Grandmother and Grandson

If my mother were alive, I don’t think she would approve of my posting this photo of her. She was already sick with cancer when my sons were born, and this is the only existing photo that I know of with her and my middle son, who will have his bar-mitzvah next week. If you want to see more flattering photos of her, please feel free to scroll through my posts about my mother.

My mother’s yahrzeit (anniversary of her death) is next Thursday evening, right before the bar-mitzvah. I already missed doing a post on her birthday; for the life of me, what were we so busy with this past Labor Day Weekend? I can’t even recall. But I am remembering Simchat Torah 11 years ago, when instead of going to shul, as I do every other year, I spent the days with my mother (who was dying and died a few days after Simchat Torah) and with my then two year old son. And I also recall Simchat Torah 13 years ago, when someone told me to dance a lot so the baby would come out that night, and I replied that after all that dancing I would like to have a good night sleep. And I did have a good night sleep…my son was born two nights later.

Simchat Torah is on Saturday night (on Friday night in Israel); it is a holiday in which observant Jews celebrate the Torah with dancing, reading the beginning and ends of the Torah, and of course, food.

19 thoughts on “Grandmother and Grandson

  • Thank you for sharing your photo with us. Yur mother may have disapproved in a way I suppose but she would also be able to see why it was important for you to associate herself and your son in one single photo.
    Best wishes to your middle son too. Reaching bar mitzvah age is both wonderful and daunting but I am sure he’ll be up to the challenge.

  • When I told my sister of my friend’s suggestion that I put a picture of my mother up on my Cooking Manager blog, her first reaction was that my mother wouldn’t have liked it. I replied that if it made me feel good to put up her picture, I would. My sister understood. It’s hard to lose a parent relatively young, at least give us the freedom to honor and remember them as we choose.
    Enjoy the holiday, see you on Monday although I imagine you’ll be rather scarce. And mazal tov to the whole family.

  • What a lovely photo, so poignant. The others are lovely, also, showing a reflection of life and times gone by.

    As long as you feel good about sharing the photo, then I am sure your mother would approve and understand your need to remember her this way.

    It’s difficult to lose a parent so young, yes. My dad was 45 when he died in 1960. It is hard to believe he will be gone 50 years next year. That is longer than his lifespan.

    My mom will be gone five years on Veteran’s Day, of all days.

    She was a veteran…of her ailing body.

  • Hi Leora,
    This is a wonderful photo and I’m sure your mom would understand why you wanted to post it.

    Thanks for your nice comments about the photos of our children that Ralph and I like to post. It’s fun to remember the innocent times. Not that they are guilty now, just older and wiser!

    Congratulations to your middle son. Is he the artist?

  • My father made a very special gift for me – he recorded himself telling his story – but every now and then he would say, just a minute and have erased something he felt wasn’t “right.” I wished he’d left those moments in, now they mean so much, they were the real moments. He did the same years earlier when my parents would send me tapes and he would erase something my parents wouldn’t agree on – and yet those imperfect moments were the ones that meant the most. ditto with your photo

    as an aside, so nice not to have two days chag – don’t know how I ever did it – so looking forward to NOT eating.

  • Hi, I’m here via Michelle’s Nature Notes blog. Although I don’t see a nature photo, I was compelled to read your current post. (The photo reminded me of relatives and, indeed, I was not surprised to learn you are also Jewish.)

    Firstly, heartfelt condolences upon the loss of your mom. No matter how many years have gone by, certain times (a look, a memory, a song, a smell) or an occasion as important as a Bar Mitzvah bring a flood of longing and memories. I’m glad your mom was able to know your son, if only briefly and to me, she shines with love. Thank goodness she did let you photograph her, even if she wished she looked as she used to and wished, of course, for health.

    I don’t know if you do the “candle rememberance” ceremony for the Bar M, but if so, I’m sure there will be a special one for her. I wish this time was easier for you, especially so soon after the High Holy Days. May your son’s Bar Mitzvah be a day of joy and celebration. Your mom is always a part of you and him.

  • I hope you had a wonderful chag. May all your future Simchat Torahs be ones of unreserved joy, and may your mother’s neshamah have an aliyah. Yehi zichrah baruch.

    • Yes, good that your own story comes out with my post. I guess death of parent so universal a theme, as is a child growing up and becoming a teen.

  • Leora, that was such a simple, beautiful post. I am glad you posted that picture, it is beautiful in its own way for what it signifies.

    I am so excited for your bar mitzvah. It will be a unique event as only Leora can do it. And lots of fodder for the blog, I hope. Mazal Tov!

    • Truth is, I may not write about the bar mitzvah on the blog. But my father gave me some old photos of his family (so I can have a few on display at the bar mitzvah), and I’m hoping some of those will make their way into blog posts. Now I need to scan them all into my computer.

  • A beautiful post and a beautiful picture. My father took a wonderful pic of my first daughter sleeping on my husband’s grandmother’s chest. The sunlight through the window fell on her just so and it’s really a treasure, especially since she passed away 3 years ago.

    I hope you had a good chag and you enjoy your simcha.

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