Continuance and Remembrance

Written By: Charles - Apr• 13•22

Spring and Kate’s Yahrzeit Moon

Her 75th.

Wednesday gratefuls: Kate. Her yahrzeit. Ode. Yahrzeit candles. Ebony and Vine. Pulled pork. 15 degrees. Geez. High fire danger. Kep. Who kept me warm last night. A year with no new firsts. No first birthday with no Kate. No first Hanukkah without Kate. No first anniversary without Kate. Changing of the heart.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Ode


When I came upstairs this morning the yarhzeit candles, which I lit around 7 am yesterday, were still burning. I love this Jewish custom and added to it. The candle for that third entity between us, our marriage. As those first yahrzeit candles burned down, the last first, I could feel a weight lifting. My life feels a bit freer. Maybe a lot. Will take some time to tell.

Yesterday was a busy day. Looking into the astrological meaning of Neptune. Investigating the significance of mem heh, “what”, in the Haggadah and in the Tree of Life at Chochmah, the sefirot of wisdom. Ode’s arrival.

We chatted for a while and then both took a nap. We old guys. An early dinner at Ebony and Vine where Mark ran into a waiter from Jamestown, North Dakota. “My name’s Odegard.” “Oh! I know Odegards! Good to hear a name from home.”

Came back and talked some more. It is like they say. True friends, no matter how long apart, pick up the conversation from where it left off. He gave me a sweet of gift of decal edged thank-you cards with Ode’s trademark leaves spray glued to the front: a Gingko, a Cottonwood, a Maple, an Oak, and a Fern.

Felt like a good way to experience Kate’s yahrzeit. Two classes from the Kabbalah Experience, which I would never have found without her long ago conversion to Judaism. Then a good friend dropping by on his way to Tucson, staying the night.

Remembrance and continuance. The very nature of grieving. Its core. The ritual of the candles. Ode’s memory of Kate making a big salad for the Wooly’s gathered at our house. A salad made from vegetables grown in our Andover garden. “Then she sat down and ate with us.” That was unusual because spouses did not eat with us on our meeting nights. But she was Kate and she lived her life as she wanted. I loved her for it.

I feel different on this side of her first yahrzeit. Lighter. There was that strange joy I mentioned yesterday. It continues. A sense of completion rather than loss. We made promises that we kept. We stood with each other in tough times and in good ones. We weathered flaws that bothered our marriage and grew stronger from them.

Today her memory is truly for a blessing.





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