Once More Unto The Breach
Tales of my second go-round with breast cancer before the age of 40, and everything since.


I got up early this morning and drove across town to say Kaddish for my father on this, the third anniversary of his death according to the Jewish calendar.

On the way back, I passed one of the only places in LA where we’ve found halfway decent bagels, and I was reminded of a ritual my dad and I had when I was a kid, when for a stretch of time we operated a bagel-delivery service for the neighbors on our block.

I have no idea how or when it started, or how long it lasted. But back then, we were the only Jewish family on the block, and I’m guessing we might have been the first to acquaint our neighbors with the glory of the bagel.

In any event, the two of us would get up on Sunday mornings, get in the car, pick up a bunch of bagels at a local place called The Pantry, then drive back and go door to door, making our deliveries.

I don’t remember the car my dad drove.

I have no idea how many houses we visited each week.

I can’t tell you whether our neighbors actually placed orders, or even whether they paid for their bagels.

I just remember it was something I used to do with my dad—just the two of us.

And this morning, as I was thinking about him and trying to honor his memory, I turned around and drove back to The Bagel Broker and picked up a dozen assorted bagels, plus two extra that you get for free when you pay for the first twelve.

I got plain, pumpernickel, poppy, onion, and sesame—all traditional varieties from my childhood. I got a couple of bialys, another family favorite. And I got a few “everything” bagels—these did not exist when I was a kid, but they do now, and Zach loves them.

Then I stopped off for some cream cheese and lox, and I drove home carrying two big paper sacks full of warm, aromatic bagels, just the way my dad and I used to do.

The bagels weren’t as good as the ones we used to get back in those days.

Neither was the cream cheese or the store-bought lox.

But it hardly mattered that the food fell short. The memory was all the nourishment I needed.

Comment Pages

There are 1 Comments to "Nostalgia"

  • Jeff says:

    Congratulations on your good health, Jodie.

    I’m going to comment further on your previous nostalgia theme and give you a couple of my earlier recollections related to your family..

    I remember visiting Crestwood Paper Company when I was very young and I remember it as a child would. It was located street level in the Heywood Building in Manhattan. My sister and I called it the Heywire building. I still remember the smell of the big warehouse which I loved to roam around. Your Dad was in charge of the office and he always made me feel welcome when I visited. He gave me a great bear hug each time I saw him. He had a very confident voice and spoke loud which was very distinctive and I liked that he was my Dad’s friend and that he treated me as someone he cared about. Being a gadget lover, he would sit me at a telephone and call me from his extension.

    Another memory I have was visiting the London Terrace Apartments where your parents were living. Once again, being a gadget lover, I was fascinated by this mechanical swing your parents had that swung without anyone pushing it. There was a baby in the swing and that baby was you. Admittedly, I was more interested in the swing at the time, but that was probably the first time I met you. I remember seeing you a couple of times in New Jersey, once when we went to look at the model of the house you were going to live in and once after Jennifer came along.

    I saw your Mom and Dad many times in the city and in Massachusetts more recently but the next time I remember meeting you was at your father’s funeral. It was very sad but also a little embarrassing to meet you again in that way. I say embarrassing because our fathers were such close friends yet I didn’t know you or your sister at all.

    I wish you and Zach many, many joyful and healthy years ahead and I pray that 2011 will be one of the best for you both. I have enjoyed reading your well written blog from time to time over the past few years. I especially enjoy your thoughts about your mother and father. As a quieter person (not always) I apologize for not having written sooner.

    Your friend,



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