The World According to Keitho

Just another weblog

Four more days

Posted by keithosaunders on August 3, 2010

There’s very little time left for me in New York City before moving to the Bay Area.  On the outside I am calm but inside is a different story.  Almost everywhere I go is for the last time — every friend and acquaintance that I see is someone I may never see again.  I have no words that are profound enough for goodbye so I just give them an extra hug.  Tears come at strange times — almost never around people.  I just hold it in.  Bottle it up.

This morning I decided at the spur of the moment to go to the Jewish cemetary in Ridgewood, Queens to visit my grandfather and grandmother, my father’s parents.  I never knew either of them — they both passed away early in life due to heart disease.  Before going I called my father asking him for some details on how to locate the graves.  He said “Don’t tell my Dad that I no longer root for the Dodgers.” 

 I took my two younger children, and thanks to a helpful cemetary worker we were able to locate the plots.  Somehow seeing these two graves made me feel connected to an earlier New York — the New York of my father’s childhood.  He grew up in Brooklyn and Queens, and in 1964 took his family west to California where there was more work and an easier lifestyle.  Standing in that cemetary with my son and daughter, thinking of my Dad and his parents, I realized that except for the 20 years between 1964 and 1984, my family has been represented here since the beginning of the 20th century. 

Somehow it felt right to be in a cemetary during my final week, thinking about the past, while nervously looking ahead to the future.  People of that generation, for the most part, lived their entire lives in their home town.  Starting with my Dad’s generation that began to change.  I should feel lucky that I’ve been able to live here as long as I did.  New York is not an easy place to move to, but it’s an even harder place to move away from.


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