Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Another Fallen Hero

Kelly was the first alumni from the girlfriends group I met when Tsiki fell. Two days after I arrived in Israel, she accompanied Rina, the head of the group. I didn't really remember her, more so, I didn't really register her. She was just another person sitting next to me with the look of sadness in her eyes. I couldn't really look at her either- she seemed quite strong, I felt like a broken vase, shattered in every direction.
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Months later, we formed a friendship. Was it convenience? I lived in Maskeret Batya, she in Modiin. Was it because we both shared a loss of a Fiancee? Was it because her father was Anglo? Did it matter?
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upon a meeting she shared with me her father was sick with an incurable cancer. My dark humor seeped in. "Well,since you helped me through my grief of losing Tsiki, I can only return the favor of knowing what it's like to lose a father... for future reference." The only type of humor another person in grief can understand & why we have to make light of such heavy situations.
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Shabbats with her family here and there- Anglo jokes around the table. We spoke of archery, politics, adjustment in Israel. I went to one of their family BBQ's once. I stood there, with her father, with the same question I always ask: "how you feeling?" "Eh, Susi"- he answers in his English accent. "I have my good and bad days, what can I expect?" he replies as we stand there, staring at his family running around us. "Are you scared?" I cautiously ask him. "I'm not gonna lie Susi, you don't grow up imagining your going to die young. what you and Kelly went through was tragic. I'm lucky- I have time to say goodbye".
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I learned that time is never good enough. That it's like heroine, you always want more of it and you want to change the past- or the present, or make it some beautiful memory as if it would ease the pain of losing someone dear. ...
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It doesn't.
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Dropping by the house, her mother had the all too familiar exhausted-by- grief look. Kelly had that wall behind her eyes, still caught up on being rational while her emotions are being filtered inside her heart. Drip Drip. It was all too heavy for me, and too strong a reminder of what it's like to lose my father and what was like to sit Sheva for Tsiki.
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I could feel it all over again, so I decided that I should leave. And so I did. The saddest thing about someone passing is noticing how empty a house and heart can be when they leave us. You can't fill that space with a new vase or cover it up with a new tablecloth. And I will never fully feel the magnitude that my dear friend Kelly and her family felt. And sadly enough- i am grateful.

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