Monday, April 25, 2016

Through Her Eyes

What has changed for you since last Seder and how will that affect you this year?  This was the question that was posed to us at a recent Seder. I remembered last year when we were asked to bring a figurative guest to a Seder and I brought my mother. Mothers were a frequent Seder companion; ghostlike, they populated the table, many no longer alive but figuratively present. Several choked on tears as they wished they could truly have them by their side. I remember being grateful that I still had my mother. Later I told her that she had accompanied me. "I did?" she asked, perhaps wondering if this was yet another thing she could no longer remember.

This year I spoke of her death, of how I was still learning to live in a world without her. I think of her often, but not in a painful way. I had no unfinished business, no angry words, no hurt feelings. My thoughts of her are loving ones and often occur at unexpected times.

I think of her when I count out 25 blueberries for my yogurt in the morning. I used to count out 20 until one day we compared notes and learned that we each had this counting ritual. I upped my count to match her less parsimonious number, reaching for more sweetness in life.

I look out the window between the glass plates I took from her kitchen. Through them to the budding tree that they frame. My mother was a nature lover. She would have appreciated that tree throughout its changes, from buds, to green leaves, to orange tinged with red to the delicate lines of branches touched with snow. I look out at Spring, a season during which she was still with me. I see it through her eyes.

I incorporate her into my life, into my vision, into my rituals. It is as if she had bequeathed me her eyes, the simple joys she embraced in living. It is a strange process, adopting another's eyes. Seeing the world in a slightly different way. Feeling their presence as you do so.

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