Sunday, February 19, 2006


Once upon my life I had a wife, I had a friend on whom I could depend. I had a bed where we would sleep and I would creep to her side and touch her and she'd respond and sometimes things would go on. But when all was not just right we would spend the night in close companionship as we slowly slipped into sleep in each other's arms.

Ours was not a life of sex alone. It was also of sharing jokes we owned. It was eating as we watched TV. It was sharing, caring, bearing up when things went wrong, It was just getting along.

I wonder as time goes on, how long, how long, how long? For me, there is no night, no dawn, no in-between. Life's become a wear, dreary, sometimes teary scene. Someday it will all end. Will I then again be with my friend?

I was allotted more years than she. That was not supposed to be. Wasn't she slated to outlive me? Don't men usually precede their mates statistically? But life is not all cold statistics. Sometimes it's realistic. She had cancer, I do not. Why she got it, I know. Life is mostly heredity. It took her mother, sister. Her cousin, aunt and uncle too.

In Europe where her folks came from, it was said, relations wed. First cousins, too. Tradition was, Jew married Jew, and in the schtettle there were few who mated who were not related, Betty's mom and dad, uncle and aunt and many she never knew were first or second cousins and, of course, were Jew.

Inter breeding took its toll. Many looked alike, cooked alike, suffered all the same diseases. Cancer was one. Many had this family trait. That is why my wife, genetically, was programmed to die.

I pray our children will escape this fate. Their blood is partly mine and my parents came from a different line of European Jews where inter-marriage in my grandparents day was not always the way. And my kids, on their mother's side, are American as they can be. A great grandmother way back when was a full-blooded American Indian.


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