Friday, September 11, 2009

Celebrating Mishpochah

I was so touched and proud to hear that my beloved Auntie Eleanor has been reading and enjoying my blog. When one sends these rambling thoughts out into the ether there is no knowing who (if anyone) will show up.

What a wonderful word mishpochah is. I love the fact that there are a dozen different spellings, just as there are dozens of different ways people can be connected to you to count as part of your mishpochah.

Yesterday I attended the funeral of my cousin's cousin's mother. My Dad's sister's SIL. A woman who proudly laughed back in 1982 that her BIL's, BIL's, BIL's BIL and her BIL's, BIL's BIL had both won the Nobel Prize! The sweetheart who threw a wedding shower for me and my husband at The Stream, her gorgeous country retreat. Who invited me to sing at fundraisers and encouraged me to be active in her children's theatre company The Golden Horseshoe Players and her pet charity for Israeli children Birthday Angels.

The funeral, interment and shiva were all models of grace and dignity. The honour and love that everyone feels for Sharon, Larry and their whole family was palpable.

My cousin Nomi asked me to tell her what I saw and heard. At the shul I saw a little boy quietly and respectfully comforting his Dad. At the cemetery I saw many of Max's descendants striding through the beautiful Holy Blossom Memorial Park in search of his stone before heading back to the fancy stretch limo for the drive back to the shiva house. At the shiva I saw a nephew perched on the arm of his bereft Uncle's chair for a long quiet chat in the midst of all the laughing, talking and reminiscing.

I bumped into an old friend who I didn't even know knew the Enkins. But he is 'like us', and like them. And he and all the other friends who were there are part of their mishpochah.

I heard story after story of Sharon Enkin's goodness, determination, generosity and encouragement.

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