Wednesday, December 05, 2007

First night....


OK... so it took a secular goyim to remind me at the last minute that Hanukkah started earlier this year...
Nonetheless, the candles got lit and the blessings said...

I used the menorah that was given to me from my Grandparents upstate while I was caring for them a few years back.
They both died from cancer... 6 months apart from one another. I decided to home-hospice them myself so that they could die in the comfort of their own homes and without the prostelitizing interference of the religious vultures that often accompany the upstate chapter "Meals on Wheels" programs. I couldn't be there every day of the month, but I did the best I could given the situation... and to be frank, even with the terrible monetary ramifications that decision inflicted on me then (and still does to this day)... I don't regret a single moment of that choice.

This humble cast iron candle-holder is one of the few things I own from their estate... the legions of curiously absent relatives that miraculously showed up around the time of their funeral processions took care of most of the available swag to be had at the cabin. All I managed to snag were a few books of photos, an old wooden Don Quixote effigy, and this odd little menorah.

Again, I regret nothing...

Well... maybe one thing...

I only wish that I'd had the foresight to record my Grandfather speaking...
He had an amazingly deep baritone voice and could tell a WWII story like no one else I've ever heard...

I miss them both a great deal...

Happy Hannukah.

5 comments:

The Keeper's Notes said...

That's a lovely story for Hannukah and I must say you're to be respected for helping your grandparents in that way; it's much more than I could ever do.

My grandmother passed away in the Fall of 2005 after a few months of illness, one which was never actually diagnosed as Cancer, though was most likely that. She was in the hospital a bit, but she came back to live and die in her apartment, part of my parent's home. My mom cared for for the last few months of her life and I can only imagine what she had to go through. I remember the stress and strain that went on, from talking with my dad; and this is for her mom who had been so strong all her life, able to do things for herself, still driving into her late 80's. She passed away at ninety years old.

The Keeper's Notes said...

I feel fortunate that I filmed my grandmother on the last visit I had with her, just a month or so before she passed away.

Greg said...

Yeah... I sure wish that I'd had the foresight to film my Grandparents at the time... but I guess that it was a question of preserving their dignity towards the end. They were wary of even photographs...

Still... I would give almost anything to hear my Grandfather's voice again... rattling off one of those amazing time capsule yarns that defined the past for me as a boy...

And to think, I used to roll my eyes whenever he insisted on repeating one of the stories I'd heard multiple times over the years...

My God... how could I have been so short sighted...?

At least in my youthful foolishness, I had decorum enough to listen just the same... so at least I never interrupted him. Now I only wish that he had never stopped...

Everybody's gotta be in a Gang said...

I also filmed my Grandmother before she died; I just had a feeling that I should film her, and soon after, she started to get ill and died at 89. She had some great stories about getting a job during the Depression and how she met my Grandfather. In that story, my Grandfather was pursuing my Grandmother for a while to no avail, and then finally got her to stop and talk, but they were in the middle of a road. She was trying to decide wheather or not to go out with him, when a traffic cop told them to get out of "the middle of the road".
Anyway, that was a nice thing for you to do, Greg.
My Menorah is even simpler- and smaller- so that I don't even know where I put it, so I didn't light any candles at home, but did do one night at my Brothers.
Happy Chanukah.

michdollny said...

Hey Greg,

That was a really sweet thing for you to do for your grandparents. I think we're kind of related, actually. I am Sylvia Sladon's granddaughter - she's Dot Rouse's sister. I was in Fla. and saw Dot and Robyn and Ilene. Robyn mentioned she had a cousin in NY and I found your blog. Hope you don't mind the intrusion, but I'm in NY, too and maybe we could talk one day.
Michelle
md@michelledollinger.com