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Sad, then Happy

Posted Oct 29 2009 11:00pm
Life is a continuous whirlwind. Certainly never boring!

The funeral was enormous. More than 700 people crammed into the Sanctuary & Social Hall at TBS. I had to sit up front with the other singers; the quartet was the cantor, his wife, and another friend of ours singing tenor - his wife is usually the alto, but couldn't make it. Tenor said they didn't even get that size crowd for Kol Nidre, which is usually the biggest service of the year.

Beautiful service. Hamoreh Yosef would have been very pleased. His best friend (since they were 17) spoke eloquently for half an hour. His four granddaughters spoke. His two daughters and their husbands. The executive director of the Cohen Camps, where he was very very active for many years. The rabbi. The cantor sang a special Yiddish song, about a teacher and a young student. We sang Psalm 23. And the El Moley Rachamim, the traditional memorial prayer.

The whole thing took about 2 hours, which is very long, but it was lovely. The kids sat nicely in back; Sam said it totally did not feel like 2 hours, because he was listening so carefully to every word.

D left in time to pick up Micah and the younger daughter, and retrieve Sofia from our other friend. After the service, I took Sam and A (in D's car) to the cemetery. Somehow we got ahead of the car procession, so we arrived early. I parked around the back, and we walked in the rain through the older section of the cemetery, which I'd never been in before. It was beautiful. It was also pouring! But Sam and I are both interested in cemeteries, and A had never actually been in one, so we explored a bit and discussed some of the rituals involved.

The burial service also had a huge crowd (although certainly not all 700!). One of the rituals in a Jewish funeral is that everyone helps to shovel the dirt - it's the last thing you can do for the person. The shovel starts inverted, and you don't pass the shovel to the next person but rather stick it back in the pile of dirt. So I walked the kids through that (although Sam remembered it from Grandma Ruth's funeral last year).

They are both such good souls, so respectful of the traditions and so caring about people. It was a privilege to be able to share that time with them.

Of course, we didn't get back to D's house untl after 5:30! What a long day!

Today, I had a chance for a happier event. David drove Sofia to school, so after I dropped off the boys, I headed in to Boston, back to Children's Hospital. This time, however, I had a "taxi" in my trunk!

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I went up to the 6th floor and found my friend and her son, William. He was SO excited to see the taxi:
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His mom got the buckle done, and we were off. "Hurry, Mom!"
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Racing up and down the halls:
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"Yeah, I'm Cool, Man!"
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Thank you to everyone who participated in getting this for William!
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