Archive for May, 2016


Friday, May 6th, 2016

Under beveled glass atop my father’s tall dresser lay two snapshots. Black and white they were. One was my dad, cap and gown with his parents. And the other: a sketching of two boys … brothers, perhaps … one carrying the other on his shoulders. The caption on the latter read “He ain’t heavy. He’s my brother”.

The thought didn’t occur right away – self-absorbed as I was — but in the years post-divorce I’ve often wondered what residual impact the marital demise had on our children. Would it subliminally influence on how each treated a spouse? Or children? Would there be lingering effect on their perceptions of commitment or their value of family? Would they only know what they saw? In fact, what DID they see?

Was it better than I thought? Worse than I thought? Do their minds’ eyes remember (or choose to forget)?

Did we screw them up? Strengthen them? Do anything right?

The answers will come perhaps not to me, but certainly for each of them as life unfolds. What’s that they say: Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it!


My Stacy had surgery this week. Major surgery… the sterile confines of a downtown hospital … near an hour from home.

Her husband, steadfast in support, was bound by reality. Juggled, he did: the dictates of time, work, two daughters …

Yet my daughter, she wasn’t alone. Not on the weekends — and especially not on those “dog days” midweek.

There was her brother.

“Michael’s coming flying in that week,” she chirped back on Pesach.
(Eyes welling, I knew full well he’d have just have been there two weeks hence for the naming of Ruby).
“He’s coming on Tuesday and staying two days. Missing work.”
(Mind working, I thought so too how he was leaving his wife and kids, how Meredith would bolster her crew sans Michael, how the “village” was thriving … answering the bell). The excitement of my daughter’s voice manifested as warmth in my heart. My kids were indeed all right.

They operated as scheduled and all went well. Inside and out.

We spoke briefly Monday, a bit more on Tuesday, and buckets on Wednesday.

“Michael could not be any nicer,” she told me.
“Michael makes me happy,” she told me.
(My eyes filled in joy).

“Why are you taking a bus here?” he asked from the backdrop.
“You told me I was too old to drive alone.” (Ed. Note: Not the reason, of course, but YES, he did voice that sentiment).

The discourse aborted as my daughter spoke up:

“Michael, could you scratch my elbow?”

(Scratch her elbow? Ask a New Yorker to scratch her elbow?)

I’ll be there this weekend. To cradle my baby. And to smile.

We’ll talk about the week, if she wants. And talk of what comes next, if she wants. And I’m certain — quite so certain — that we’ll talk about Michael.

He was only one call away.