Wednesday, July 9, 2008

about my father Jacob Gordin Kaplan

I went to Ottawa last weekend, to see my mother and her sister, who are 84 and 88 respectively and as lovely, alert and independent as ever.  And to see my brother, who's 54, and his spouse, who's 30, and their extremely cheerful baby Jacob Misha, who just turned one.  So it was a celebration of the many ages of Kaplan.  

But also - it was a memorial, because Sunday July 6th was the 20th anniversary of my father's death.  He died of stomach cancer in 1988, at the age of 65.  That early morning, we were all there with him - I was holding my mother who was holding him, and my brother and aunt were nearby.  The gift he gave us at the end was to tell us he had had a glorious life, that he was grateful for every moment.  And we, to him.

I almost thought, last weekend, that it's good he wasn't around this last decade, to see what has become of his country, the United States.  Living through George Bush, not to mention genocide, torture, the environment, wars and disasters, would have killed my dad.  At least, I thought, he missed these.

How foolish.  My father would have taken everything, years of George Bush, for more time on earth with his beloved wife, his daughter and son, his grandchildren, his friends and wines, his Mozart.  How I wish my children had known him better.  Anna remembers playing checkers with him when he was dying and she was seven.  He tried to beat her, and he did.  But Sam was only three and remembers little.  We have video's though, and there's one of Dad carrying baby Sam around the living room, showing him the art on the walls.  

I miss you, my father.  Wish you were here. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi. Are you the Elizabeth Kaplan who used to live on Young Ave many, many years back? The picture on your blog certainly looks like the Elizabeth I remember. My name was Lynda Harlow. Amazing what you find on the WWW! Best wishes, Lynda