Past and Future in the PresentALPERS: Come with us, Schlissel, and have a look at my grave.
SCHLISSEL: Why not? What else have I got to do?
During one of the first years I taught high school English, I had my students read “The Tenth Man” by Paddy Chayefsky, a television drama from the black-and-white era. What I remember most about the play is the opening scene in which a group of aging Jewish men try to hold a traditional morning service but lack the necessary tenth man for a minyan (religious quorum). And they’re in a hurry because several of them want to visit their cemetery plots that day. Hence, the exchange from the play quoted above.The exchange seemed funny to me forty years ago and so perfectly Jewish in tone, and it still makes me laugh today. Of course, the irony is that I visited our own future gravesites last week (while Audrey stayed in the car). So what’s so amusing!
|Audrey's parents' graves are marked by |
this slightly askew stone.
Amazingly, we were. And I’m not exactly sure why. There is something about making several visits to a cemetery over a brief period of time. You start to think of your own mortality. And you also begin to think about bizarre tasks you should probably get out of the way while you’re thinking about them—such as purchasing cemetery plots. The opportunity was there, and we took it. Now we’re the proud(?) owners of two plots in a quiet area under a lovely tree. It looks very peaceful. And we’ll be spending eternity just a few yards from my in-laws and a few hundred yards from many other members of Audrey’s extended family. Plus, the Tick-Tock Diner is nearby so our kids can put stones on several graves at the same time and even enjoy a little lunch after they come to visit us many years from now. That is, if they’ll ever come. Should I suggest that they print out this blogpost—just as a reminder?
|Should we draw a map to show our kids|
where to find us for eternity?