Wednesday, December 11, 2013


There are billions of people in the world. Each one is different. Many of these people are mothers. And each one is different.

That was one of the most painful things about mourning my mother, particularly during shivah. Pretty much everyone who came, even people who had known her, consoled me regarding an abstraction. One friend from childhood, who I hadn't seen in many years, came. And he, very kindly, that he had warm memories of my mother from when we were children. I was so grateful, I wanted more. I asked for examples and he got flummoxed, spoke about her cooking. No.

One friend did get it right. He spoke about being in my house during high school and enjoying my mother's word play, humor, and banter. Yes.

Here's something I wrote a year after mom passed away, two months short of her 74th birthday.

My Balance Was Removed

Speaking of my mother's death
on the phone late that night
the lady bug appeared

A creature I hadn't seen
since childhood -
maybe thirty years.

Still, she looked as striking;
eight divine black on red spots.
I gazed closely and counted.

She crawled gracefully
as I transferred her
from pen to paper

And then I saw something
something I never knew
and my balance was removed

Lady bugs can jump
and fly
to Heaven


Blogger cheryl said...

How beautiful this memory is :)

December 14, 2013 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Thank you Cheryl!

December 14, 2013 at 10:40 PM  

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