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December 5, 2013: Rainy Day

We’re back home in Neve Daniel. While it was sunny at the Dead Sea, there is a cold, pounding Neve Daniel rain outside. It’s dark and gloomy.

And so am I.

Ever notice how many kids’ movies revolve around the theme of kids whose mothers die? Thought I had picked out a fun movie to watch with Yedidya. I never noticed it before Stella got sick, now it seems like every movie I pick out starts with a bereaved father trying to figure out how to raise a child. What the heck does Disney have against mothers anyway?

Worked out the wording for the gravestone. It really was jarring to see Stella’s name in all capital letters, with all the usual gravestone stuff around it. You see the name “Stella Frankl” and it looks happy on paper.

But then try out “STELLA FRANKL”

See what I mean?

Maybe it’s just me.

But it’s just one more task that had to be done.

Got a sympathy card from an old friend, at least that’s whose name was on the label. I saw it and I gave a little smile because I remember him fondly. Then I opened it up to find a letter from his wife, telling me that like Stella, he had also passed away from cancer.

Fun day, huh?

I’m back in my new little room. I created a small bedroom from a space that was once a hallway, then a home office, then the place where I had my treadmill. Now the bedroom I shared with Stella has been repainted and is my home gym. I have the treadmill, punching bag, and will be getting a few other things. If anyone on the street below hears music and some screaming coming from the top floor, that’s just me working some stuff out. Keep moving.

But the worst part is every time I think I have saved what I wanted of Stella’s and cleaned other areas of the house, I find stuff. A single fuzzy slipper, an old grocery list, a page from a notebook where she had written down her hours (to the minute) working for Web Yeshiva.

The worst thing is the hair. During chemo it started falling out and every time I think I have cleaned all the drawers, I find another area with it. Cancer is so freaking evil. In addition to everything else, it wants to make sure you don’t forget it. So it leaves you reminders of how in the end, it took what it wanted and left you with nothing good but memories.

I try to stay above it and keep her in my heart and not my brain, to make a shift and focus on the good things in my life, the beautiful smiles of my children. But sometimes it’s just overwhelming.

It’s amazing how much silence the absence of the quietest person in the house can make.

We had some tough times in the last few years. There were times when I would get very emotional over what lay ahead for both of us. Every time, Stella would wrap those thin arms around me and say “Hey, hey. Don’t cry. It will be o.k. Come on.”

It’s not just the loss I’m dealing with. It’s the loss of the one person who could comfort me in times of trouble. It’s a double shot of depresso.


know that the rain will stop at some point and the sun will come out. Till then I’m just going to hunker down in my little room and avoid any more kids’ movies.

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