Memory Book for Shoshana Weintraub

The following are the memories those of us have of Shoshana/Shoshi/Shosha :

Entries 130-139

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Visitor: Shoshana's Family
Time: April 7, 2007 9:35 PM

The following are a continuation of the entries which are memories of Shoshana's mother, Tina Huckabee. The previous page contains the start of these recollections. We know there are thousands of memories of Shoshana still out there and we wish to capture those memories so they don't get lost. If these memories remind you of any incidents of Shoshana's life, please add them to the memory book. Please encourage your friends and all those who know Shoshana to do the same.

Visitor: Tina Huckabee
Time: April 9, 2007 9:38 PM

Shoshana had a Spiderman skirt. We found the fabric when we were thinking about making kippot for her bat mitzvah. She fell in love with the material; it was really cute. She decided that she wanted to make a skirt from it. I know how to sew, but don't like doing it very much and hadn't in many years; she talked me into looking for a pattern and I had her do most of the work in making the skirt. She finished the skirt just before school started in August.

She had started raiding my closet for clothes because we were close in size. She especially loved this long, full, black skirt that I didn't wear very often. It was slightly too big on her, so she always wore it with a belt. She paired that with a black sweater of mine and that became her Wind Ensemble outfit. Kealing's Wind Ensemble girls have to wear black dresses or skirts with black shoes. Shoshana managed to wear her own shoes instead of swiping a pair of mine.

The weekend before the Chicago trip, we bought a different top to go with the skirt. She was concerned that the sweater might be too hot so I bought her a sleeveless black blouse. However, she decided to take the sweater to Chicago with her and left the new blouse at home. I wore Shoshana's new black blouse to her funeral on May 1.

Visitor: Tina Huckabee
Time: April 9, 2007 9:38 PM

When Shoshana was a baby, I just couldn't resist dressing her in pink, frilly stuff. Well, not too frilly, but definitely girly things. She was a beautiful baby. From the beginning, she just had this pretty face and gorgeous smile. She didn't have all that much hair though until she was about a year old. I used to get slightly annoyed when someone would comment,"what a pretty baby-boy or girl?"

As she grew older (toddler and preschool age), her hair became really thick and was usually long. There were moms who were envious of my daughter's beautiful hair (which couldn't have been bestowed on someone who cared less!). I had a friend who called Shoshana "The Breck Girl." (For those too young to remember, Breck shampoo used to advertise their product using a model with especially long and gorgeous hair. No doubt, the photos were as touched up then as they are now.)

I am grateful that Shoshana never got lice in her hair.

Visitor: Tina Huckabee
Time: April 9, 2007 9:38 PM

Shoshana's best friend of many years, Laura, gave us a wonderful gift on Shoshana's 14th birthday. Laura's dad took a picture of Shoshana, Laura, and another good friend, Audrey, in the car on the first day of 6th grade. We drove the carpool that day. There are these three smiling, bright girls on their first day of 6th grade and middle school. This photo is one of my very favorite pictures of Shoshana (and of Laura and Audrey, as well!). Laura took the photo, digitized it, and then painted a portrait from the photo. It was apparently very painstaking work.

I wasn't quite sure where to put it. I have lots photos around the house of Shoshana, but this is in a different category. I finally decided to hang it in the hall right next to Shoshana's room. When I wake up in the morning and I walk down the hall, I walk past it. As I'm coming into the house from wherever I've been, I pass by the portrait to enter the house. When I go to bed at night, I must walk by it again. I can almost imagine Shoshana peaking out from the door of her room when I look at this portrait.

Visitor: Tina Huckabee
Time: April 10, 2007 8:29 PM

After Shoshana was accepted into Kealing's magnet program, she had to register for her classes in March of 2004. I remember being shocked that she wanted to take band. "Why on earth do you want to be in band?" She just did. She was very interested in learning how to play flute. She bought an inexpensive flute when we were at the Renaissance Faire in Waxahachie the previous April and had learned to play it. She would often sit on our playscape and noodle around on that flute.

I really thought that she would want to take art, since she had always had such an interest in drawing, color and sculpture. Kids are weird.

She really enjoyed band in 6th grade; she ended up playing the clarinet, which she loved. All of Kealing's programs are excellent, including the band program. Toward the end of the year, she auditioned for and was accepted into the Wind Ensemble. I heard the Wind Ensemble and the Jazz Band at the end of her 6th grade year for the first time. I was floored. I couldn't believe that these bands were a bunch of 7th and 8th grade kids. In truth, all of the Kealing bands are excellent. The 6th graders are in the Beginning Band and the Symphonic band are mostly 6th and 7th graders. Wind Ensemble are 7th and 8th graders and Jazz Band members are all in 8th grade. Also, there is a very good steel drum band which Shoshana was thinking about joining in 8th grade.

Seventh grade at Kealing is very challenging. For the first time in her life, Shoshana had to work extremely hard to achieve the kinds of results that had always come somewhat easily to her. Band was no exception. She would practice, but would always get nervous when she had to play solo. She really struggled with her clarinet and whined that she wanted to quit band. I wouldn't let her and I don't really think that she was that serious, the complaining was just the proverbial `cry for help'.

