A Twig for Tischa

Seeing a childhood friend after 35 years, a friend who is family in your heart is about as uplifting and joyous as it gets. To discover that your friend is married to someone who is as loving and kind and beautiful human being as one could hope to join lives with is, well, wonderful beyond words. And so it was for me last evening when I saw Tischa for the first time in too many years and met her husband, David.

They took me out to the Blackbird Cafe in Canton. New York for dinner.  While there is no way you can catch up on all things after 35 years in a single conversation, I can say that our table glowed with love and friendship.

One of the unspoken truths that join me and Tischa this, we have known each other since we were something like nine years old we knew each others parents. I knew her Mom and Dad and she knew my Mom and Dad and her Mom and Dad liked me and my Mom and Dad liked her.

And so it was deeply special when I told her how, when I was visiting my father’s grave some 25 years after his death in 1969 it dawned on me that his body had begun to break down and was now feeding the soil, which, I also realized, meant that my father was in a real way feeding the Oak Tree that grew next to his grave, which is why, on nearly every visit to his grave, I gather up the twigs the tree sheds and take them with me so by having these twigs I have a part of my father with me.

Over the years I have given a twig to people who are deeply special to me or people I believe to be deeply special to the world we live in. Always I say, as I hand them the twig, My father would have liked you.

Last night, over dinner, I gave Tischa a twig, and when I gave it to her, I was able to say something to her that I have never been able to say before, My father loved you very much. And he did. And had he met David, he would have loved him too. I know I do. I love both David and Tischa. Anyone would, unless, of course, the weren’t paying attention.

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