26 June 2008

What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?

I wasn't a minute into my Rehoboth house when something told me to flip on the TV and there it was - mid-afternoon, wall-to-wall coverage of the sudden passing of Tim Russert, my secret Sunday crush. My usual blue May/June bad mood went black and I practically unprecedentedly took to my bed, pinned by emotional G-forces beyond my comprehension and control.

And then, thankfully, as the sun sank, my mood rose. I'm not sure how or why I was suddenly aware that on that day, the thirteenth of June - 6.13 - I was the exact age - 35 days short of 49 years - my mother was on the day that she died. If there was any comfort in that realization, it's that 613 is a very significant number in Judaism - the number of commandments in the Torah.

Today, on what would have been my Daddy's 79th birthday, I remember that in 2003 - though I didn't realize it until a few months later - I had visited Amish country, a close-by, but nonetheless, never-explored place about which I had always been curious, on the day I was the exact age - 48 days short of 44 years - my father was on the day that he died. I spent a fabulous day antiquing, eating, and buggy-watching with a treasured friend, capped by a return trip in a thunderstorm so torrential that it brought all highway traffic to a halt. I smile and think of that day every time I (try to) use the long-sought and procured that day, over-priced, 1930s green-handled cherry pitter that refuses to stay clamped to the table.

On 6.14, I embarked on my customary 5:00 AM sharp, four mile bike ride to the boardwalk, having outlived both parents - a little scared, but ultimately joyful and grateful to be launched into unexplored territory.

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