Jewish tradition has us visiting the graves of loved ones before the new year. We place stones on the grave to mark our visit. I used to think flowers were prohibited by Jewish law but never cared. My mom loved red roses and it makes my dad happy to bring them whenever we visit her. His happiness is more important to me than some law I might be breaking. I recently found out that there is no prohibition, just a custom. Flowers in Eastern Europe were very hard to come by so Jews did not use them. In Israel, where flowers grow abundantly, they can be found on graves everywhere. Hence, I made him happy and broke no commandments.
They say time heals and it does to some degree. Visiting the grave today I realized that while I miss her still, life does go on and she is in a better place. Seeing my dad break down as he talks and prays over the grave is much tougher. I try to harden my heart to his tears, but it is so hard. They were together for so long and inseparable in so many ways. And, while the tears don't last as long, they are still there. His heart will never be whole again.
He agreed to come home with me and spend the day here. We went for breakfast and then he did what he does best--he sat on the couch and watched television. The good part was that he was not alone. Football, my husbands passion and something he never cared about blared away and he sat mesmerized, asking questions and learning about the game.
He's home now, getting ready for bed. I'm sure he is sad again but at least I was able to make him happy for part of the day.