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For the Bereaved of Borough Park July 14, 2011

Posted by voolavex in chasids, despicable, Jews, Politics & Religion, Social Issues.
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I have been lazy and busy for the last few month – wasting perhaps valuable and pithy thoughts on FB.  But today my heart is broken and I am in mourning for a little boy I do not know.  His name is Leiby Kletzky and he would have been 9 years old next week.  Now he is dead.  Like most of this country I paid some attention to the trial of Casey Anthony – an ordeal almost 6 years old and one that resulted in an acquittal based on lack of a case.  The DA in Orlando screwed up.    Whatever we learn now about this matter will always be fraught with doubts but Casey Anthony is protected by double jeopardy so she may be a pariah – but she will go on her way.  I don’t much care to be very honest.

Today I got an email from a list I am on called Hatzolah – a volunteer Jewish ER service and this one caught my eye.  It told of a little boy walking home from day camp in borough Park Brooklyn who was kidnapped, murdered and dismembered by a member of the same neighborhood.  This happened yesterday – not three years ago.  Leiby was a little Orthodox Jewish lad with glasses, a yarmulke and sidelocks  and sneakers coming back from day camp.  A little boy.   The family’s only son. His mother was on her way to meet him but he got lost and a man with a similar look drove by and we imagine Leiby asked for directions.  Leiby got into the car.  We will never  know what he said but tonight he will be mourned and buried.

The man presumed innocent until proven guilty Levi Aron is a quiet, religious loner who lived in his parent’s home.  He was not married and he worked full time. He only known crime was pishing in public.  I suspect most men have done this.   One can only assume that there were very dark parts in his head and where his soul might have once been.  He has supposedly admitted to what he did to Leiby.  What he did was so heinous and ugly you can read the tabloids to get the details.  A parent should never know such things can happen to children.  Such things should never happen.

While I write this I am waiting for the real press to tell  us about Leiby and his short but beloved life.  The sisters who must have adored him, the mother who treasured him; the father who planned in his heart for the 13th birthday on which he would become a man.  I am waiting for the outrage and the anger and the fury that accompanied the death of Caylee Anthony.  A child no more or less precious than this little boy.  I am waiting for the outcry, the keeners, the wailers, the sign carriers who will demonstrate for Leiby and I know I will be even sadder because none of that will happen.  And I would ask you who have loved any child to make sure it does.  Because it matters just as much.

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In That Single Act June 8, 2008

Posted by voolavex in dying.
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In the end the tears refused to come.  The wind blew west across the hill facing the freeway and the home of Mickey Mouse and the Disney Studios.  The cars raced along the 210 and on Forest Lawn Drive and not one tear escaped my eyes.   I stood with my husband at a grave site in Mt. Sinai Cemetery, beneath a canopy and saw one very small, plain pine box waiting to be put in its forever bed.   A fine linen shroud embracing my friend in death.  A Star of David atop the coffin.  I prayed, alone and aloud,  the rites for the dead.  She and I – bound forever in that single act. Eishet Chayil.  A woman of valor.  Her price – to me – beyond rubies and beyond the diminished months of life she tried so hard to leave.  In the final moments though, she found the courage and the strength to take one last breath and leave us wishing, too little, too late, for things to have been better.  In the end she decided she had had enough and then left us wondering: where had she been and where did she go?  Her time had finally come.  Grief and faith tell us that she is in a better place but all we really know is that she is in a different place.  She is not with us any longer.   I long to believe her pain and sadness is over and that she remembers us just as we remember her.   I long to believe that my version of the place her soul sought out is what she would have wanted.  I long to have done a thousand things differently for her.  I never saw her cry and perhaps that’s why my tears won’t come just yet.   They will come when it’s time.

Missing Elliott February 15, 2008

Posted by voolavex in Uncategorized.
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cat1.jpgcat1.jpgLast month on January 19th, our oldest cat, Elliott, passed away.  He was  just 18 years old and he exercised his prerogative to die.    He taught me that dying is a hard business.  And as much as I would love to believe he was fighting to stay with us – I know he had no concept of that.  He was merely taking his time and it was hard for him.  Old age and kidney failure were the cause of death – but until his last days he walked around, basked in the sun, drank water and broth, ate a little and slept a lot.  He weighed 4.5 lbs; down from his usual 15.  We hoped he would just go into that dark, good night at home, but try as he did, that good night remained dusk and finally it required our friend, our vet to help him over.  That part, though a difficult decision, was a final act of love and mercy.  He was in a coma and shutting down – but even so, his tiny, exhausted heart beat until the very end – in spite of a small sedative to ease him and a small dose of mercy that let him go. 

He had been mostly mellow in life – but death proved to outwit his laid back style and his stubborn streak emerged –  he was just not quite ready to go.  He spent his last night in my arms – surrounded by his sister and brothers and I hope he was comfortable – I held him like there was no tomorrow – knowing of course there wasn’t a very long one for him. His life-long, noisy, aggressive purr gave over to simply breathing and there we were, my face and his fur dampened by my  sloppy tears; Elliott wrapped in the same, safe arms that had first held him in 1990.   Requisat in Pacem Orange Cat.  You gave us happiness without end.  You convinced your new dad that orange cats were the best and you shepherded a house full of newcomers who could never have been as happy without you.  You had a pink, pig nose with its own special wrinkle that appeared when you groomed, an awful smelly breath (and many visits to the dentist), endless stripes and a face that insisted that  anyone who passed by, really, really needed to say hello – to which you quacked “meow” in return.  You did not scratch or growl.  Your endless patience when kittens sat on you and refused to move was epic.  You were the star of our building and the light of our lives.  As a little lad,  you spent many mornings upstairs with my godson, Oliver,  playing Ghostbusters; meowing loudly at his door to be let in, heading straight for the bedroom.  I liked to imagine you thought you were Dr. Egon Spengler.  You never stopped making us smile.  At one point, bags of catnip had to be taped to the ceiling – so amazing were your early skills at climbing and opening boxes.  Because you had been born around dogs you drank water like a Great Dane.  Your new dad called you Blocko because you decided between us was the right spot to sleep.  That was a short 16 years ago . Your long life, with few mishaps, led us into a sense of a forever that we have learned, simply doesn’t exist. But you left us far too soon Elliott.  And we still weep.  And we miss you.