I sit in Yom Kippur services, and the Rabbi shares these words of Martin Luther King Jr., "He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love."
Unlike last year at this time, when the pain of Ezra's death was too raw and new, I approached the Days of Awe this year with a certain peace, a renewed sense of possibility. Yet leading up to Yom Kippur, I have struggled with the notion of asking forgiveness. I am able to accept that I am imperfect, yet not quite able to muster the humility necessary to ask forgiveness of others. Shouldn't the Universe be asking forgiveness of me? Afterall, it was my son she wrenched away.
Sitting in the Yizkor (memorial) service in the waning hours of the day, we are asked to close our eyes and envision our loved one sitting with us. What does he say to us? What do we say to him?
I summon the vision of my perfect son, my Ezra Malik, his tiny hands and feet, his serene yet wry smile, his slight weight in my arms the only occasion I held him, the peaceful look on his face as we spent time with him before returning him to the earth. And these words flash through my mind:
And the tears begin to fall.
I'm sorry, my sweet son, that I did not realize what was happening as you slipped away.
I'm sorry that my womb, the one place that should have been safe, became your deathbed.
I'm sorry that your birthday, so very anticipated, was somber, and so very very silent.
But mostly, my sweet Ezra, I am sorry for the walks we never took, and the songs we never sang;
For the first steps you never stepped, and the first teeth you never grew;
For the subjects you never studied, and the books you never read;
For the passions that never stirred your heart, and the adventures you never had;
For the loves you never loved, and even the hurt you never felt.
For all this and so much more,
But Mama, Ezra replies, It's ok. All I ever knew was love.
Yes my sweet Ezra, and it will never feel like enough.
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