Hardest Part

My maternal grandfather, David Friedman, came alone to America, as a teenager, from somewhere in Lithuania at the end of the 19th Century.  He died the year before I was born and, according to Jewish custom, I was named for him.

 

Shelter me from the wreckage

And the ruin of a broken heart

Deliver me

I need a messenger

Someone to guide me through the hardest part

 

I knew about a man, really just a boy

And he had to put aside his childish toys

Got in a boat, sailed across the sea

Never again to see his family

And when he landed he was all alone

Not a single soul to take him home

No One to offer him a helping hand

Just a solitary nomad in the promised land

 

Shelter me…

 

This solitary man clawed his way into a life

Fought off his nightmares, someone found him a wife

They had a daughter and then she had me

And so begins the known story of my family tree

And they tell me he gave me my deep blue eyes

My ear for music and my thin disguise

My search for meaning in the wilderness

Perched on the rim of the big abyss

 

Shelter me…

 

I came of age, had daughters of my own

Gave them all the imperfections of a loving home

Built to withstand the wayward winds

To lock the dangers out and hold the safety in

Still sometimes I waken in the dead of night

Wrapped all in emptiness, no dawn in sight

Where no light can penetrate the ancient dark

And I feel the beating of his loneliness in my heart

 

Shelter me from the wreckage

And the ruin of his broken heart

Deliver me, I need a messenger

Someone to guide me through the hardest part

He needed someone to guide him through the hardest part

We all need someone to guide us through the hardest part

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