Actually, one of her clarinet do-dads broke in December and we had to get it fixed. The very nice young man who helped us asked Shoshi if she was having trouble, "getting air through your instrument?" She had a very surprised look on her face, said "Yes!" and we had the whole thing cleaned and retooled and life with the clarinet was much better.

Just before the Chicago trip I wrote a check for some CDs that the band was selling as a fundraiser. They had recorded the music in March and I remember Shoshana telling me that the band director was irritated with the quality of their playing that day and had said to them, "You sound like a middle school band!" I thought that was so funny and I knew what he meant from having heard that band play before.

Now, in the car as I'm driving, I often listen to that CD. I listen to all five bands play; there are three pieces of music recorded from each band. Obviously, I listen with more than just my ears when the "English Folk Suite," "Rondeau," and "SANG!" are playing; these are the pieces that the Wind Ensemble recorded for the CD. I remember how Shoshana would sit at the end of her bed, back straight, and practice playing her clarinet. And practice. As I hear the clarinet parts, I see her in her room and then I think, "There's Shoshana, I can hear her!" It's one more way that she can be with me.

Visitor: Steven Weintraub
Time: April 10, 2007 8:29 PM

For 8th grade Shoshana was accepted into the Jazz band. She was very excited about it. She enjoyed the unique structure of Jazz. At one point, I found some recordings of a modern Jazz clarinet quartet and downloaded them for her to listen to. Every once in a while when she was working on the computer and I walked by I'd hear them playing in the background. She told me she would dream about getting solos. I joked with her that the clarinet wasn't a modern Jazz instrument and last good Jazz soloist was Artie Shaw (you can't count Pete Fountain). In February, after the umpteenth time telling me she wanted a solo, I commented that the only way it would happen was if she did the arrangement. After that, every few days she would come up to me and ask how hard do I think this or that song would be to arrange.

I never really knew how much Shoshana liked Jazz until after she died. Tina and I never intruded into her privacy much and that included looking into her Ipod. After she died, we looked at the music on it. About 15% was modern junk (White Stripes, Weezer), another 30% was classic rock (Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Santana), and the rest was classic Jazz: Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, etc. She even had some pieces from new players like Nestor Torres.

Mentioning Nestor Torres reminds me of a story. One time when Shoshana was telling me yet again she wanted to play Jazz on her clarinet, I again ribbed her about it not being a Jazz instrument. She countered, pointing out clarinets in various Jazz albums I have, and then triumphantly stated, "Now the Flute - there's a instrument that can't be used for Jazz." I pulled out a picture of (Jazz flutist) Nestor Torres and pointed to him. She still didn't believe it until I played a piece of his.

Visitor: Anonymous
Time: April 10, 2007 9:59 PM

It's been almost two years and there hasn't been a single day that has gone by that I haven't thought about Shoshana. We went to different elementary schools and our paths only crossed every once in a while at Kealing so we weren't very close friends, but I still miss her so much. If her life has touched mine this much, I can't even imagine how many people it did. Shoshana was always such a wonderful person to be around. I remember having a great time playing tag at someone's birthday party with her and later arguing about when we were supposed to enter for "The Tempest." That was so fun and I'm only sorry I didn't get to know her more in the short time that we had together. I loved Shoshana and still do.

Visitor: Tina Huckabee
Time: April 15, 2007 12:54 PM

The week before Shoshana's bat mitzvah we attended Shabbat morning services. After services, Shoshana's Hebrew teacher wanted her to read over her Torah readings one last time before The Day. He took the Torah scroll out and she began chanting her aliyot. Shoshana's friend Rina and I were also there supervising. Shoshana read Hebrew well, but could get lazy about some of her pronunciations. The letter called "chet" is pronounced with a guttural "chkch" sound and the letter "hey" is pronounced with an "h" sound. The letters are also similar looking. Shoshana knew the difference between the two letters; she was simply lazy at times. That day she was lazy in her pronunciations.

As she chanted, Rina and I corrected her at every mistake. Shoshana kept mispronouncing the "chet" as an "hey". Rina and I would make the guttural "chkch" sound every time Shoshi made a mistake. We started getting a bit silly about it and the three of us were giggling. Her Hebrew teacher began to get a little annoyed at us, but Rina and I persisted on harassing Shoshana about her mispronunciations.

Rina and Shoshana always sat together at services. They were usually very good about following in their prayer books, but each girl almost always had a pleasure book under her prayer book. Sometimes I would glance over at them and both were reading what they weren't supposed to be reading.

I often sat a few rows behind them and I remember their two kippot-covered heads-- Rina with her dark, thick curls and Shoshana with her golden waves. Occasionally, they put their heads together to share some confidence.

Whenever I see Rina now, I always imagine Shoshana sitting beside her.

Visitor: Brigeda
Time: April 21, 2007 12:37 AM

A year has passed, and I still remember the vibrant, smiling kiddo very well. I cannot imagine what you are going through, and I just wanted to say that we're all thinking of you, and of course Shoshana. I greatly admire your strength. I said it earlier, I wish I could have had the chance to get to know her better, but nevertheless, she was my friend, and I still miss her. Whenever someone is talking about her, I only hear them say good things, and I'm glad that everyone remembers her so fondly. Shoshana's death made me realize, even more, that life is a precious gift, and we should live it to the fullest. I promise you not a day goes by where we don't think of your daughter. She was a great girl. Best wishes to you all.

End of Entries 130-139

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