Thursday, July 23, 2009


I like to consider myself a strong person. I lift weights at the gym and when called upon can become a pillar of strength to those I love, and those who need it. This week I feel my strength is not really there.

I have been trying to be a pillar of strength these past few days for my mom. To always seem content, so she can sit and visit with well wishers and not worry about me. I am making sure she eats, making sure she has hugs, and tea, and all the things she needs to not be thinking about.

But by late this afternoon I began to feel a void inside myself. I just began to feel tired (aside from a lack of sleep) I realized I felt downright sad. I think my strength is beginning to fade. I have been trying to not show my feelings, keep strong for my mom and uncle, look like a mature together young women for those paying respects, but now I am unable to be strong anymore.

I am sad, I am hurt, I am beginning to accept that one of the people I love the most I will never see again and my strength meter has just gone away.

I find the Jewish mourning process to be one that has so many strengths, being able to sit shiva and be cared for, and to bury quickly to get that hard step over and not linger, but to me there is one problem. For those close to the person who has died, who aren't required to sit shiva there seems to be little time nor place to have one's own mourning period. I am always "on" for my mom, which please don't get me wrong I love doing and couldn't imagine not being here to do so for her this week, yet I feel that I have had no time to sit, and cry, and process, and share my memories.

My time alone these past few days has been driving to and from work and the moments I sneak up to my room while my mom has visitors to check my email and see if any friends are online to chat with.

I first noticed my strength weakening yesterday when alone in the car driving back from the airport where I said good-bye to Avi and Ben. When I drove past Yankee Stadium (where they had just scored their 2nd run) I began to sob, just downright sob. They were winning for Zayda, and I began to realize he is truly gone from this world.

I know my strength will come and go and over time it will return but for now, I am so sorry Zayda, but I just was not strong enough to keep my elbows off the table tonight, but I will try again tomorrow night.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Baruch Dayan Emet

Life may be random and often the surprises it throws us are not the ones we want, but the universe gets its ways. Todays 'surprise' is one we knew would come but did not want to welcome. My Zayda passed away this morning at the beautiful age of 85. He had been sick and we thought he was getting better. He went to a better place today to be with his beloved, my Bubbe. He has missed her so much since September and nothing can stop one from wishing to be with their beloved.

Zayda was one of the toughest yet loving people I know. He lived though a great deal, many hardships, medical challenges, 5 grandchildren (and a grandchild-in-law), 2 loving children, and many friends. He gave us all so much and we will forever be in debt to his love, and I will forever be strong and able to keep my elbows off the table.

It still seems like a dream, he was always so strong and tough, that I could never imagine him succumbing to anything, he even survived burns over most of his body around 50 years ago. It was so hard to seem him ill, and I am relieved he no longer has to suffer.

The coming days and weeks will be an odd adjustment period. Watching my mom retake an avol (mourner) status and continue to say kaddish for another 11 months will be part of the healing, Saturdays will no longer include a trip to see him and share our Rabbi's sermon with him. I no longer will be able to talk about how the Red Sox are leading in the division over his Yankees, or talk politics and about college happenings. He was a Zayda that was not lovey dovey and never let us get away with anything but it was more than clear that he loved me and my family more than anything in the world. I will go back to school and for the first time at college not fear a phone call with grim news on the other end. It will be hard but family and time will help heal wounds, wounds of sadness that can only be closed with tears of sadness and tears of joy. Tear of sadness for my Zayda who I will never see again, tears of joy for the memories we have and the relief of no more pain and suffering.

Baruch Dayan Emet - Blessed is the Truthful Judge
Arthur Benjamin - Avram Aron ben Zlata v' Chaim
October 14, 1923 - July 19, 2009
4 Chesvan 5684 - 27 Tamuz 5769

Friday, July 17, 2009

Intro and Birthdays

Preface: Welcome to my random/spill over blog. I have a blog for my project 365 pics and since that is its sole purpose I am using my very neglected Gluten free blog as a now spill over blog. If there is something I want to blog about, like these awesome Carnivals at I can do it here! Welcome and enjoy!

Birthdays: My mom was amazing at throwing parties, and making cakes. I was looking at everyones posts and decided to take pictures (scanner is on the fritz!) of my favorite cakes/birthdays and share some ideas. Pardon the quality and lovely 80s/90s flashbacks!

This was my 2nd birthday in my class at school. My mom made ice cream cone cupcakes, I remember them being yummy and they look like real cones, without the mess of melty ice cream!

This was the monkey cake for my 2nd birthday party. I was a wild thing as a child and this monkey cake was in due order! I think my mom still has the plan for the cake, 19 years later! I hope to make it for my own little monkey when I have kids. I believe it was chocolate cake and frosting.

This was my 4th birthday. I had a Moo Ba La La La/Barn theme. My mom had made a awesome poster on old boxes my friends and I could color on with the charachters from the books. We made piggy banks, played playdough, and I think made animal cookies. The cake was a small barn cake and little cow cupcakes. I remember this one being so fun!

I was obsessed with being an astronaut when I was little. For my 5th birthday I had an out of this world party!!! My mom made an awesome shuttle cake. It used black licorise for the black bands and red life saves near the windows. One of my favs!

You cannot go to space without going for a moon walk! We took pretty much every pillow/cushion in the house and threw old blankets on them and made a bouncy moon surface, that was a great way for kindergartners to get rid of the sugar rush!

My dad pulled out all the stops making our space station with random odds and ends and tools he had in the garage. I begged for weeks to leave it up, even though it blocked the toy shelves, this was all I needed!

For my 9th birthday I had a mystery party for my closest girl friends. My mom saw this cake in a magazine and did an amazing job recreating it. It is just a circular cake on a regular rectangle cake and the handle is a ding-dong or one of those treats. I loved how the writing got bigger in the magnifying class, and who doesn't like 3 layers of cake!

For my 10th birthday my mom surprised me with this cake! I was in awe, I took dance for 17 years and loved this ode to dance! The hair is rainbow sprinkles, the eyes are mini oreos, and the nose and mouth are icing. What a labor of love!

By 11 I was over parties, but my mom made me this for a family dinner with close friends, I had moved on from a space obsession to a turtle obsession and boy was this cake adorable, and delicious!

For 15 (the other few years were not as fascinating, but still good in my mind!) my mom made a snowboarding mountain cake. She made a slop out of a couple sections of cake, found a lego snowboarder and used lego trees, the candles became the gates on the slope!

Here is the mountain from the side.

Thanks for visiting and happy party planning!