Contemplation and then some more

This hasn’t been a normal week.  Personally, it’s been not easy.  For once, I paid little attention to what’s been going on in politics.

On Wednesday, we (the kids and I) marked, according to the Hebrew calendar, the first anniversary of Vivien’s death.  I can’t believe that a year has already flown by and I’ve been on my own for that long.  People used to say that as one gets older, time seems to race ahead at a pace unknown when you were younger.  And so it seems.  To me, she was here just a couple of months ago although the kids say that it seems already like two or three years.  We all lit a memorial candle on Tuesday evening.  I was dreading it for days in advance.  I know, it was just striking a match and placing the lit match against the wick but it was who I was lighting the candle for and why that made me so upset.

Shuli posted a piece on her Facebook page (in Hebrew) which reads in translation something like:

“A year without Ima! Ima, how we miss you so much.

The gentle smile, the small encouragements [you gave] in all areas of life, the togetherness, the endless love. What an rocky year we’ve had since you left us … Corona, war, lockdowns.


In the meantime the grandchildren are growing up and we are left with the memories and the nostalgia and the endless yearning.

Yesterday we lit a memorial candle for you and sat down with the girls and Saba and together we watched and listened to the lovely stories that you wrote, in your soft and gentle voice and funny cute Irish accent. What an asset you left for us and for the children.”

Listening to these stories, it was the first time I’d heard her voice since she passed away and it brought back so many memories, memories that date back over six decades.  She was truly an amazing person.  She suffered so much pain and discomfort over the years but never complained, except towards the end when she said on several occasions that she’d had enough.  She was an incredible individual and I was proud to have been her husband for 54 years.  I only hope that I was able to give her some comfort during all that time.  I miss her more than I ever thought I’d miss her.

Some photos to remind us all.  Tennis, the love of her life until lupus (SLE) struck when she was 16, marriage at 21, mother of three fantastic children, and then it was back to music, which took a back seat while tennis took over. And towards the end, she enjoyed giving piano lessons to Arneath Cruzat, her amazing carer during her last 14 months.

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Foreboding notwithstanding, I’ve tried to get out every morning for an hour or more.  The trouble is that by 07.00, it’s already warmer than warm.  Still, there’re no harm in trying to arrive in the park earlier in time for a 15-minute “warm-up” before setting out.

As usual most of the time, I head towards the sea but before I do, I’m likely to pass any number of people in any sort of calisthenic position.

One, two, three — bend!

One, two, three, four … Group Bend!

Very graceful — but taking no chances.

Early morning is also breakfast time for some.

… like lottery sellers …

On Ibn Gvirol Street, Tel Aviv

… or hungry egrets …

Hungry egret @ breakfast. Yarqon Park

There, as usual, are birds galore —  best of friends and all that.

And some birds are bird-brained, indeed.

Stupido — it i’s for the dogs alone!

And talking about canines —

It’s a dog’s life!

But back to the birds.

Egret. Yarqon Park. Early morning

Then, coming towards me, it seemed  like she was coughing and in these days of Corona, one takes cover.  It was only as she got closer that I saw and heard that all she was doing was having a conversation on her Apple Watch.

Others were just out for a walk with their family.

And, then, of course there are the sweaty women …

… followed by a sweaty man … (and these are at 7.30 in the morning, which explains why I try not to go out during the daytime!)

On the Yarqon river/stream, there are those who seem to have settled in for the day …

… while others just start very young.

And in the words of Cole Porter, “Anything Goes”!

Anything goes!

And one never quite knows what one is going to bump into early on a summer’s morn!  The heat hits everyone differently, it seems.

While walking on HaYarqon Street, I noticed an element of confusion.  Can you see it (and you don’t need to be Hebrew-literate, either).

 

In Tel Aviv Port, caught between a selfie and a pose.

Almost there.  Last week, on Ibn Gvirol Street

Honestly, Guv, it had nothing to do with me. I’m just waiting for her to come out again!

And finally, a short story (Picture caption to be read aloud)

Fido and Rover were strolling down the street one day. Midway along the block, Fido nudged Rover with a friendly flick of his tail and in pure doggerel said: “Just wait here for a couple of minutes. There’s something I need to do on the other side of the street.”

So off he trotted across the road and made straight for a hydrant around which he must have spent at least three or four minutes circling, all the time sniffing earnestly. Finally, he cocked up his left hind leg and spent almost as long again leaving his mark on and all around the hydrant.

When he was done and had all four paws on the ground again, he trotted back over to Rover who was waiting patiently for his buddy, hyperventilating heavily.

“What was that all about?”, Rover inquired.

“Oh, nothing much”, answered Fido. “I was just checking the messages on my pee-mail and remembered that I could use Reply All. So that’s what I was doing and that’s why it took so long.”

 

Inside material: H20 ———— External material: K9P

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