May 27, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 27, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

For the past two months I have eaten every Shabbat meal with my children at their homes.

Rarely do I venture into my own kitchen. I have baked for my grandchildren and treat myself to a yogurt or bowl of cereal, but have not reestablished myself in my role as a homemaker enjoying the skills I have attained as a cook.

Finally I decided to take the plunge last Shabbat and invited my family to join me in our home for a Friday night dinner. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I was nervous about preparing what normally was a pleasurable feat. The confidence that I usually had in my cooking skills was depleted. I decided to make some new and different recipes and was busy cooking away.

At last all of the food preparation was completed and I suddenly found myself with what I felt was a tragic dilemma. This was the first time that I was setting the table in the dining room for a Shabbat meal, and I had no idea what to do about the seat at the head of the table normally occupied by my Mordechai. It hit me profoundly. A wave of sadness and grief filtered through my entire body. I stood at the table and just looked and was frozen. What should I do? Leaving the head of the table empty seemed too powerful a message for my family, who did not need any further reminders of the sadness that we all feel. Weighing all of the options became too difficult for me to deal with. Eventually I placed all of the dishes, cutlery, glasses, napkins, etc. in the middle of the table and waited. The decision was overwhelming.

Before the men arrived from shul my daughter arrived at my home, appreciated and shared my sad predicament, and helped me to work out a solution. We realized that eventually we would need the space at the table when more family members would be joining us at another time, and hence the decision was made that I would sit in his chair. I did feel a sense of relief once we had decided and realized that these moments of sudden reminders would be part of my life forever.

There are times when I find myself giggling at night at something that no one else would understand except for my Mordechai. It was ours alone to understand and laugh about. There were joys that we shared that others might have thought were quite everyday kinds of things, or weird reminders that were ours alone to become elated about. It was our “kockie fruit store”—the farmer’s market. There were so many private little thoughts and jokes that we usually chose not to share with anyone else because they were solely ours. They are still with me and they still silently make me laugh.

My spouse was my number one confidante. I could tell him anything that was on my mind, even if he didn’t approve of it. He was my sounding board.

Who can you discuss your children with except for your spouse? I didn’t need a best friend because he was my everything.

Now I realize how many “empty spaces” I will continue to notice in my life ahead. How fortunate I am to have these spaces. They will be constant reminders of the life we had together, which will always be a part of me.


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles