Hey everyone. Sorry for my ridiculously long absence. I just wanted to post briefly about a dear friend who has left this world, in the hopes that writing about her passing will help me to confirm that it is a reality.
My friend Shira, z"l, passed away this past week after a 9 year battle with Hodgkin's disease. She was the wife of our former JLIC rabbi and one of the loveliest people I have ever been blessed enough to know. I met her when she and her husband and son moved to the area back in the summer of 2007, and got to know her through various Hillel events and also through babysitting her son. Though she was not well during her time in the Midwest, Shira always had this luminous smile on her face and an ear for anyone who needed to talk. In the early months of 2008, the family decided to return to Israel in the hopes that Shira's condition would improve. Always gracious, Shira never complained or indulged in self-pity--even though she certainly would have had the right to, given the pain and fatigue she suffered almost daily. Her focus instead was always on her family and her community. Many people speak about how important the Torah is, but Shira truly lived its teachings. I thought many times how much I admired her and aspired to be even a fraction of the magnificent woman she was. I know in times of loss we tend to remember only the best qualities about a person, as is human nature. But Shira was different, she really was an exceptional woman, friend, wife, and mother. I didn't get to be a part of her life for an extended time, but that didn't matter because she was the kind of woman you knew you were instantly lifelong friends with. I will always remember our chats after I would watch her son while she attended her numerous doctors' appointments, and our Shabbos walks to and from shul. We talked about so many things, and I really felt like I could ask her for help or advice without judgment. I will miss her terribly, and regret that I was not able to see her for quite some time as I never made it to Israel to visit as I had hoped to do. What I am sure of, though, is that the light of her spirit will never leave me, nor any of the people she touched during her short time here on earth.
26 years just doesn't seem long enough for such a warm and loving neshama to be on this earth... July 1982-February 2009...
Good-bye, dearest Shira, I will miss you so but know that always you are with me.