Category Archives: Death in my extended family

What kept me up last night

I am overwhelmed with melancholy. Generally, my ability to get through the day receives a great assist from the genetic gift of optimism received from each of my parents. My father’s optimism helped him survive the reality of pogroms in Russia where a focus on reality was counter productive. My mother’s optimism helped her survive the reality that my grandmother wished she had died in a miscarriage rather than be evidence of the guilt she felt for the conception.

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My father was born in a vineyard outside Odessa. His parents were orphans. Their parents were killed in a pogrom sponsored by the state. The pogrom was an official government attempt to rid the country of Jews on the theory that Jews had killed Jesus.
“The most bloody pogrom in the history of Odessa: about 400 Jews were killed, 50 thousand were left homeless”
https://odessitua.com/articles/20242-samyy-krovavyy-pogrom-za-vsyu-istoriyu-odessy-ubito-okolo-400-evreev-50-tys-ostalis-bez-krova.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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These days I use logic to convince myself that there is a rational element within my environment that gives me cause for hope. However, it is now 7:05 in the morning. Last night I hardly slept. This is not a good time to question the optimism that keeps me going.

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Yesterday, a Chanukah card slipped under my door began this ongoing period of doom. After reading the card, I returned to my computer to listen to voice mail. The grandson of a dear friend–part of my extended family–had died. My friend had left a Chanukah present on the other side of the door. Her grief was so great, she said, that she could not come in. She and her husband have yet to get drunk with me. Not that drinking bourbon is a great idea these days given the damage radiation has inflicted on my GI tract. Nevertheless, there are times when consuming alcohol is a necessary sacrifice. I have been writing in my head all night an obituary. When appropriate I will share it with you.

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According to the State College Police, an ambulance appears outside Addison Court on the average of once a week. Addison Court is an eight-story independent living establishment for the elderly and for the physically and emotionally disabled. I have been rolled out on a gurney several times in the 10 plus years I have lived here. All too often residents who are placed on the ambulance never return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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