Wednesday, May 07, 2008


rose's grandma just passed away. i think the technical reason was respiratory distress secondary to a lung infection, but she was 94 and had been in declining health for a while - so it's no surprise. we got the phone call a little before 1. now there's a mad scramble to buy an airline ticket, pack suitcases, fill out FMLA paperwork, and get her dad to the airport before the 3:30 PM flight to newark. because if he misses that 3:30 flight, he won't make the 10:50 overseas flight, and if he misses that, the next flight leaving for israel is at 4 tomorrow afternoon. and if he leaves that late, he'll miss the funeral. those crazy jews - 24 hours from moment of death to moment of burial. that's the max. i understand, historically speaking, the reasons for it. they believe in the resurrection of the body so they don't embalm (incidentally, that's why you can't tattoo yourself, and if you lose a body part you're supposed to preserve it and bury it with the rest of yourself) and that means that you have a very short window to get the buryin done. sucks for rose's dad. he was just there for passover and has only been home about a week. the silver lining in all this is that he did get to see her and say goodbye while she was lucid. i know that occasionally jews delay funerals for family members who must travel long distances, but rose's aunt ester is a SUPAH-STRICT orthodox jew who didn't come to her mother's bedside when she was hospitalized recently (we heard it was for "water on the brain" but it turned out to be "fluid in her lungs") because she had to stay home and prepare her kitchen for passover. ester does not bend the rules, even in situations when it is allowed by the tradition.

so, in honor of rose's grandma - sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, concentration camp survivor, a romanian jew who settled outside of tel aviv after the horror of ww2 was over - זיכרונה לברכה (may her memory be a blessing).

[ed. note: 2:39 pm and p just called me as she was leaving the airport. they got it all done, and dad will make his flight. so i'm glad that p's dad got on that plane.]

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