I started this post at 11:54 p.m. — 6 minutes before the day officially ends and becomes March 10, a day that means nothing to me. Today, though, March 9, would have been my Bubby Cyrille’s 79th birthday. Not a day goes by where I don’t think of her. And, for kicks, tonight’s episode of The Colbert Report was hysterical, and laced with Jewish humor that my Bubby would have appreciated.
I’ve always had a soft spot for going to the movies, and today, I started to examine how the experience of “going to the show” has changed.
At work today, I talked with a colleague about emerging technology and the film industry. I remember being in junior high school, with my now-ancient Nokia phone, wondering if movie tickets and show times would ever be mobilized.
The Kirsch family is all about order, protocol, and numbers. My dad’s parents have three sons and ten grandchildren. Because the sons and daughters-in-law don’t typically get along (something that they still, after years of drama, find ways to rhetorically gloss over), most family celebrations are separate. As a result, the real thing that seems to make occasions special for my Kirsch grandparents is the protocol phone call.
Last Tuesday was my Bubby Zita’s 78th birthday. Before I could squeeze in my birthday greeting (minutes from being belated), my grandmother informed me, in her predictable nature, that I was the final of her ten grandchildren to call and wish her a happy birthday.
For some, this treatment would breed resentment. For me, however, I delight in their predictable, competitive nature. I’ve stopped caring what order I call in, because either way, I know they’ll use it (the fact that they heard from all of their grandkids) to brag to their friends, and I’ll go on, guilt-free, until their anniversary in February, or my grandfather’s birthday in March.
I very rarely take the time to stop, and look how far I’ve come in just one year. Last January was the hardest, perhaps most painful, start to a new year that I’ve had . . . ever. In just one year, I lost a dear family friend and my grandmother, and my father suffered a massive heart attack. Naturally for me, most of these moments were catalogued through various social mediums (mostly Facebook and Twitter), and today was one of those days where I stopped to look back.
I feel fortunate to have the role models and inspirational people in my life that I currently do. I feel lucky to enjoy all of the people — especially my co-workers and clients whom I’ve encountered in New York — who are regular fixtures in my life. That being said, a part of me remains empty, awaiting to be filled as I attempt to sustain the memories of my grandmother and my family friend.
While this has definitely been the hardest year, especially in the absence of the loved ones I’ve lost, it’s been an educational year full of new beginnings. A cousin out West welcomed a beautiful baby boy into this world. My sister and her husband celebrated their first anniversary. My best friend’s brother is getting married next week. My sister and I relocated for job opportunities and promising futures. My grandfather joined Facebook and downloaded Skype. My mother started yoga. My dad started relaxing more and working less. All good things have to start somewhere.
I had all of these thoughts, and began looking through the files on my hard drive to find the eulogy I wrote and recited at my Bubby Cyrille’s funeral. I was able to deliver it tearlessly on the day of her funeral (in front of hundreds upon hundreds of people — there was barely standing room), but now, almost a year later, I cannot get through it in the privacy of my home without breaking down in tears after the first paragraph. I shared it on Facebook shortly after the funeral, but would like to share it here so you can understand why I will spend my entire life trying to, and hopefully succeeding in, to some degree, sustaining her memory by living in her loving, well-meaning footsteps.