Schlepping Shiva

The alarm went off at 5:30 this morning, as expected. I turned it off and went back to sleep, also as expected.

But I did get up before Diane and Jeff left for the day. I knew I had to be out of the house by noon or so when the cleaning service was due, and there were things I wanted to get done. The most important of those was buying coffee — I’m the only coffee drinker in the house, and I’d made the mistake of letting the supply run out just before I left for Richmond the last time. So an emergency run to Starbucks was in order.

After that, I fielded a call from the roofer (they’ll be reroofing the house next week), and then left for lunch and a trip to the bank. I had brought some stuff back from Richmond which needed to go into the safe deposit box; I also had brought back some Savings Bonds that Mom had bought for me over the years, and I thought it might be a good idea to do something with them — as well as the bonds that I’d had since childhood which had long since stopped earning interest.

I took care of the safe deposit box easily enough, but dealing with the bonds was an entirely different affair. I’d checked out interest rates and decided I would do better to redeem them all and put the principal into a tax-free money market fund. So that meant I had 58 bonds to deal with. B of A has a simple form to fill out to redeem bonds — but each form is only good for 24 bonds. So I had to fill out 3 forms, listing 24 bonds on the first two and 10 on the last one. And I had to write down the serial numbers (well, I typed them into a spreadsheet). And sign them all. And list my account number on the first and last of each batch. And seal them into envelopes. All in all, it took about 90 minutes — and I won’t get the money for a few days.

But I finally finished and went home. The cleaners had come and gone; there was a fruit basket on the table that had arrived while they were there (thanks, Debbie and Pete!). There were also nine boxes on the driveway; DHL had delivered while I was dealing with the bank. So I brought the boxes into the house; nothing rattled, which is a good sign (but I don’t plan to unpack them just yet).

Then I had to run up to Kehillah to pick up Jeff, who was staying late to practice for his AP European History test tomorrow. We had a quick dinner, and then it was off to Shir Hadash, where we were having a double feature — two shiva minyans.

The first was for Arthur Harris, who had died on the same night as Mom; we met outside in the Memorial Garden. I was talking with Andrea, his widow, when someone told me that I needed to go inside for Mom’s minyan (intermissions are never the right length). I was surprised and pleased that my manager was there.

The service went quickly, and then people started talking — we finally left about 9:30. It was good to talk with friends — not all of my talking was about Mom by any means, but a lot was.

And that was the last shiva minyan — tomorrow, I plan to go to the regular Shabbat services in the evening, and of course we’ll be going to services and Torah Study on Saturday, as we get closer to the normal rhythms of life.

But I probably won’t get up at 5:30 tomorrow morning.