Dear Dad,

Matzo-Ball-SoupI can’t help but think of you as I make matzo ball soup for the holiday. I want to believe you and Paul are ringing in the Jewish new year together, having a grand old time. Life is hard without both of you in it. Holidays are hard, especially as we face each one for the first time without you and Paul.

But, I’m happy and laughing right now because I’m thinking of one of your favorite jokes, and the way you’d laugh every single time you told it, barely able to contain yourself enough to say:

“You know, the matzo balls are the only edible part of the matzo.”

21 Replies to “Dear Dad,”

  1. Thanks for breaking the ice …..can’t stop thinking of them and how hard it is to just go on our journey without them. Norm would definitely be telling that joke as though you never heard it before…..and Paul would join him in laughter! My heart is broken……love you.

    1. Mine, too. I’ll never get over this or enjoy our “new normal.” I guess all each of us can do is our own personal best. Some days will be better than others, so let’s try to enjoy those days and get the most out of them. On days where I can’t, I let myself feel the pain until
      It subsides.

      1. Dear Leslie, I hope that someday you will be able to enjoy your “new normal”, because that is what your dad and Paul would have wanted. While your lives will never be the same without them, you know they would want you to continue to live life to the fullest, be happy, and enjoy life, and your memories that you share will continue to add to your “new normal”.

        My love to you and your whole family,

  2. I will never forget the time you invited me to your family’s holiday supper, and I didn’t eat the matzo ball. OH GOD! It was one of the most embarrassing things that ever happened to me. We all passed our finished soup bowls down to the last person at the table, which happened to be Paul, for ferrying into the kitchen. When he looks at my bowl with its matzo ball (which to tell the truth I was a little bit afraid of) he lets out this bellow, “WHO didn’t eat their matzo ball????” I was red-faced. I sputtered it was me. I think your dad tried to make me feel better, and of course your mom said, “Well that’s OK she doesn’t have to eat it!” and Paul said “But it’s the BEST PART!”

    After that, I always eat my matzo ball no matter where I am. And I always think of Paul!

  3. Dear Leslie as usual you have warmed out hearts with your sweet memories of those two beloved men and at the same time left us laughing which is what they both would have wanted. Happy new year. Love you and yours Marcia, Gerry et al

  4. You’ve echoed my words, Leslie. Although I’m not making matzo ball soup, I too am thinking of my parents, who I’m sure are observing, celebrating and welcoming in the New Year. Fabulous memories!
    L’Shana Tovah to all of you, and may it be a year of good health and happiness.

  5. Sorry we missed each other’s calls. Didn’t know when to call because of the holiday. This morning I was making “horns”, a family recipe that I only made for my Dad about 3 times a year. It was one of the few things that made him so happy. He has been gone over 15 years now, and I still hear him calling me by one of his funny nicknames. Usually he is all I think about during the many hours it takes to make these. But this time I spent a lot of time really in thinking about all of you. I know your Dad and brother would love these too. If there are any left over ;-), I am going to bring some to your mom.
    I am sorry this is such a sucky new year for all of you. So when you break the fast tonight, keep telling your dad’s jokes. You will all be smiling and laughing and enjoying such wonderful memories.
    Xoxo to all of you!

    1. Thanks, Lisa!
      I used to make my dad these oatmeal raisin cookies he loved. I think my mom likes them, but no one else really does because the recipe is from a “healthy” cookbook! Maybe he just said he liked them! But they had lots of cinnamon and allspice, two of his faves. I realized after I called you that I didn’t know when to call you, either. Yom Kippur is one of those holidays where some peope do absolutely nothing and don’t even answer phones. My grandmother used to go to the racetrack!

  6. Being together for me felt like I could somehow ease some of the pain of not seeing Uncle Normie and Paulie…,.. You did a beautiful job keeping our loving family together in a way that felt warm and safe. I love you my little sister…….

  7. Sad and beautiful. I can see the joke hiding behind his eyes, waiting to be told. Then the chuckle, until he could hold the laughter no longer. Ah, how I miss those two. Thank you all for sharing your holiday table with us and for giving us these warm holiday memories. We love you all.

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