Thursday, November 20, 2014

Prettiest of Views

A week or so before Sammy died, I was in the car with another adult and a bunch of kids.
The "cups" song came on the radio.

You know the one....

When I'm gone, 
when I'm gone,
you're gonna miss me when I'm gone.

The other adult and I caught the words of this song, and we exchanged a glance.
We were both in tears.

When I'm gone
When I'm gone
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone
You're gonna miss me by my hair
You're gonna miss me everywhere, oh
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone

This past weekend, we celebrated with our family and friends as David was called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah. It was a beautiful Shabbat, made even more beautiful by all of our loved ones who surrounded us. It was almost perfect, as I kept saying. Almost perfect.


When I'm gone
When I'm gone
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone
You're gonna miss me by my walk
You're gonna miss me talk, oh
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone

When Yael got up to read her part, and lead a song, 
I broke a little. Her sweet voice, leading the whole congregation. 

It was at that moment that I felt, so deeply, Sammy's absence.
Why wasn't he singing with her?

When Solomon and Yael shared the honor of opening the ark and they stood near David as he held the Torah, I couldn't help wondering where Sammy was. Why wasn't he up there with them?

I got my ticket for the long way round
The one with the prettiest of views
It's got mountains
It's got rivers
It's got sights to give you shivers
But it sure would be prettier with you

It was a most remarkable and wonderful weekend. We celebrated, we laughed, we cried, we danced. Oh, how we danced. My first-born was called to the Torah as a Jewish adult. A milestone worthy of great blessing and delight. Our family and friends came from near and far to help us celebrate....and to cry with us. I can't have been the only one in the room who felt, so keenly, Sam's absence. I know that we all could feel it. We wore turtles in his honor, and I kept touching the one that was around my neck. Our tears flowed, yet we tried not to mar David's honor.

The view was truly the prettiest.
It would have been even more so with our missing Sam. 

How tall would Sammy have been? I didn't add a turtle to this picture because we're all wearing them. 
342 days since his last quiet breath...
A year ago we were in Israel
And two years ago we visited the HOT unit with a feeling of triumph.


We are honored to announce that an anonymous family foundation has agreed to a matching donation to the 36 Rabbis’ Campaign for the St Baldricks Foundation, to fund the research that will mean so much to families like ours. This foundation has offered $165,000 in a matched donation to any new and increased gifts to the 36Rabbis campaign. Once we reach our part ($165,000), theirs will kick in and the 36Rabbis’ Campaign will be at ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Please help us out?

*An increased gift is any additional gift from someone who has already given. I know so many of you have already donated, and I am so appreciative. Thank you.


  1. Mazal tov on the Bar Mitzvah
    HaMakom yenachem, since mourning never truly ends.

  2. This is a beautiful photo. You all look amazing. What a testament of love.

    I wish Sammy could not there up on the bima with his siblings.

    Mazal tov and <3 and tears.

  3. This day-this year-always, must have been so hard for you. You handle it with such grace, Phyl. You and your family are so strong. Congratulations to David and to all of you for seeing the joy in the day, the event, and yet honoring Sam and carrying him with you.

  4. Mazel tov and hugs and love to you...grieving for you along with feeling joyous and proud for you.

  5. Congratulations to David. And kudos to his brother and sister who helped with his Bar Mitzvah. I know all of them were thinking of their other brother in their hearts on this very special day. And I'm sure their mother's and father's hearts were bursting with pride, happiness and grief on this special occasion.

  6. mazal tov on this lovely simcha! may you have nachat from your children, and happy times together.

  7. the songs keep me thinking of Sammy, keep me loving him