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A Daughter’s Farewell

1971 

It was the first seder night and for me, the 36th year I’d celebrated it at my parents’ table. And this year, it was truly a celebratory time. My father, Joe had just been discharged from the hospital following a week of unexplained neurological “events”; blinding headaches, episodic confusion and finally a fall following a momentary loss of consciousness. Now, we gathered—content that all that was behind us.

There were only eight of us around the table; Mom, Dad, Manny (my brother), Harry and me, and our three young children. So unlike years past when a crowded dining room table hosted aunts, uncles and cousins in addition to our immediate family. Tonight we sat at the kitchen table. The dining room table which, when not in use, folded into a lovely console remained unopened in my parents’ foyer; an omen of what lay ahead.