Happy Hanukah T,
In the shower, where I still seem to do my best thinking, I thought that it might be a nice change for me, for you and for anyone who’s been reading my letters to you, that I take break catching you up on my life in the present and instead take a walk with you along streets from our past together, okay?
So for my first time in 20 years I just lit both of our menorahs and sang the blessings extra loud. Did you hear me?
No tears but there’s a vodka on ice waiting for me.
Tuvia Tales #1
I’m remembering our trip to Israel for your medical school reunion, December 6, 2012. I knew it could be cold and rainy in December but I didn’t care. It was important to you and I was set for an adventure to document your experience walking back into your past.
We arrived late at Ben Gurion airport that first night and without Ami there to navigate transportation for us, we let the airport on a shuttle to Jerusalem that seemed to take forever and when we finally arrived close to our Jerusalem hotel it was pouring outside. Walking across a street, searching for an entrance to the boutique hotel that Marla and Jeff raved about, you were ready to explode. I just moved faster to get us inside.
The hotel was a gem but we couldn’t know that until the next morning in the light of day. At 10PM, drenched, we couldn’t even begin to appreciate hotel’s location or its wonderful services. But once inside and registered we started to calm down and relax.
I know you are remembering every second of this trip.
The Jerusalem part of the trip was all about returning to you medical school roots at Hebrew University. You were one of 50 selected for the first medical class at Hebrew University and you always carried that distinction with pride. I never tired of hearing you share that story to friends or interested strangers, in fact I walked a little taller next to you.
As usual we arrived early for the big evening. Our name tags and small Hebrew University pins were waiting for us as I helped you put yours on. You never took it off and that was one thing I made sure you took with you to the grave. I still have mine.
As we made our way through the reception for a bit of food and something to drink, you were in search of familiar faces. Often you would walk up to an older person walking with a walker, take hold of his name tag, glance at it and toss it back. calling him/her- child, from a class 5, 10 even 15 years later than yours.
Finally, you did find your group in the correct conference room- familiar faces from your past and for a few minutes you stayed put. Because you do so many things quickly, once again there was a rush to find them and rush to move on once you spoke with your old friends. I loved watching you find Netta. So much catching up in your usual shorthand.
I was so happy to see you so happy.
We stayed for a presentation in Hebrew. I probably snoozed a bit. We stayed for dinner with friends I knew from back home and then we were off.
And we weren’t done. Back at the hotel we raced to freshen up and meet Donnie Gill across the street. But that story is for tomorrow.
Love you proudly,