Saturday, December 13, 2008

Elena Kaplan, Atlanta Attorney

Yeah, that's me, maybe a year or two before my daughter Elena was born. Her mom, Stephanie, and I were still married. She made that shirt for me. I think they called that a Nehru collar, and love beads were in fashion. The only grey hair that I had was a dime size circle in my left sideburn, probably where the dimple was when I was little. Wow,I had a big head, and when I was being born the doc had to pull me out with forceps, leaving a dimple on each side. I guess it caused some damage, at least on one side, because when my sideburns started to grow in at 18 or 19 there was that little patch of grey.
Stephanie took this picture of me in our back yard. Judging by the angle she probably used the Minolta Autocord, a camera best used at waist level.
There's an old Jewish custom. When a child is a complete dissapointment, marries out of the faith, whatever, you go through a period of mourning as if they were dead, a seven day period called sitting shivah. It helps to bring finality to your feelings for this person. Time to move on with life for the living.
About six or seven years ago I was planning on driving up to Gainesville for a few days to visit Elena. She had gone back to school to pick up a masters degree in tax law. She was already an attorney in Atlanta. I'd visited her there a year earlier We talked on the phone all the time. Then I got The Letter. She wrote that she never wanted to see or speak to me again for the rest of her life. I tried calling her but she wouldn't talk. I tied calling her mother. She said to give her two or three months. She'd get over it. She didn't. Now it's been six or seven years.
I decided to just enjoy the memories of the good times we'd shared and accept the fact that she was gone from my life. I'm amazed at how many men that I know that have the same situation with their daughters, but not with their sons.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Al! You look like the mystery fourth member of the Hair Bear Bunch - and judging from the expression, the one who didn't want to escape from Wonderland!

10:55 AM  
Anonymous markE said...

Al, another friend of mine has had the same experience with both his son and daughter. Unfortunately, his first wife was to blame for telling the kids lies about "Dad" for many years. But just this past year, the kids (now adults) have been getting more curious about little details of their mom's stories that don't quite make sense. Well, this Christmas BOTH kids came out to spend it with their dad, and things seems to be making more sense to them now. And yeah, it was the daughter who struggled the most with this whole ordeal, but even she has now been turning her heart around.

Keeping hoping and praying. You just never know.

BTW, any chance I can get THIS picture on a T-shirt? ;)

5:22 PM  
Anonymous 02Pete said...

Have you sent her any photos of things she liked when she was a kid? No letters, no phone calls, just photos?

12:31 AM  

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