Candles and bananas

I came up with a good title so I thought I shouldn’t let this opportunity to post slip past me.

I began the week with a vague notion that I wanted to do something to remember Jared with the boys.  And then things got crazy. Both boys have had a mild stomach bug, enough to make my life/work schedule totally HECTIC but they haven’t actually been feeling too badly. I am hoping that it has all passed now.  Hopefully, tomorrow can be our first completely normal school day of the week.

So, finally, tonight I went to the Supremo grocery down the street and bought a tall candle in a glass jar. Last year we lit one to commemorate the anniversary of Jared’s death. I was looking back and I can’t believe I didn’t blog about that.  We quasi-followed a Jewish tradition called Yarzheit. You light a candle on the eve of the day and then you let it burn for 24 hours (or until it goes out, ours took a little longer). I wanted to do it again this year but with the craziness of this week, tonight was the first night I had time to think of it, let alone go out and buy one! So at 7pm, we got our coats and shoes on and trekked out into the very windy night and bought our candle.  Caleb was very aware of the strong wind and asked me several times if the trees in the yard were going to blow away.  They boys were very excited about buying candles. In fact, we bought two because they each needed to have one…so I’ll be ready for next year. We also bought bananas. Caleb picked those out.  He pretty much made a bee-line for them as soon as he realized we were in the produce section of a grocery store.

We made some hot chocolate (at Caleb’s request…his hands were cold, he said) and lit the candle.  It took some convincing for the boys not to blow it out right away.  Then we got out a picture album from when Caleb was little and looked at pictures of family: of Jared and grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles.  It was a brief memorial but I feel glad that we made the effort.

I actually nearly blogged last week.  Caleb had the most amazing memory and I was just in awe.  He was sitting on the main staircase looking through the railings into the living room.  I think I was about to put his shoes on.  He turned and looked at me and said, “Mommy, remember when Daddy was still alive and I got my foot stuck in my bed?”  It took me a few minutes to reach back in my mind but what I remembered was just astounding to me.  I think this actually happened before Jared got sick.  When Caleb still slept in a crib.  He bent his leg in a funny way through the crib rails and couldn’t get it out and both Jared and I were there when it happened and we helped him get it out.  He was probably right around 2 years old.  I think looking through the stair railing jogged the memory.  It makes me wonder what other memories he has…

I’m going to call it a night.  But before I go, here’s the English text of the Mourner’s Kaddish, a prayer to be recited at the lighting of the candle (and at other times if you’re an observant Jew =)

Magnified and sanctified be God’s great name in the world which He created according to His will. May he establish His kingdom during our lifetime and during the lifetime of Israel. Let us say, Amen.

May God’s great name be blessed forever and ever.

Blessed, glorified, honored and extolled, adored and acclaimed be the name of the Holy One, though God is beyond all praises and songs of adoration which can be uttered. Let us say, Amen.

May there be peace and life for all of us and for all Israel. Let us say, Amen.

Let He who makes peace in the heavens, grant peace to all of us and to all God’s children. Let us say, Amen.

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9 thoughts on “Candles and bananas

  1. Mary says:

    Anne, your posting was such a gift. I will always remember Jared. I still see him in the trees and sky……my love to you and the boys.

  2. Janie says:

    What a beautiful way to honor Jared’s memory…Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I am blessed to know you, Anne Hess!

  3. Ali says:

    I loved that you were able to continue the tradition this year – and that it was meaningful for the boys in their own way. Thank you so much for sharing the experience and Caleb’s memory!

  4. Louise says:

    How neat that Caleb remembers that time with his daddy! I hope other times will come up for him as well. I also have been thinking about Jared and you and the boys this last week. May the new year bring you each many blessings!
    Louise

    • Anne, thank you posting your meaningful remembrance of Jared. This past week I often thought of you and Jared and the family. You continue to make memories for Caleb and Noah. Thanks for sharing. Margie

  5. Natascha says:

    What a beautiful post and wonderful way to remember Jared. Kids say the darndest things to remind us that they have lots going on in that head of theirs. We love Jared so much and continue to think about him. We may pick up on this tradition for us as well. Thank you so much for sharing this. Mike

  6. Natascha says:

    We love you…and the boys…and Jared. Indeed, as Michael said, what a beautiful way to celebrate Jared’s memory. I’m so glad for Caleb that he has tangible memories, however 2-year-oldish of his father. How incredibly precious. Big hug to each of you.

    Love,
    Natascha

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