The Remainders

By Matthew Arnold Stern All Rights Reserved ©


Chapter Thirty-Seven: Lake Forest

One bottle of 145-milligram tablets of Fenofibrate. One bottle of 50-milligram tablets of Losartan. One bottle of 81-milligram tablets of low-dosage aspirin. One bottle of 5-milligram tablets of Cialis that I had not taken since I left Rachel’s house. I suppose that someday, I would take them again.

I gathered them up along with my MacBook Pro and put them in the safe in the closet. That was one of the amenities in this residence hotel room, along with a coffee maker, iron, and a whirlpool bath. It still wasn’t a home, but it would do for now.

I picked up my briefcase and headed out the door. Before I went to the office, I had something to do.

I drove through the tall gates of El Toro Memorial Park and followed the looping driveway. I parked my SUV in the back of the Evergreen section. As I stepped out of the car, I noticed a couple small rocks in the gap between the curb and grass. I picked up two of them and put them in my pocket.

First, I went to Maury’s grave. I took one of the rocks from my pocket, knelt down, and placed it on the black marble marker. I ran my fingers over the faded white engraving on his marker. The dates on it were too close together, and the last date happened too long ago. I stood up and bade him a silent farewell. Although I’ve spent many times communing at his gravesite, he wasn’t the reason I came here.

Just a few steps away was Grandma Dinah’s marker. She wanted to be buried in a Jewish cemetery, but the closest one we could find was in Norwalk. If only she knew how close she was to the grandson who she beat and tormented. I had only visited her gravesite once, but only because Mom begged me to go to her marker dedication.

Her marker was also in black marble with white engraving. It had a Magen David and the following inscription:

“Dinah Wolfowitz Glass

1923 - 1996

The Lord is full of compassion and gracious, slow to anger, and with much kindness.”

It seemed strange that she chose that passage from Psalms, especially with how she lived her life.

I knelt down and reached for the rock in my pocket. I stayed fixed for a moment, staring at her inscription.

“Grandma, I’m letting you go. You may have thought you controlled me. In truth, that’s what I allowed you to do.”

I took the rock out of my pocket.

“Maybe I needed you to save me. Maybe I needed to be afraid. But I don’t need to be saved, and I don’t want to be afraid anymore.”

I looked at the rock between my fingertips.

“That’s why I’m letting you go. I’m letting you go in peace and...” I sighed. “I wish I could say love. But I don’t think I loved you. You never allowed me to. So, I letting you go for love. For my family. For myself. I’m not going to live in fear or in the past anymore.”

I set the rock on her marker.

I stood up slowly and took a long look at her marker and the rock I left there. Rocks are supposed to represent the permanence of memory. I knew I could never forget those memories of her, but I didn’t have to be a prisoner of them. I turned away and headed to my SUV.

"You have a full schedule today, Dr. Glass.” Alison handed me a printout of my calendar.


“And there’s someone in your office to see you.”

My face scrunched up in confusion. Who would be here to see me? I handed the printout back to Alison and headed towards my office. When I opened the door, I needed a few minutes to gather my thoughts before speaking.


Instead of scrubs, she wore a polo shirt and jeans as well as an intense look of someone who had something urgent and difficult to say.

“Um...” She had a hard time gathering her thoughts as well. “Alison said you found Dylan. How is he?”

“He’s fine. Actually, he’s doing great. He now lives up in L...uh...” I smiled. “The Valley. They hate when you call it LA. How are the kids?”

“That’s what I want to talk to you about.” She looked down. She rubbed her hands together tightly. It took her some time to gather the courage to speak. “I came to say I’m sorry. And goodbye.”

That word made my whole body shudder.

“What...what do you mean, goodbye?”

“I’m going back to Israel.”

“But what about David and Moshe?”

“I sent them to live with Avraham.”

“Your ex who said raising kids is women’s work?”

“They’re better off with him than me.” Her shoulder trembled. Tears gathered around her eyes.

“What about your practice?”

“Who’s going to hire an obstetrician who beats her own kids!?” A tear dropped down her cheek.

I stepped to Rachel and took her hands in mine.

“You can’t give up like this! You need help!”

“I’m sick!”

“You’re only sick if you don’t get help.”

Tears flowed more freely down her face.

“Who would want to help me!?” She hung down her head. Her whole body convulsed in tears.


I moved my hands to her shoulders, then her back. I drew her close to me and let her weep on my shoulder. I always thought she was strong and powerful, but she was as broken as me. I kissed the top of her head and held her closer.

“I’ll help.”

She pulled her face away from me. “But I hurt you! I hurt my children!”

I put my hand on her face and brushed away her tears.

“I’ve hurt people too. We’re broken people, Rachel. But no one is too broken that we can’t be fixed. We can make things right.” I caressed her face. “We can make things right with Moshe and David. We can make things right between us. I’m willing, if you’re willing.”

She nodded then wrapped her arms around me.

“Dr. Glass?”

I turned towards the office door. Alison had it partially opened and stuck her head in the opening. But she pulled it back slightly when she saw Rachel.

“I’m sorry to disturb you, but Mr. Marchenko is here for his appointment.”

Rachel and I had to end our embrace. I turned and smiled at Alison.

“That’s all right. Tell Don I’ll be out to see him in a moment.”

“Don?” Alison looked puzzled.

I was too for a moment. I had forgotten I always called patients by their last name. I chuckled.

“Have Joy check his vitals. I’ll be right there.”

Alison closed the door. Rachel and I closed our arms around each other and kissed.

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