Sunday, December 20, 2015

Written by daugter, Katey:

When I got on the plane, he was alive. When I got off the plane, he was no longer with us.
I walked down the aisle of the plane shaking and trying to grasp the words "He's gone." I was in such shock I drove all the way home without stopping at baggage claim. American Airlines had to call to remind me.............
For the last month and a half I have heard my best friend grieve the loss of her father. A jovial man who could be Bill Belechik's doppelgänger, with the most gracious of hearts and smiles, he always confused me with another friend of Jenn's, Rachel Goldberg Adamick.
It was a running joke when I saw him " Hi Rachel!" he would exclaim with his Boston accent. And when he would see Rachel, "Hi Katey!" and laugh with his Jack Nicholson smile.
The grief she has endured is palpable. The stress of it all on her mother, brothers, and extended family, is unyielding.
We are each other's human diary. Each morning, she cries. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. She always says something about "I should have been there to fight for him". Easy to say, but she had no way of knowing.
So you see, when I was trying to figure out how to see my parents in a short amount of time, with NONE of my Christmas shopping finished, my house in disarray, my gigantic Christmas tree unfinished, and 40 teacher evals to finalize, there was no question about getting on a plane for $44 or $309. You just do. You get a box, you drive 6 hours through 3 states, and you show up.
As I curled my hair yesterday my Mom walked out and said she was going to practice some of her new piece on the piano.
Suddenly, the house was filled with the cadence of my youth, and I snuck around the corner and captured the legacy of my grandfather. Hours and hours, years and years of toiling over the keys, keeping time with the metronome and tears.
She is pure, raw, unabridged talent. Last year I was subpoenaed to a student hearing over a YO MAMA joke went super south. Pretty sure I would win any YO MAMA joke there is out there.
Get on the plane. Get in your car. Go.
Call your parents. Don't text. Call.
Live their legacy.
Represent in their honor.
Listen to them. They may be older, but God, they are always right.
Videotape them.
Record their voices.
Get them to write in a journal for your kids.
Live their legacy while they're still here to see it. They came before us for a reason. To show us how it's done.
(Author's note: Written while sleeping in my Abercrombie and Fitch parka because they don't want to pay for heat
"MY MAMA don't need heat, she's hotter than yours
Oh yes, annnddd, if you're looking for regular milk, no go. Almond only
And make sure to put it back on the LEFT of the orange juice
or else.


     When I woke up this morning thinking about what I would write on this blog, I paused to check out my facebook page. The above post is what I found with a video clip of me practicing my piano. As the tears streamed down my face, I thought I cannot write one word that could be more "music" to the ears of any parent than this. Oh, Lord, she gets it. She really knows what it means to be a parent, and she's learning what it means to treasure the years, hours, minutes and laughter of those who put us on this earth. I have no guilt regarding the time I spent with my beloved father who is looking down on this box in which Katey arrived on my doorstep chuckling as he's whistling Frosty the Snowman from his heavenly perch. The hours I spent harmonizing with him on the senior home terrace, the heart-to-hearts I cherish, the beautiful step-mom he left me--all these are what Katey is talking about. Thank you, precious daughter, for hilarious, poignant moments neither of us will ever forget. I love you and your wonderful sister (who surpised me for Mother's day) and, of course, Mr. Wonderful who helped carry out the coup. Miss you, Daddy. Merry Christmas to me.