Shiva

Yesterday was hard, trying to be there for my family and juggle what everyone needed. I freaking hate it that we’re the only egalitarian branch of the family; it frustrated me that a number of Tateh’s colleagues and students who came to make a minyan couldn’t be counted because they were women.

Tateh led the funeral, and had a really deft hand with the service. My uncle spoke, and my cousin, the rabbi at the shul where grandpa was gabbai for many years, a member of the congregation, and myself. Everyone said things that were beautiful, honest, and without overlap. I’m putting all the remarks together in an album, if I can.

And then today I went back to work and an emergency staff meeting, and I’m working waaay late tonight to try and make a dent in the massive pile of projects. Then tomorrow I’m going up to Northampton to help Tateh sit shiva, and staying through Wednesday. I just feel like it’s important to be there for him right now, to give the family a chance to reconnect, reorient itself.

Death

Bad day. Bad week. My grandfather died this morning, and the whole day has been taken up with arrangements. He was 92 years old, and sharp to the very end. On the one hand, it’s a relief; he’s been in so much pain these past few months, and it’s good to think he’s not hurting anymore, but I feel bad for my dad and my uncle. The funeral is tomorrow, and we’re all scrambling to get everything done by then. I have no idea whether I’ll be in New York or up in N’ton for the next week; it depends on what’s needed for shiva.

Victory is mine!

Woo hoo! Published again! I just got an email from Abyss and Apex e-zine with a contract to publish my story, “The Barrow Man.” It’s my take on the whole Death-takes-an-apprentice shtick, except the apprentice in this case is a midwife. I really, really like this story, and it brought in all sorts of cool research of midwifery and medieval apprenticeship contracts, so I’m overjoyed that a publisher finally agrees with me that it rocks.

Sukkot was really lovely; my mom made her special plum tart, and we had rugelach and eggplant parmesan and all sorts of goodies, and played lots of Scrabble and spades and all the other lovely things we do as a family. Lots of socializing with guests, but lots of family time, too. You’d think, with both my parents teaching in New York every week lately, I’d have had my fill of family, but there’s something very different about being home together, being at rest together.

And hey, Tuesday night is fight night! Who all’s watching the debates? NPR was having a blast yesterday, recapping all these great moments from past VP debates, including Bentsen’s famous zinger, “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.” Should be interesting.