I had been to a beach? A long time.
The real reason for coming down here was for my grandmother’s unveiling. In Judaism, it’s custom to have a ceremony a year after someone’s funeral where the tombstone is revealed. It was a beautiful day, warm and breezy. We stood in the cemetery and my aunt read aloud a letter to my grandmother she had written in Yiddish. My father spoke some words, and some others read poems. My grandmother would have been satisfied with the turn out. She cared a lot about appearances. I hope she would have been pleased with my attempt – a pink sweater/black skirt combination – but she probably wouldn’t. It’s funny how that makes me smile now.
My grandmother was always disapproving of me, partly because I wasn’t a stunning (thin) beauty like my cousins, and partly because I am hopeless when it comes to dressing myself. It used to bother me. No one could lay a guilt trip like my grandmother. But I know she was proud of me in other ways. She was proud of my intelligence and that I went to Brandeis. I understand that she loved me now, just in a different way. Maybe I needed to grow up some to understand that. Maybe I just needed to get over myself and stop demanding the right to dictate how and how much people love me. I’m happier this way, anyway.