January arrives bringing my parents back into my rear view mirror.
I dream about them. I whisper my deepest desires loud enough so they can hear while I remain undetected. I visualize my father’s white wool tallit wrapped around his body and then -- a flashback to his Cuban cigar smoking forays into the streets near our apartment building.
I smell my mother’s spicy meatballs which she formed every Wednesday night for dinner and then -- a snapshot of her diminutive shape standing at the sink "doing" the daily dishes.
In a few days I will light their individual Yahrzeit candles in memory. They died a year and twelve days apart. Dad first. Mom second. They stretched themselves to each other for eternity.
Now only six and seven years later, I ask my question.
How can their souls continue to be elevated, when each year my connection to them gets stronger and more immanent?
The return of my parents’ souls is an annual gift of grace and nostalgia for what was and still is.
May they rest in peace next to my beating heart.