The Daily Digital Photo
Chronicling the life of Clayton and Spenser, with memories of Scooter

April 30, 2007

Yesterday was my father's unveiling. This is a Jewish ceremony which marks the end of the year-long mourning period after someone dies. A gravestone is not put up until the end of that year, or if the deceased will share a gravestone with a spouse who has already died, then the stone is not engraved until the end of that year. Prior to the service, the stone is put up or engraved and then "veiled" with cloth. Yesterday we unveiled the engraving of the stone that my father shares with my mother, who died in 1980. Family and friends gathered with us. My sister put together a lovely service, we shared memories of my father, and then we had lunch together. It was all so nice, and my sister and I felt enormously comforted.

Getting there and back was another story. My parents are buried in Massachusetts (where I grew up), a long drive from New Jersey. Twenty-five minutes is about my happiness limit in the car, and this was close to ten hours round trip, at least nine, according to my calculations, spent trying to get onto the nightmare that is the George Washington Bridge. (If you have never crossed the bridge but anticipate having to go through New York at some point in the future, let me offer some advice: take the Tappan Zee, or better yet, go through Canada instead.) Anyway, during this traffic nightmare I kept imagining my father imploring me, "Honey, turn around, it's not THAT important!" and so I kept telling him, "Quiet! Quiet! I'll drive over this miserable bridge for the next two weeks if I have to! I'll be there, hang on Dad, just TWENTY MORE HOURS!"