Friday, March 7, 2014

Frozen in Winter

It's been quite a winter, hasn't it?
I know that people will be talking about the winter of 2013-2014 for a long time to come.

Whenever someone tells me that this is "the worst winter ever," I usually just nod and agree.

Worst winter ever.

I feel like the weather is mirroring our own family's experience.
Worst winter ever.

I'm sure you've also seen the Disney movie Frozen. It is a big favorite in our house. Everyone loves the soundtrack and some of us even went to see the sing-a-long version. Solly and Yael (even David) walk around humming or singing the songs....all the time. Okay, me too.

It was also the last movie that Sammy saw in the theaters. We saw it in Orlando during his Make-A-Wish week. (I do tell myself that he would be completely annoyed with Yael and Solly's constant warbling and in true obstinate-Sammy-fashion, tell us he hates the movie now. Or maybe he would be singing right along...)

There are a few parts of this movie that bring me to tears each time. Anna sings that now-iconic song to Elsa: "do you want to build a snowman?" because Anna can't understand why Elsa is cutting herself off from her beloved little sister. I weep when I hear this. Like Anna, Solly can't understand where Sammy is. Yael and David miss his presence. The beauty of this sibling story is so deeply poignant for me. I never fail to be brought to tears by this bit of the movie and this song. I hear Elsa's voice: "go away, Anna!" and I hear Sam saying "go away" when he was feeling particularly sick or uncomfortable. Oh...

And then there's this: this image below is, to me, one of the most powerful pictures of grief:
Elsa is desperately mourning her dead parents. She is locked in a place of deep loneliness and loss, of sadness and heartbreak. Her room fills up with the cold and snow and ice....and she is at its epicenter. Oh, I know how she feels. The cold threatens to overtake, the sadness overwhelms. Eternal winter beckons, and it's so easy to stay there, to let it overcome and fill up all the empty spaces.

Sometimes I feel just like her. Sitting huddled against a wall, the swirling darkness all around.

But I am not alone.
And that makes all the difference.
It really and truly does...
Elsa and Anna reconcile. They come together in beautiful sibling harmony.
I cry then too. Because our ending just isn't the same.
Oh, how I wish it could all have been tied up in a neat happily-ever-after-ribbon.

So I have to say again: worst winter ever.
February, 2011
February, 2010
December, 2009
January, 2009


  1. Thinking of you and your family as Shabbat approaches. Sending love.

  2. Shabbat shalom. Thinking about you and your family.

  3. hugs to you and your fam. (and yes, there is so much depth to frozen -- when i see the reviews saying that the lego movie is better, i just have to shake my head.)

  4. I have been thinking this about you and your family all along. It is sung almost every day in our house. My little Gracie listens to the soundtrack right before bed. And I always cry while singing along. I was excited to hear the Broadway version is already in the works and may even take a trip to New York to see it. The story resonates with every person who has suffered loss and isolation and my wish is that the light of Sam's spirit continues to bring change. Change in not only cancer research but in the way that we love each other with a true heart. The words that you send out have a life of their own. You have a true gift to reach out across the Web and to make change happen I hope that I can carry on the change as much as you have inspired me to do so. God's blessing to you. And hopefully a little sun to melt the snow!

  5. Shabbat Shalom. I pray that this shabbas brings you and your family peace and solace. My love and heart is with you

  6. wishing you a good and healthy week. much love and warmth.

  7. "Frozen" is a good word for my Internet! Only now can I reply, and I still can't see the image of Elsa, but it cannot be more telling than the image I have of your own face. "Worst" winter ever. There, you see, it can never be so bad again. Superman Sammy is warmer than climate change as he shows us the way.

  8. Longest winter ever for me too,my little Maya Eva Ramon left us at the tender age of three months and the wound is still bleeding but in every little flower and each delicate butterfly i see her face and I smile agai,though in pain.