Sunday, June 22, 2008

Graduation(s) at Nefesh

June 2005: Greg drops me off on Coney Island Avenue, not far from the Tree of Life Synagogue. I know without giving it any thought that he will pick me up at the same gas station when graduation is over. Of course, he does. I feel married and cared about, if only for transportation purposes.

June 2006: Graduation falls on Father's Day, and Jeff accompanies me. In my heart I am hoping that the uplifting ceremony and emphasis on Hashem will help him forget a bit that this is his first Father's Day without his Dad. Before he goes, he calls his father; there are a few tears, which I am sure he prefers I had not seen. The slide show at graduation is able to be shown because Jeff fixes the machine just on time. I am very proud.

June 2007: I am the proudest person in the synagogue! I have survived a craniotomy, a nephrectomy and 30 sessions of radiation! Sitting with me are my most favorite people in the world: Jeff, Sheryl and Sherry. Sheryl remarks that she will have to cover her head when she attends next year's graduation.

June 2008: I am alone and bereft this year. As part of the ceremony, one girl praises all the teachers in a very uplifting way. When she gets to my name, she thanks me for teaching her class "to appreciate everything." (The snap of recognition comes easily; I think to myself: This is how I raised Fred and Jeff.) Mrs. Newhouse comments that the name Esther means"hidden, shy, unknown, a queen; the name Yehuda," she gratuitously mentions, means, "thank you, Hashem, for giving me this wonderful child."

Be well, Yehuda.


No comments: