Friday, January 23, 2009

YOSHKA - R.I.P.

My grandfather, Joseph "Yoshka" "Peps" Ijaky, died on Wednesday, January 21, 2009.

I feel like I am losing my balance. I mean I am still the same person as I was before I heard the news. Yet, parts of me feels lost and confused. Feeling things and energies that are all too much for me to process and understand right meow. Wanting to hide or run away. Closing up again. Not willing to share. Going deep within to get control of the tears. At other times, to summon them up.

Our last conversation was awful. He yelled and screamed and told me he was ready to die and that he didn't need anybody. In fact, he was really angry the last couple of times I talked to him.

My auntie put it this way:
"My father died yesterday, in Toronto.
He was 88 years old, had one kidney left..
half a heart...no eyesight & no teeth...
He died alone in his apartment,
bruised from his last fall....
Cursing at the doctor,
refusing to be taken to the hospital....
Still spitting venom all over the place....
He had managed to push everybody away...
alienate his last friends...
swearing at all of us till the last day...."

I did not know this man well. My mother's father, my grandfather, would flit in and out of my life when I was younger - always larger than life - coming back from trips to Europe and South America - an accomplished pianist, an artist, a chef. Smoking his cigarettes and always wearing a foulard (scarf) around his neck -he was more a movie star then a grandfather.

In 2000, I surprised myself and him. Wanting to get to know the members of my family better, I booked a ticket to Toronto and went to visit him for Father's Day weekend. We went out for long walks, movies, and out to dinner. We sat at the corner coffeehouse as he propounded his theories of life and what he wanted me to know. He prepared gourmet dishes in his tiny kitchen and shared his books and paintings. I was having an adult relationship with a man I was related to but barely knew. And while we did not see eye to eye about a lot of things, he was still my grandfather.

My parents left for Toronto Wednesday night. To take care of my grandfather's remains. To create some closure. To have some peace. I helped them get ready and packed and drove them to the airport. It was important for me to just BE here for my Mom.

It struck me as funny that this week I had originally planned to be in Tennesse with Goddess Bliss and her family - a 40th birthday get-away gift. And no matter what I did, the Universe conspired from me buying those tickets. Until they were no longer available.

I started having those guilt feelings come up for my last conversation with Yoshka until WSM Noah reminded me that he was at peace now. His soul had freed itself from the body that was no longer working. His energy was now soaring in the Universe. I put my hands on my heart and took some deep breaths. I felt WSM Noah's words to be true. I sent him blessings of love on his new journey. My email immediately dinged - on my Etsy site, one of his Goddess cards was purchased. The chimes outside my window ring.

Thank you for your message Peps. I love you too Yoshka. Pusi, Pusi!!!

Wishing you,
Peace & Love, Just Because,
GoddessDiana

4 comments:

Brenda said...

ah, honey.....
I'm so sorry about your Grandfather......
love and light to you, my special friend...
goddess bliss

Yossef said...

I live in Miami, but I grew up in Toronto and I once knew a man by the name of Joseph Ijaky.
From when I was only a young child of only 3-4 years and as I grew up, he was sort of a mentor to me.
He would by me fancy paintbrush sets and teach me in the hopes that I would paint. He took me to see the symphony - maybe to help me be cultured.
I'm not sure it worked, but I always remember him fondly. His love and care and patience, his art of the holy land and of fairs and of weeping clowns.
So he came to mind today after all these years and I decided to "google" him and found this.
I'm sorry for your loss and for how he went in the end. It shouldn't have been that way. But you are right that now he is free.

Y

Esther said...

B"H
This past week, on Monday, I went to a Goodwill store to purchase small boots for some children I know. Walking into the store, two paintings caught my eye. There was an elusiveness and light to them, each different as one is from Jerusalem, the other from Bruges. Both signed by Joseph Ijaky. Not knowing who he was I too googled him. His paintings mesmerized me that before knowing who this man was, I purchased the two oils, brought them home walking through mounds of snow in Manhattan and now they are safely in my home. I have to find a place where to showcase them. I also went on to find out that Joseph Ijaky was involved in a Broadway show called "Light, Lively and Yiddish", or something to that effect. The show folded on Broadway, on the 10th January 1971. I saw his paintings on the 10th January 2011, and I assume that on the 1971 date, Yiddish theater lovers in New York applauded Ijaky. One woman alone in Manhattan, me, stood 40 years later to the date, mesmerized by his paintings. Another round of applause of sort.

I am very sad to hear that Joseph Ijaky's final days were so lonely, so horribly painful. His paintings depict someone of tremendous intelligence and sensitivity, with a vision beyond what the rest of us are capable of seeing. A painter who probably came into being in the '70's, he had to carry in his heart and mind a whole palette of experiences stemming from Jewish experience both in Europe and Israel.

His paintings have so impacted me that I have kept on googling him until finding this blog. A man who started out his life in Roumania, who loved Israel so, to paint it with such an eye for beauty and symbolism, who traveled the world and must have enjoyed his travails -his painting of Bruge that I now have- must have enabled him to capture the spirit and essence of places.

A family member remembers his last days, another person in Miami his kindness and dedication to sharing what is beautiful and cultivated of this world, and now someone in Manhattan, so in love with his art.


He still speaks to us. May his memory be for a blessing, his art legacy shrouding the pain of his final days. CaCoCun@Aol.com

Anonymous said...

B"H
This past week, on Monday, I went to a Goodwill store to purchase small boots for some children I know. Walking into the store, two paintings caught my eye. There was an elusiveness and light to them, each different as one is from Jerusalem, the other from Bruges. Both signed by Joseph Ijaky. Not knowing who he was I too googled him. His paintings mesmerized me that before knowing who this man was, I purchased the two oils, brought them home walking through mounds of snow in Manhattan and now they are safely in my home. I have to find a place where to showcase them. I also went on to find out that Joseph Ijaky was involved in a Broadway show called "Light, Lively and Yiddish", or something to that effect. The show folded on Broadway, on the 10th January 1971. I saw his paintings on the 10th January 2011, and I assume that on the 1971 date, Yiddish theater lovers in New York applauded Ijaky. One woman alone in Manhattan, me, stood 40 years later to the date, mesmerized by his paintings. Another round of applause of sort.

I am very sad to hear that Joseph Ijaky's final days were so lonely, so horribly painful. His paintings depict someone of tremendous intelligence and sensitivity, with a vision beyond what the rest of us are capable of seeing. A painter who probably came into being in the '70's, he had to carry in his heart and mind a whole palette of experiences stemming from Jewish experience both in Europe and Israel.

His paintings have so impacted me that I have kept on googling him until finding this blog. A man who started out his life in Roumania, who loved Israel so, to paint it with such an eye for beauty and symbolism, who traveled the world and must have enjoyed his travails -his painting of Bruge that I now have- must have enabled him to capture the spirit and essence of places.

A family member remembers his last days, another person in Miami his kindness and dedication to sharing what is beautiful and cultivated of this world, and now someone in Manhattan, so in love with his art.


He still speaks to us. May his memory be for a blessing, his art legacy shrouding the pain of his final days. CaCoCun@Aol.com