“Happy Anniversary to you….” My grandmother Rose’s Brooklyn-tinged singing voice is just slightly off-key. Even though she passed away four years ago, she still sings for our anniversary each year — because I saved the voicemail of the last time she sang it.
When she was still alive, I hardly bothered to listen to her voicemails the first time around. Returning her missed calls thus meant entering a conversation midstream. “Hi, Grandma. What’s up?” — “So as I was saying, she’s coming to Rosh Hashanah, so it’d be nice if you all made the trip…” — “Huh, who’s coming? And where are they going?”
Then one day, almost overnight, she wasn’t able to leave me voicemail anymore. A short visit to the hospice was followed by a lengthy mourning period during which I all but shelved my phone. Its very existence seemed to mock me, each ring a reminder that she would never call again.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.