by Julianne Theodoropulos
I am excited to share a beautiful piece of writing from one of my workshop participants, Julianne Theodoropolus. Feed Your Spirit Writing offers online workshops focusing on the intersection of writing and spiritual growth…come join us!
It’s so good to see him. Gone from this world 14 years now. He left us — Mom, the four of us, his friends and colleagues. We knew he’d have to go. His body overtaken by disease. His blood literally had run dry, housing cells of destruction that marched through him like soldiers obliterating every sign of life along their path.
“Give me your hand, Dad.” It was firm, it was warm, it spoke to mine.
“Why are you trembling?” whispered his ancient and spiny hand, “Are you alright?”
“I don’t know,” said my own little palm as I felt it vibrate.
Two hands, ten fingers, and countless wrinkles, veins and age spots were in silent congregation as they swung ahead of us and then back, like a children’s swing suspended from our shoulders. My right and his left. My hand no longer trembled. Now his did.
“Dad, are you o.k?”
“Sure,” he said as he exhaled, the weight of his breath pulling both of us deeper into the ground.
Every year around the anniversary of his death my mother calls or emails me and my sisters to remind us when my father’s Yartzeit is. The date is different every year since it’s calculated by the Hebrew calendar. For the last few years, I say to myself “I’ll go by GIANT and pick up a candle.” And for the last few years, for the last decade, really, I never seem to get to the store to get that candle. The small whiskey glass-sized candle that flickers and flames in remembrance. Why do I let this go? Why aren’t I more committed to this simple act of respect and reverence to my father whose sole crime was loving me so excessively that he drove me mad and sometimes away?
It is up to me to find meaning and understanding in his passing. Yes, his memory is a blessing but how I honor his memory is only as good and bright as is the light that my father shines on me, and that I choose to dim or see.