I turned back to wait for my son to catch up. Then suddenly I saw a man who looked familiar to me. I looked at his eyes. I knew those dark almond eyes. Paul. It was Paul McCartney, Paul who I had dreamed of as a kid, when I was just a little older than Gavi. He’d been like a god to me.
Like other girls my age I had loved the Beatles. Of course I loved their music. But I especially loved Paul with those sad eyes. When the Beatles first performed on the Ed Sullivan Show I was in 3rd grade and kissed the television when they performed.
Now I was stopped in my tracks. Should I say something to him? I didn’t want to be another fan seeking an autograph. Paul looked at me and smiled. And then he said—hello– and walked on.
I considered stepping after him to say something, to tell him about Koby, to ask him about his wife, Linda—I knew that she had died a few years earlier from breast cancer.
But I decided not to say anything. He was just a person in jeans and a T- shirt, carrying his beach things, a person like me who had also suffered loss.
An older couple behind me carrying an overloaded cardboard tray of drinks looked at me and said: “That was Paul McCartney.”
“I know,” I said.
“He said hello to you,” they said, impressed.
My seven year old son, Gavi turned to me and asked: “Who is Paul McCartney?” I told him about the Beatles, the famous rock band, how I had loved them so when I was just a little older than he was now. Gavi looked at me and said: “Boy Mom, everybody knows you.”
Boy did I smile. For Gavi, I was the famous one. I was the one who people knew. We were looking at one of the most famous people on the face of the universe, staring him in the face, and yet with his child eyes, he turned everything around.
Me, an English teacher, an immigrant fromNew Yorkwho could hardly speak Hebrew, a woman who a year after her son’s murder was struggling to survive, to get the laundry folded, who felt that each day just getting up and taking care of her family was a victory: for him, I was the famous one.
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