Last night I dreamt about Grandpa’s room. His elevated bed was in a jumble, with fringes of worn prayer shawls entangled with the unmade blue sheets. White undershirts were draped over the black wooden closet doors and on the chair, next to his desk, lay piles of blue and gray sweaters. The heavy, handmade desk was stacked with books and one of them, a holy book I didn’t recognize, was still open. Everything was covered by a faint, almost invisible layer of dust, and I felt the urge to clean it all, to put everything back in order. I wanted to fold the clean clothes and organize them in the closet, to launder the prayer shawls and undershirts, and to return the books to their shelves. For a moment I thought, Maybe I should pack all his stuff into boxes, empty the room, and clean it for Grandma. Maybe I shouldn’t let all his things lie around like this, in disarray.
But then I thought Grandma would be mad at me, mad that I touched, that I upset the order of his memory.
In the morning, when I woke up, I remembered that she was dead too.
Sarit Gradwohl is a native of Pardes Hana, Israel. She studied film and social work at Tel Aviv University. Her first novel, “Saperi Tama Temima” (“Hamama”), was published by Pardes Publishing House in 2014. She is also the author of two short stories, published in Hador (2015), two young-adult novel manuscripts, and a short-story collection manuscript. When not writing or parenting, she lectures on the topic of Yemenite Jewry.
I can relate.
What a heartwarming story. Your love and respect for your grandparents “shines” through from beginning to its end.
Love, love, love it.
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