Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 55

The Birthdays By Victoria Kaplan 15 February, 2002 in January 1992, she had a heart attack. A week later she   had another one, and she was gone. made you crazy? Buy a black dress? It seems important, keep him honest, and remembering. What do you do to get ready to visit your dying father? Remember the things you adore about him? The ways he somehow, to “know” how to do this, as though it’s something you may need to do again.   But it’s not. There will be other people “failing” – an interesting cultural commentary on how we’re connected   After she died, my father no longer had his alter-ego to   His new wife, G., whom he married four months after his 80 th  birthday – six months after my mother died – hungrily absorbed every detail of his life. The stories, considerably altered by then, re-imagined history to fit his current with dying and death – but they won’t be my dad. image of who he had been. He was keen on having been   a model grandfather; the tales about his efforts to please Mo started slipping away years ago, before my mother his granddaughter were laughable even in the midst of my died. Our last trip together, she said she was worried father’s disappearance. about his forgetfulness. After 56 years of marriage, during    one-third of which he was a heart patient, the thought of dementia, too, was more than she could bear. We spent G. knew stories about him and his family that my sister and I had never heard. We had no way to triangulate the many hours during those years crafting the script of what veracity of those sagas. Eventually we learned to treat she would do after he died: where she would live, who her them as somewhere between redemption stories and friends would be…But she didn’t want to be an old lady, allegories…like the one about his “real” birthday, the date and she did not want to be alone. he told G. was the day he was born. According to him,   there was a mix-up when they immigrated from Minsk, So, she found a way out that was relatively easy for her and he was given the birthday we had always celebrated. – and devastating for the rest of us. One rainy Saturday 55