Apr 21

Matza and Tears

Tomorrow is the first night of Passover. I’m dreading it. We are all dreading it. For so many reasons.

Passover is never an easy holiday – switching the kitchen, no flour for the kid who lives on nothing but white bread and plain pasta, no school for a week for the one who is bored at 7:15 on the first day off – it’s our own modern day version of the 10 plagues.

This year though… oy. He’s not here. The thing is, he’s already not been here for Passover many times. He always seemed to get sick right around Passover, something about seasons changing, I don’t know, but he was almost always on IV treatment. 5 years ago, a week after my mastectomy, he ended up in the hospital with severe pneumonia, and the girls and I, me with 4 drains sticking out of my body, hopped-up on pain meds, got in a cab and headed to Ds for a Seder. It would turn into an annual tradition, a home where we are welcomed by everyone, where the girls feel loved and cherished and where I don’t worry if I have to excuse myself to run to the bathroom and cry it out. And so every year for the last 5, we have had a Seder with Ds family….

And then on the second night, a fairly new tradition, As house, where I could literally just drop them off at the door and sit in my car all night crying and A would send her boys out to bring me whatever I felt I needed. Or I could show up in a onesie and sit in the basement and she would find a way to feed the non-eater and entertain the bored-one. Whatever, everything flies at As house and I am ever so grateful she got over the me-not-talking-to-her-the-first-time-we-met thing…..

And even with all this love and support from D and A, I am dreading this particular year – because I am already seeing it in the girl’s eyes… the dread, the loss, the overwhelming feelings around the first Seders without Him….. I have very grown-up feelings about this holiday, about the distance that came between us when I became his caregiver instead of his wife. But they always stayed his beloved daughters. And they only have feelings of loss and sadness. ¬†When the rules say the matza can’t touch water, do tears count? Because we might have a problem


  1. Liz

    the firsts are always so terrible, but at least they only happen once every fucking day for the first year, then they get a lot more sparse.

    I decree that tears do not count. And that if you spend the entire time in the car crying, you can eat whatever you want whenever you want. Or even if you don’t spend the whole time in the car crying.

    I hope I can be telling the truth when I say that it will never be this bad again.

  2. Anna in Turin

    I don’t know what to say V, except that Liz is right, the firsts are the worst. Sending you and the girls major hugs.

  3. Ellie


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