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January 20, 2014: A Park for Stella

I don’t write much about Stella any more. That it no way reflects how I feel. I love her just as much today as I did when she was alive. And I will for the rest of my life.

It’s just back then, writing was good therapy. I was able to share my terror, my grief, my loneliness. For me, this blog was like going to a deep dark pit and screaming down it. Then, waiting for the echo and feeling a little better because Stella’s death was not going unnoticed. While I wanted to reach out and stop the world from turning so that everyone on the planet would know what had happened, this was the best I could do.

But what I now realize is that, strangely, life does go on. The world does keep turning. We go to work, school, the grocery store, etc. We could even go out as a family and celebrate Max’s birthday without crying. And that’s all right.

Because that’s what she would have wanted.

Don’t get me wrong, there are places and situations that overwhelm me. And I try to think ahead and avoid them. Not always possible, but worth attempting.

I still think of her a lot. But I think of her more than the fact that she’s not here. Surprisingly, I am getting a little more used to the fact that when I walk in the door, she won’t be here to ask me about my day.

But…. but…. I can deal with it.

Every morning and night, I go to her picture and ask her how she thinks I’m doing. And I think she answers that I’m doing o.k. She was never, ever into promoting herself. She was ok with her name being on the new chemo room renovations, only because it would give comfort to others with cancer.

And now I have one more project, and I am sure she would approve.

I want to build a small park in her name here in Neve Daniel.

Nothing fancy or extravagant, but something nice and peaceful. A place where people could sit on a bench in the warm sunshine of Neve Daniel and admire the view and think of the impact this amazing person has had in her short time on this world.

We have a place in mind. If you know the Yishuv, it’s across the street from the Sephardic shul. That’s where Stella used to walk our dog every morning. And where I walk her now. There’s nothing but dirt and rocks there now. But a few trees and benches could be very nice. And I could write an inscription on a stone that would be much nicer and reflective of her soul that what is written on her grave.

To tell you the truth, I have not visited the grave yet and have no strong desire to do so. I would much rather visit a place in the community that she loved so much with words that I can write from the heart.

I am working hard to remember the good, forget the awful, and to be able to walk with my head up. We all are.

And as a marathon runner, I am fully aware that often, the hardest part of any race is the first few steps. After that, things are not easy, but you find a natural rhythm that will see you through the long road ahead.

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