Yahrzeit Candle

Because I was raised in a house between religions, with a Catholic father and a Jewish mother, I had little to no knowledge of the Jewish religion outside of Chanukah, which was not particularly significant to me. However, one thing always ignited a deep sense of spirituality for me: Yahrzeit candles. 
Once a year, my mother and I would stand in the kitchen at sundown, and together light a candle for her father. He had died in a car accident long before I was born, when my mother was only four years old. Still, she had me light the candle for him every year. My mother is not a religious, nor a spiritual woman, and watching her do this with ease & dedication I came to realize the tradition was in her blood, in the very fiber of her being.  
Later in the night, when my mother was asleep, I would sneak out of the bed we slept in. I'd go sit in the coolness of night on the linoleum floor of the kitchen to watch the orange glow of the candle. I'd watch the flame, flickering above the white wax, as it danced in total silence--sometimes letting out a pop or a crackle. And in this silence, in the light of this candle and it's warmth, I'd feel distinctly the spirit of my grandfather, a man I never met but who's name I bared, there within me. 
I owe my connection to my grandfather entirely to yahrzeit candles. It is through them, that he is continually remembered and given life again; that the love he gave and the love that was felt for him continues on. 

Place(s): New York

– Harley Bosco

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more