Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Memories of Opa

"I don’t know what to call it, that thing that they remember. I don’t know what it is or where it lives. But I know that its existence is proof that those hours we spent caring about whether they felt safe, loved, sheltered, provided-for despite all our ineptitudes – it came to something." DaMomma

The toddler spent 2 full days a week with Bad Cohen's father, every week, for his entire first year. After we got him into daycare, and then preschool, that shifted to 2 afternoons a week for another 2 and a half years.

Opa was the calming grandpa, the one who could induce instant naps in my sleep-resistant child. The one who was firm with discipline, more than indulgent. Who had an entire basement room dedicated to play space for his two grandsons.

More than us, the toddler seems to completely understand what he has lost. He goes about playing happily with his trains and blocks, then circles back, laying his head on my shoulder, and says, "we are sad because Opa is dead and we will never see him again."

We talk about it for a few minutes, then go back to whatever catches his interest.

Yesterday, family friends came over with their 18 month old twins. The toddler was unusually huggy with them - gently putting his arms around their little shoulders and laying his head on top of theirs, while they stood there trying to figure out what was happening.

This morning I was complimenting him on how nice he had been to the babies.

"I was giving them Opa's hugs," he said.

"Because Opa is not alive anymore, and he gave me lots of hugs, so now I'm giving them to the babies."

Somewhere in his little self, those hundreds of hours of love and caring and protection and encouragement will stay with him, forever. Opa would be so proud.


Anonymous the Rebbetzin said...

We are so sorry for your loss. Hamakom Yinachem . . .

4/21/2010 6:59 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Baruch Dayan emet. Very sorry for your loss.

4/22/2010 4:02 AM  
Anonymous Minnesota Mamaleh said...

my eyes are teary reading that! i'm sorry for your loss and happy for your toddler's sweet heart. all the best.

4/23/2010 12:05 AM  
Blogger Samantha Wilde said...

That is such a beautiful story. And Opa lives on in your little one. Incredible how smart children are. Smarter than me, anyway. I am sorry for all of you that you have lost his hugs, but glad that your son will carry on the tradition. So our love isn't ever in vain...

4/23/2010 4:38 PM  
Anonymous DaMomma said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. The Toddler sounds like a great big heart.

4/27/2010 8:10 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Thinking of your family, and your son's beautiful heart.

5/04/2010 1:05 AM  
Blogger Kim Moldofsky said...

Oh my. That was the sweetest little explanation ever. May his memory be for a blessing.

5/14/2010 1:25 PM  

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