Author’s Note … I call this piece Sequel because it tells the story of what happened after I had spoken with Reb Isser. (See chapter #1)
We tried marriage counseling.
I was in an abyss deeper than the well into which Joseph had been cast.
“I feel this emptiness in my gut,” I confessed.
It had been over for some time already; our marriage, I mean. But as our twenty-seven years drew to an end, we went out one evening for a short drive and a bite to eat.
I want to be part of that,” I said, pointing to the shul across the street from where we stopped for a gyro and fries. Several cars hurriedly pulled into the shul parking lot.
“But we’ve not lived that way,” she began, “It’s too much. We didn’t raise the kids in a kosher home. I just don’t get why you cannot be happy with where we are.”
“I don’t understand it myself, but I know in my heart it’s real.” I felt overcome by a rush of emotional proximity to the mother of my three children.
We headed back home. “You’re sure about this?” she turned to me, “because I can’t go with you.”
“I know that, I really do,” I tried to smile but it just wasn’t there.
“What about the kids?” she asked.
“Tonight, we’ll tell them tonight.”
“Your mother and I love you guys unconditionally,” I began. Pausing, I looked at her, the mother of my children and wife of twenty-four years. She nodded.
“But Mom and I have decided … “
Zac, our youngest, wept a little boy’s tears. Ben, our oldest, knew something had not been right between us for a long time. Kimberly, our middle child, who had just completed her freshman year at the university would have to wait until her mom drove down to pick her up for summer break.
I moved out of my house soon thereafter to a nearby apartment. Our children remained at home with their mom, but I tended my bonds with them unfailingly.
Trodding the path of Jewish observance was more difficult than I had ever imagined. I had no idea that I was both the “blind” man and his tormentor placing the stumbling blocks before my very own eyes.
Mincha: the afternoon prayer
Fingers, A Poem for Kimberly
My heart leapt for you, long had I waited,
for a gift of divine perfection, would you mine be?
In awe was I of your tapered fingers I marveled,
when mine eyes first beheld thee.
Side by side we stood rinsing dishes,
Our moment of us I’ll forever cherish.
Mom fashioned twin braids for you with blue ribbon,
Cling to them fast lest our memories perish.
A butterfly like none other fluttered by me
Sparkling pixies dancing on toe shoe,
Tiny ballerinas with balloons and candy,
while moms wept, dad knew not what to do.
I gasped when she curtsied, my breath nearly stolen.
Such precious moments number so few
My heart did break though mend it did quickly.
I shan’t ever grow weary of loving you.
Your delicate grace will ever me inspire,
ere mine eyes, how your shadow yet lingers …
of loving you I shall never tire.
Are there any lovelier than my butterfly’s fingers?