February 10 marks a special day in our home, and in our lives, from now on. It's the day that our beloved nonagenarian, Bob Nash, passed away last year. A friend of ours recently told us that in the Jewish tradition, the death date of a loved one is marked by an annual memorial ritual called Yahrzeit.
While we won't be saying the Mourners Kaddish prayer for Bob tomorrow evening, we will light a candle and place it in front of his picture at Deetjens Inn's family dining room. Several of Bob's friends will be there, people who played with him, made art with him and took care of him during the past couple of decades here on Partington Ridge.
Yesterday afternoon, I said to my dog, Kip, let's go to Bob's house, and he trotted away down the path towards his shack without any hesitation. I sat in his "enlightenment chair" on this cold day and thought of the many hours he'd spent meditating there. Kip lay down at my feet, just as he did all those years while I'd read to Bob fairy tales and news of the world.
The flame of the Yarhzeit candle symbolizes the human soul, always dancing towards the greater light. We think Bob would like that. We also plan to call his spirit to us with our laughter and stories of his life. We will raise his famous toast: May your hearts be filled with love, with rainbows and with fragrant yellow roses.
While many of you who loved Bob can't be with us tomorrow night in the physical realm, we'll be sure to bring you into our circle in our hearts.
And we will recite these beautiful words of songstress Camille Bright-Smith:
The day you died I had a dream
Of lines like feathers shifting
Of two paths intersecting
Of faith like simple melodies
Of butterflies and spiders
Of silken webs and flowers
Of fine white hair flowing
Of you and Rosa glowing.
We love you, Bob.
Photos of Bob by Toby Rowland-Jones, Dick Sonnen