Today is 9 years since my mother passed away. I remember that day like it was yesterday, and still miss her like it was yesterday.
This year is a little different because of the virus. If she were alive, who knows where she’d be living (at age 85) or what kind of health she’d be in. I do know that I’d be worrying about her. She’s a Holocaust survivor so in many ways she was pretty resilient. Her cousin who is still alive and living in New York City is hunkered down and you can see the razor sharp survival instincts kicking in. In other ways though, she could be brittle. You never knew which version of her you were going to get.
I admit though that I am happy she is not here to see what is happening right now. Not just in America, where we have botched this thing so badly so far that she barely would recognize the country that once put a man on the moon. Her native Hungary is even worse. The prime minister there just used the pandemic to make himself a dictator, which since he leads a brazenly anti-Semitic party, is not going to end well. She was glad to be out of there and never felt the love or allegiance to it that my father seemed to have. I sort of feel the same way.
This is always a hard day for me. I re-live it hour by hour, mile by mile from Wellesley down the Merritt Parkway and NJ Turnpike to my parents’ house in Lawrenceville, to the hospital where she had already passed away many hours before, back home again, back up the Turnpike to Newark Airport to get my brother who flew in from California, and back home again where I finally could lay down for the first of what would be weeks of sleepless nights. I miss her. This might be the first time that I am a little bit grateful, for her sake, that she did not have to see this day.