June 17, 2013
I miss Giddo. My Egypt is empty without his hoarse laughter and roughly shaved face that would scrape against my skin as I kissed him on the cheek once, twice. I cannot gather the courage to go to his apartment, that place where we grew up a little each time we visited. Remember when we were just kids and we used to hide his cigarettes on top of the fridge – the vein in his neck would pulsate with anger and we would be afraid, but that didn’t matter.
My mother misses him, too. I see it in her eyes when she is looking out the car window, trying to see past the veil that is life. I hear it in her voice when she loves her own grandchildren with impatient admiration.
He was the centre, holding my mother’s memories and ours – the ones we didn’t know we even had; a mess of images of him in his undershirt drinking tea out of a glass cup, grandchildren running back and forth in the hallways. I never knew him to be a patient man, but his love was steady, and that’s what we needed – to know that we were being held in someone’s heart even though we sometimes would forget.