Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dear Dad

Stanley circa 1944 NY
Stanley Lee Lubell 1939-1992

I had another baby boy. His name is Idan and he's almost seven weeks old. He looks like me! Well, me and mom. That's what everyone says anyway. Sometimes I pull out the pictures I have of you as a little boy and I'm astounded by how much Shalev looks like you. It's your face on my son! We're trying to convince him to take ukulele lessons in the fall with your old ukulele. If there's You Tube where you are, you most certainly will not want to miss out on that.

But more about Idan. He is your typical infant. His intestines are bunched up too tight or something so he's crampy and grumpy for many of his waking hours. Which are few, thank god. He's starting to flirt with the idea of smiling but so far he mostly just stares at the world in complete panic. You can hardly blame him. The world is kind of a scary place, and scarier since you left. He does have the softest angora hair on his head though, so I've decided to keep him. Because he's soft. He's my new wubby. wink wink.

The other big news is that we're moving to Israel. I wonder if you'd be supportive if you were still alive. The truth is it's probably a moot point since my life would have likely taken an entirely different trajectory if you hadn't died. I hate to say this, but I'm probably better for it.  More resilient. More pragmatic. More resourceful. Which is not to say that a day doesn't goes by - really, not a single friggin day - that I don't wish you could know your grand kids (you have five now, not sure if you're keeping tabs) and your son-in-law and me for that matter and that we could all know you.  I'm sure you'd be nuts for these kids. Especially Aviv. She is a pisser. Hard headed. Spunky. Charming. Sweet. Kind. Generous. Devilish. With a head of thick, dark brown curls. She's phenomenal. And she could probably use some extra attention now that we have the baby. She's kind of a pain in the ass lately. Poor girl. Last year when we were in New York visiting your family, she started calling Uncle Peter Grandpa. It was sweet. But made me sad.

Yes, Israel. Packing it up and moving there in the winter. Who knows for how long but we're trying it out. Your mom is a little worried about it but she's not as dramatic as she used to be. She is ninety after all. And mom seems to be okay about it too, although I know she'd rather we stayed put. She lives for these kids as you can imagine.

What else...I had a career switch and I've been selling my artwork the last two years while I wing it as a reluctant stay at home mom. That's also not easy and sometimes I wish I'd become a doctor like you. Because at the end of the day it's pretty high paying shift work for a mom. But I lacked guidance in my twenties and sort of flitted about. Good years, to be sure. But somewhat aimless. Anyway, the art and the business surrounding the art keeps my mind from atrophying too much and allows me to run around dropping off and picking up my kids from a million different places. My big dream these days is to write a book - a collection of essays about navigating mid-life with spirit, creativity and a sense of humor. And a GPS.

That's about it Dad. Nineteen years goes by pretty fast, huh. You can rest knowing your baby girl is doing fine. The kids and I talk about you a lot and what it means to die and how everyone dies and how we miss people. All healthy discussions, thanks to you. Give my love to Pop too.

I love you.


  1. Beautiful Susie. No doubt your dad's watching over your family. XO

  2. bless you for your BIG heart, sometimes on your sleeve, and the kinds of discussions you have with your kids. Bless and kiss you right now!!!♥ ♥ ♥♥ ♥ ♥♥ ♥ ♥♥

  3. Big lump in my throat over this gorgeous letter, Susie. You know I believe he's not just watching over you, but is right there with you. Sending you a note...

  4. Chach, you made me cry and smile! Xo

  5. That's it. That's your first chapter of the book. Right there.
    Your editor for always.

  6. wonderful letter, your dad would be proud.

  7. Has it really been 19 years? That summer feels so much closer than that. Maybe not yesterday, but wow, 19 years. Love you Susie.

  8. aw, susie. I feel like I know you so much better after reading that.
    so beautiful, so sweet, honest, full of love...

  9. Beautiful. Big well done. Your father was a vary handsome little boy.

  10. What a sweet post. God bless. :)

  11. Absolutely beautiful. You have a magic way with words.

  12. thanks for writing this. I've been missing my mom a lot of late. it's been 16 years...I would love to introduce her to my new daughter Ayelet. thanks for putting some of my thoughts into words.
    and i guess i just missed meeting you! it was me walking down mt tabor with my daughter in the stroller. friends of rachel/danny/holly/rob. we were all together tonite at shabbat and I heard that i'd almost met the artist who made my daughter's first piece of art! thanks for that as well.
    looking forward to meeting you either next time you're in portland or when my family finds themselves next in israel! b'hatzlacha!