Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Eli (hizzownself) in the Army Air Force...all of twenty years old. [Photo: Ansalone’s Studio, Brooklyn, NY]
This evening marks the onset of Dad’s third Yahrzeit... the anniversary of his passing according to the Hebrew calendar.
I am a skeptic in matters supernatural - I am my father’s child, after all - but I still believe that there are mysteries having to do with the World to Come. Those mysteries might explain the peculiar earworm I have been dealing with these last few days: a piano rendition of “My Funny Valentine.”
He played the piano, as many of you know. And out of all his repertoire, “My Funny Valentine” is the song that most stood out to me. Whether the piano was in tune or not (“Desafinado,” the Antonio Carlos Jobim classic, was another favorite), it would drift through the house whenever he sat down to play.
I miss hearing my Daddy play the piano. I miss his convoluted jokes, many of them told in equally convoluted Yiddish. I miss his incisive mind, his menschlichkeit, his willingness to do what he believed was right even at personal cost. I wish he were here to see his granddaughters again, and I wish he could see how happy my brother - The Other Elisson - is these days. Alas, he is at an impenetrable remove: so much for wishes.
But when I hear that earworm, I know he is not far away. Perhaps he will hear me chant the Memorial Prayer and recite the Kaddish... and he will know that we remember him.