Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lost in the Snow


I anxiously watched the snow dancing from the sky through the Jewish Community Center’s floor-to-ceiling glass walls. The sun was shining ironically through the dark gray clouds.   

Some of my earliest memories are of my mother dropping me off for pre-school in this building. Everything looks so much smaller than it used to.

I had been in the room hundreds of times before over the course of my life. School plays, meetings, speakers and more. Each time different, but none like this.

The crowd was huge. Four hundred people. Maybe five.  I hadn’t seen most of them in several years. Some not for decades.  A common thread united us all. 

I pull my phone from my pocket to send my mother a text. She won’t believe this.

I get distracted by another familiar smile and slide my phone out of sight. The warm embraces momentarily wiped the falling snow from the back of my mind.

Each face I encountered sparked another memory. An old neighbor or a Sunday School teacher. My memories of these people had evolved over time. Youth lives on, but often in the most romantic fashion.

I don’t remember her being so short. What’s left of his hair is now gray.

I took my seat next to my wife and infant son. The speaker began. My mind wandered as I looked around at the massive crowd.

Wow, I can’t believe he’s here. She looks younger than she did twenty years ago.

I need to call my mother to tell her what that guy just said. But now is not the time.

As the speaker rambles, my son lets out an enormous wail that jolts the room.   

Waaaaaaaaaahhhhh!

Mother won’t believe it when I tell her that so-and-so walked in 20 minutes late.  

The speaker gives way to another. And then another. I hear their words but am lost in the sea of faces. Each one different like the falling snow.

I hear my name called and rise.  I ascend the stairs.

Now is the time to tell my mother what’s on my mind.

As she rests in the pine box next to me. 


read to be read at yeahwrite.me

25 comments:

  1. Wow! What a wonderful post. I expect no less from you, but this one is a departure from your usual. Perfect movement, rhythm, controlled emotion and trust that your audience will GET IT. Well done. Meanwhile, I adore your new header and. . .Happy Birthday to Jerry tomorrow. Once in awhile you get shown the light!

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  2. Wow, Dude. Really REALLY well done. So powerful. My heart broke at the end. I talk and text with my mom several times a day and can feel this story in my own life. Thank you for sharing with us.

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  3. Beautiful post. I dread the day I won't be able to pick up the phone and dial my mother. So sad yet so perfectly executed. A great tribute to your mom!

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  4. oh Dude. DUDE. i'm in tears. this was really so very touching and emotional and you had me sitting right there beside you and your wife and boy. i'm so sorry.

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  5. I love how you used the sense of place to bookend this and the details to show the passage of time. I am so sorry for your loss...

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss. My own mother has been gone for 3 years and i still find myself wanting to call her.

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  7. Crying at work! I just wrote about my mom today, too.

    I feel for you and she knows all you need to tell her.

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  8. Your mother would be proud. A sad story, but well told.

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  9. What a poignant story. I'm sorry for your loss. Your mother would be very proud indeed. I love the new blog design.

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  10. Goodness, I don't know what to say. I'm so sorry for your loss, first. This was so sad. I can see myself in this sometime in the future, hopefully a long way away.

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  11. I'm very sorry for your loss. Nice blog design.

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  12. Oh, Dude. You've got me over here sobbing. I thought the same thing at my father's funeral, and then my god father's a few months ago. I remember thinking, "I need to tell him that Lloyd got a new toupe. He would laugh his ass off."
    This was a beautiful post. Just beautiful.

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  13. Oh my gosh I started to feel that coming on. How we forget and think it's them calling or go to call them.

    Beautiful Jay.

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  14. Knocked me right over! I'm so sorry for your loss. What a lovely, tender tribute to your mom. Well done.

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  15. I love the suprise ending! I didn't know, I really didn't. You did a great job setting this up. You said so much about your relationship with your mother without sentimentalizing it at all. Great post. PS: Who had the nerve to walk in late?

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  16. Oh, my. This was such a powerful post. It took me a while to figure out what was going on, and I loved the mystery of it. So well done.

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  17. Is it just me or have I not seen you around in a week or two?!?
    It's good to hear from you again, and it seems like you're back bigger and better than ever!
    The story was wonderfully told. It was captivating and the emotion and weight of the situation didn't hit until the very end, where it hit hard.
    I read it three times and enjoyed it more each time.
    Awesome job Dude!

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  18. Wow what a great post! I was thinking "reunion," so the end kind of made my stomach queezy. So sorry about your Mom.

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  19. Wow. That was amazing. I'm sorry for your loss, but beautifully written

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  20. That one caught me with my foot in the door. Beautiful.

    -Mike

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  21. You gave me chills...I dread the day I lose either of my parents. Wonderfully written.

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  22. I am so sorry for your loss. Your telling of this story was so moving. Ellen

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  23. I am sorry for your loss. The way you included minor details...graying hair, people showing up late and tied them all together was magnificent.

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  24. Thank you for taking us so intimately inside your mind. That feeling of wanting to call or text your mother - so poignant.

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  25. I am sorry for your loss.

    I feel like I'm standing right next to you at the J. And I had absolutely no idea where you were going with this...as in masterfully crafted. I wanted to reread it (a rarity) and absorbed the story in a whole new way. Painfully perfect.

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