Thursday, February 03, 2011

Dreaming of Indignity











Here's the story. Last week I had a dream about my mom. The event really happened and I was remembering it in my sleep. For some reason it stuck in my memory and came out in a dream. I must not have understood it at the time. Or I was still working it out in the subconscious. Or else there was just a random electrical flash storm in my dream state. Who really knows? But it puzzled me that the scene returned. Maybe I felt a little embarrassed at the time. You know. Why yell at the lunch person about the imported juice? What power did that girl have to change the hospital's food ordering system? How, and whom, would it help to refuse the juice? *sigh*
Today I think about my mother's outraged indignation. It seemed ridiculously out of proportion to the lunch event. My mother was so sick, and THIS was the thing that upset her? Ah. Well, when you put it like that it makes more sense. "Life is out of control. I could be dying here. What else can I focus on? How can I express my outrage and indignation at being treated like this?"
Perfect.
My mom rocks.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuvyah and Bubby

For the longest time we've had an old table in our "foyer" (bear in mind that we live in a 2 bedroom apartment, so our "foyer" : an actual foyer :: our "library" - three bookcases in the corner of our entryway, to the right as you walk in - : an actual library), which sits in front of a funky Ikea mirror, is draped with an antique linen cloth, and holds three photos from our wedding day - one of Ali reciting Tehillim (Psalms) in her dress and veil as she waits for our ceremony to begin; one of Ali and her Grandma; and one black and white photo of me and Bubby.

Lately Tuvyah has gotten used to the concept of me going off to work every morning. It's a nice feeling to finally be able to walk out the door without having to sneak out while he's not looking, in order to avoid his freaking out (while it's heartwarming to know that he doesn't want me to go, it's also heartbreaking to know that he is sad because of my leaving). To sweeten the deal, he makes it very clear that he loves me - he gives me kisses and waves "buh-buh" - so I don't feel like he has lost interest in me, either. On Friday last week, the coolest thing happened. He apparently missed me all day and kept saying "Abba" (Hebrew for "Daddy" - well, actually it's Aramaic, but I don't want to get off-topic), especially in the afternoon. In the end, Ali was compelled to pick me up from the Metro station instead of letting me take the bus home, because Tuvyah had been crying for me.

I walked out of the station to the car, and Tuvyah and I gave each other big smiles. In his hands was the picture of me and Bubby from the "foyer" table. Ali told me that he had been pointing to it and saying "Abba" and was in hysterics when she tried to take him to pick me up, so she gave him the picture and he refused to let go of it!

Granted, this story is more about a toddler's recognition of an image of his father, than it is about Bubby. But it did bring to mind the wish I sometimes have that Bubby had lived to meet Tuvyah.

And it brings to mind something else:
When we introduce to Tuvyah the concept of his deceased relatives, what will he call our Bubby? The problem is manifold. As I believe everyone reading this knows, her other great-grandchildren called her Gigi (derived from G.G., which is short for great-grandmother). But they all had a relationship with her. Tuvyah is the first of her progeny to be born after her passing. To me, she is and has always been Bubby. Now, though, there are how many great-grandchildren who knew Bubby as Gigi? She's not a distant relic in pictures like my great-grandparents are to me (with apologies to my parents, aunts and uncles who may have fond memories of their grandparents). He has several second-cousins who are within a few years of his age who all knew her, and she passed away less than 2 years before he was born. In speech, even my paternal grandfather, who passed away when I was too young to really remember him, is “Grandpa” to me, not “my grandfather”. Furthermore, my Mom wants to be called Bubby, and we completely respect that, and I believe he now knows that when we say "Bubby" we are referring to her. Complicating matters further, Tuvyah has a relationship with Ali’s Grandma, with whom he will be spending all of next week when he goes with Ali on his 4th trip to Edmonton. So it’s not like that generation is theoretical, either. This is also an interesting problem we’re likely to have in the future when we begin to tell him about Ali’s mother, of blessed memory, because the name “Grandma” is already taken by Ali’s Grandma, yet my father-in-law goes by “Grandpa”.

Oh, it’s complicated.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Bubby Day 2008

Well, it's Bubby Day again. It sort of snuck up on me this year. I've spent the year working really hard, but for a good cause.

I just ate some raspberry sorbet, which I'm counting as my Bubby ice cream for Bubby Day.

I don't know what else to say other than I still miss Bubby. I hope the rest of you guys get to read this, and that it inspires you to post about how you're spending your Bubby Day.

It's been a long week, so I don't have much else to say at this point.

Miss you all.

