Last night was my Grandpa Sid's yartzeit. He died on June 8, 2000, and this year his yartzeit occured on the same day on both the Hebrew AND the Gregorian calendars (which is always eerie to me, for some reason.) I was invited/asked by my Aunt Diane, my mom's older sister, to attend mincha and ma'ariv services at her conservative shul to assure there would be a minyan so she/we could say kaddish in his honor. When she asked me, I decided to go, without hesitation or question. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
I've talked about Grandpa before, about how I haven't completely forgiven him yet and how I am still learning to love the history we have and the person he was. Last night, I expected to be emotional; angry, upset, resentful, etc. But I just wasn't. I found myself enjoying the prayer time and talking with Gd about the things I want Gd to do for myself and my family and friends. I followed along, concentrating on our conversation and my Hebrew reading and not really thinking about Grandpa at all. As far as my emotions towards him were concerned, I was practically numb.
I felt a little guilty about this last night; not in an all-consuming kind of way, just enough to make me wonder why I wasn't feeling worse during the service.
This morning, I realized that maybe Grandpa had made his peace with me. Maybe he WANTED me to concentrate on the liturgy I have come to know and love and have my time to talk with Gd. Maybe he was up there rooting for me all the while while I was davening. Maybe he knows I've found my niche and my true calling and he is proud of and happy for me.
I have a very strong feeling that this is true. I know he is still here with me, in my words and in my actions. I know he is a part of me that I can never forget. I've known this all along. I know now, however, that with time and gentle patience I can and will forgive him at last. I can and will learn to love the person he was and the relationship that we had.
Last night, my Grandpa Sid was looking down upon me...and he was smiling.