Happy Father’s Day

 

Daddy-1-0029

Last Thursday, I went to see my daddy’s grave. He died 42  years ago and I have only been to his grave a
couple of times – if that is the right word for a filedrawer in a marble wall – but I was in the neighborhood taking pictures for Michele, had some time, and Father’s Day was coming up.

He is at the Gardens of Eternity, a Jewish cemetery, in the necropolis of Colma. The first time I went to see him, I couldn't find him. When I got to where I thought he was and looked up at all the 2’ by 2’ niche covers with
people’s names on them, I saw my grandparent's niches, I saw my aunt Minette’s niche; but  not my daddy’s.  I
must have walked around the area 3 or 4 times, looking at every name on every
niche.

I finally found him around the corner from the family. At the time, I wrote, There, around the corner from the rest of the family, was
Daddy. Alone, in this small little
space. It was so sad. Just standing there, looking at my daddy’s
little niche with

Alfred Joseph

1906-1968

Stern

It felt like he was not there; that he was very,
very, gone.
I touched his neatly bifurcated name with my
fingers and I felt so alone.  The letters
were cold and unequivocal.
 

Last Thursday, I had the same feeling. I was more prepared for it, but I still had the same feelings of loss. I never
really knew my father. I wish I had. He was what we used to call a proud man meaning he was not a person who talked about his inner life. So his fears, hopes, disappointments, and dreams were all unknown to me – and, I think, everybody else. 

Now, I am more than eight years older than my daddy was when he died.

4 thoughts on “Happy Father’s Day

  1. I am always amazed to see the influence of genetics in our faces. I can see pieces of you in your father’s face and it just wows me.
    His eyes are showing sometime richer than pride.

  2. I am sort of amazed at how much time and energy I have put in not being my father and, yet, when I hear myself say something he would say, like calling somebody “friend” as in “good to see you, my friend”, I am sort of thrilled.
    Thanks for reminding me, Laura.

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