Shabbat Shalom T.
About this time around 5:30 on a Friday afternoon, we would be arriving in Hoboken for our usual Shabbat evening with the family. Yes, there would be more traffic to deal with on Easter weekend, but we would have left with enough time to stop for a coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts on rt 17 and still miss the heavy holiday traffic.
I might have taken a few bites from your glazed stick if I couldn’t resist a hit of delicious sugar covering the oily donut stick. It was amazing how easy, how guilt -free you were when it came to eating what you loved. How easy it was for you to down two of those sticks while I bit off just enough for a sample. It amused you. Oh well… it’s a man’s world even if you never bought that.
Our rituals that we took for granted, that I just assumed would last forever.
As we hit Hoboken traffic just before our exit Ami would be calling like clock work…timing our arrival so that as we parked he would be right at the corner to meet the car and escort you to the house and up the steep stairs and inside. He would itch to grab for your arm but tried to wait respectfully to see if you actually wanted him to. I loved watching the two of you walk together. Loved it.
As the door opened I couldn’t wait to grab up the kids for that first hug and kiss. Sometimes I had to interrupt a more important iPad game but I didn’t care and they really didn’t either. You waited for them to come to you and for that sometimes they needed a more forceful reminder.”Kids, Saba needs a kiss too.” You were the head of the family and they respected you, always- loved you when you showed them attention, when they shared their school awards.
And what flowers you brought Adi to showcase our Shabbat evening. What feasts Adi and Ami created together.
A drink before dinner, a dip into Ami’s homemade tehina with a chunk of the challah, a special Romanian delicacy that Ami shared with you. Conversations: politics, science news, family gossip, a call from Ellenville for me. You and Ami moved out to the grill to watch over the steaks and barbecuing chicken. Adi and I caught up on the kids.
When Ron arrived, when Leora arrived, dinner was brought to the table-blows of salads inspired by Adi’s mom, Ami’s platters of steak and chicken.But before we attempted to make a dent in the feast, m ritual role, created by Ami, was to use the Hebrew I grew up with to recite the blessing over the candles… just the candles, not the wine, or the challah.. just the candles for the Rosenbergs.
And there’s one last ritual to remember tonight as I gear up for a solo Friday evening…maybe the very first in 7 months… After dinner Mia would insist on at least one round of , Rummy Que… Not hard to learn but to win you needed lots of good luck. Sometimes I won. sometimes you won a hand, sometimes Ami. but Ami couldn’t resist passing the kids winning tiles and that made you crazy. You took your games very seriously. The kids didn’t last long but those first few hands were pure family.
And one last thing. No Rosenberg feast was complete without dessert… chocolate in cake form, cookie form, Ben and Jerry’s. One or all… You and I shared but mostly you needed a second helping…
And then when I was tired or you were ready… we left … We came together, we left together… I loved driving back over empty roads in the darkness with your hand resting on my right thigh.
You are in my head now T… so vividly that I can’t move.
Ron and Leora have been great company on Friday nights but we all miss you… all of us miss you…