Love,

Seth, Ali and Tuvyah

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The only time ice cream has ever made me sad

Aloha all,
Happy Bubby Day, I hope everyone had their ice cream.
On the way home from work today, I stopped by Bubbie's ice cream (yes, they spell it wrong) and got myself a serious snack. Only to arrive home and find that one of my roommates had also bought ice cream. Haagen Dazs Ohia Lehua flavor, to be exact. It has Ohia honey swirled into it, the same homey that my other roommate harvests as a beekeeper.
So, the entire house has a hand in the celebration today.

Still, today was the first time ice cream has ever made me sad.
Hope all is well with everyone.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Moving On

Well, with Bubby Day behind us, I guess it's time for someone (I guess it'll be me) to begin fulfill the second purpose of this blog, keep us all in touch.

As you may or may not know, Ali has started law school. So now you know. What you still may not know is that she's working nearly full time. Yes, that's right, she's working 30 hours a week and going to law school at night. At first she was working 40 hours a week, but it was overwhelming so she took a paycut and dropped her hours.

As for me, I'm now teaching Hebrew School at Bnai Shalom of Olney, a Conservative congregation about 20-30 minutes away from where we live in Silver Spring. I only just started this week, but it's been going well so far. This is part time stuff, and the hours are great. I don't think I could have done this last year, but with Ali not getting home until after 10 almost every night, I have nothing to do in the evenings anyway, and it's not much work, so I might as well drive an hour round-trip and get some money in my pocket while I look for a full time job.

By the way, on the topic of my job search, you may have heard that I was waiting for a security clearance to work as an Arabic translator for a government agency. I am no longer waiting for that clearance, because there were cutbacks in the program I was supposed to be going into.

On the plus side, I have had two interviews for a really interesting job with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. READ: No, I am NOT becoming an air traffic controller! I wish I had a dollar - well, make it 50 or 100 dollars - for every time I've been asked that question. It would be a communications job, involving a lot of writing and editing, which is another of my passions. The interviews seemed to go well, I think, so I'm being cautiously optimistic.

That's all from here, so please add your own lives to this blog.

As you all know, it's hard for all of us to keep in touch with any regularity, so this is a good way to just put your day or your week or your semi-significant events (one would hope the really significant stuff would be communicated directly by phone call or letter) out there for the rest of us to read about and know what's happening.

Shanah Tovah to all; may we all have a sweet, happy, healthy new year.

And remember, if anyone wants to be an administrator so you can invite someone else to join the blog, like a spouse or parent, just ask and it's yours. I just wanted to start with Bubby's grandchildren, since we are the ones who entitled her to her real name ("Ruth", "Mom" and "Gigi" are just her nicknames, obviously)!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Reflecting On Bubby Day

In addition to Ali's premature start to Bubby Day, we had sundaes for lunch, and then we went to the zoo. After the zoo we found a Baskin Robbins. But this was not an ordinary Baskin Robbins. It was - wait, it was an ordinary Baskin Robbins! That's what was so exciting! It was a full 31-Flavors Baskin Robbins, unlike the now widespread combo Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robbins that have only the basic flavors (you know, your garden variety vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mint-chocolate-chip, etc .) and a handful of specialty or trendy flavors.

The old-school solo Baskin Robbins outlets have the basic flavors and the specialty flavors and a broader range of in-between flavors, including my favorite flavor of all, Chocolate Fudge. I don't mean Chocolate; I don't mean Chocolate Fudge Brownie. I'm talking about Chocolate Fudge. Well, it's been very hard to come by in the current climate of combo-franchises.

But lo and behold! Right across the street from where we parked the car, a couple blocks down from the main entrance to the National Zoo in Washington, DC, there is an old-school Baskin Robbins, and among the 31 flavors they offer is my old friend, Chocolate Fudge! Oh baby!

I have had many sugar cones with a scoop or two of Chocolate Fudge at the Baskin Robbins at the corner of Greenfield and Lincoln, thanks to Bubby, and this was for me a perfect way to celebrate Bubby Day.

By the way, did anyone get a stomach ache? I'm surprised that I didn't. I guess it just goes to show how special of a day it really was. Oh, and I had Phish Food yesterday too. None today though. I think I've really had enough for this week.

Oh, and I think I figured out why Bubby would always have ice cream on her birthday. Baskin Robbins has a birthday club thingy, where you get free ice cream on your birthday. It is unclear if they actually check that it is really your birthday, or if it is possible to fake multiple birthdays. We're looking into that possibility ourselves. Guess we'll have to report back on that some other time.....

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bubby day in Hawaii

Unfortunately Bubby's ice cream was closed because of the holiday. I didn't know they celebrated Bubby day too. I had to settle for ice cream at the sushi place. Mocha almond fudge. Doubling down on the chocolate, baby!

Bubby Day a day late

Well, I had ice cream yesterday, got some vanilla with fudge swirls and brownie chunks that sounded sooo good, and was really pretty mediocre, even with dulce de leche. Sooo I'm going out to Red Robin to have some sort of fancy milkshake.