Well, that's not entirely true. We're working, of course, and I'm always trying to make progress on some writing project or other. We're continuing to clean the apartment; in particular, every day we make a little more progress in the kids' room so it will one day be entirely theirs. And we socialize a little bit, although that's mostly close to home. We did make it to a wedding last month, and we're going to another one this month, but any trips out of the house involve so many logistical details that they have to be considered carefully before implementing. (I sound like a military general.)
Amidst all the current chaos that is our lives, however, I didn't want to let two anniversaries pass today without mention.
A year ago today, on Sunday, November 2, 2008, was the official publication day of my collection I Remember the Future. It's hard for me to believe that the book has been out for a whole year. I blogged about publication day last year in my post The Publication Party, and I noted how wonderful it was to have so many people turn out for the celebration.
In honor of the first anniversary of the book's publication, the Open Book Society website is featuring an exclusive interview with me. I discuss a variety of topics, including my thoughts on the current state of the publishing industry and how having twins has affected my writing. Feel free to check it out.
(Also, although I'm probably preaching to the choir here, keep in mind that the book is still in print, and would make a great gift for Chanukah or Christmas. And check out all the other books Apex has for sale.)
So that's one year ago. Nineteen years ago... well, nineteen years ago my father died. And oddly enough, that's true this year on both the Gregorian and Hebrew calendar. Dad died on the evening of November 2, 1990, after sundown, which means that he died on the 15th of Cheshvan in the year 5751. As it so happens, the 15 of Cheshvan began last night and lasts all day today until sundown – and today is November 2.
I've discussed my father here before and how much he influenced me – in fact, I did so again just last year in the post Joel David Burstein for anyone who wants to be reminded about him. Yesterday evening, when I went to shul to recite the Mourner's Kaddish, I contemplated how far I've come from that night in college when Dad was taken from me.
For many years, I defined myself as an adult who had lost his father. Then, in 2007, I had to learn to redefine myself as an adult who had lost both his parents, and that was at an age when most people still have their parents around. But this past summer, I began to redefine myself again, as a father to twins. Last night, as I held my two daughters and thought about how they've both been named in a way that honors my parents, I thought about how joyously Dad would have held the two of them were he alive today.
I wish they could have met my parents, their grandparents, and I hope I'll be able to impress upon them the kind of people they were.
One year ago, and nineteen years ago.