A letter from Isaac brought
the distressing new of my
fathers death. A reply
from home later on my telegram verified
The news broke my heart and
body for my father was the source
of all my inspiration the guiding
spirit for the whole family.
The news was broken to sister Clara
[and] with her I am observing the Shiva
at her house.
Mothers wish to name Nettie's child
after father will be complied with.
I cannot now state my feelings,
I am too much overtaken with
With a trembling
heart voice I recited my first Kadish
It's best, I think, to leave Papa alone with his grief for the moment and allow him to remember the face of his father, Joseph Scheurman.
Only real life can devise such cruel timing. No sooner had Papa wired home the news of his new nephew's birth than he received word of his father's death.
The notification arrived by mail, too, meaning Papa's father must have been dead for days while Papa naively went about his business. I'm sure this made the moment even worse for him because it would have affirmed just how distant and removed he was from the world of his youth. Any hope he might have had of recapturing what he'd lost, of reuniting with his parents and family, of seeing them all in one place, was now gone. He would never dream of home the same way again. A terrible turn for Papa, for whom dreams were so important.
The telegram and the letter from his brother must have remained, side-by-side, on the kitchen table while he wept. Later, he would have put them in his pocket, collected himself and walked to his sister Clara's house. On the way he would have thought of his other sister Nettie, who lay, resting, in the hospital, unaware that her newborn son had just been named.