Memory Book for Shoshana Weintraub

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

Entries 150-159

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Visitor: Tina Huckabee
Time: May 3, 2007 9:45 PM

The first year passed. The first year on the Hebrew calendar, the first year on the secular calendar. There are fifty-two Fridays that have passed. People tell me that all the firsts are the hardest; usually, these are people who haven't buried a child.

It is true that the firsts are hard. The first Mother's Day was hard. The first end of school; the first dropping Aaron off at CYJ was hard. The first Father's Day and Steven's birthday were hard. The first Huckabee family reunion and the marriage of Shoshana's cousins Josh and Stephanie that same weekend were hard. All of the b'nei mitzvot that we've attended were excruciating. The camping trip to the Davis Mountains in West Texas was hard. The first day of school for Aaron in August was hard. All of the Jewish holidays were hard; at Shavuot, we were numb. The High Holidays and Sukkot were almost unbearable; we participated and got through those events. Hanukah was depressing-we lit Shoshana's menorah for her this year so that we still had four menorot burning. Shoshana's 14th birthday was hard; the first birthday she didn't see. The anniversary of her bat mitzvah was hard. The snowfall in Austin that she didn't see and get to play in was hard. Spring Break and Aaron's birthday were hard. Passover, her last holiday, was hard.

The problem is that the firsts aren't over; there will always be firsts. Shoshana's friends will shortly be in high school-that's a first that Shoshana won't see. When her friends graduate from high school and go to college, those are firsts that Shoshana won't see. When her friends embark on careers, marry and have families, those are all firsts Shoshana won't see.

Our new cat, Nuri, is someone Shoshana won't experience. Shoshana won't experience Aaron and all the things he is and will be involved with. She will never see him leave 6th grade for 7th grade or 7th grade for 8th grade. She will never blaze the trail of high school for him or brag about what college she got into. She will never be a sister-in-law or an aunt to any wife and children of his.

The firsts without Shoshana will never end.

Visitor: Tina Huckabee
Time: May 3, 2007 9:45 PM

When Shoshana registered at Kealing as an incoming 6th grader, she knew that she would be playing clarinet. As it happened, we bought her clarinet rather than renting one from school. We bought the clarinet at the end of July-well before school started. It is a beautiful instrument. The clarinet came with a case and other clarinet paraphernalia. In the weeks before school started, she would bring her case into the living room or kitchen, open it up and, well, fondle the clarinet. It was in sections in the case and not put together. I suggested to her several times that she might want to take the pieces out and put the clarinet together. Each time, she would look at me in horror and shake her head "no!" She was afraid of damaging it somehow. I laughed and said, "Well, it's not like you're going to play baseball with it!" She treated it with such tenderness and reverence.

Once school started and she was comfortable with the instrument, it was a daily routine to put the clarinet together, practice, and take it apart again. She did take very good care of it, except for the couple of times that she left it on the Cap Metro bus that she rode from Kealing. The first time that she left the clarinet on the bus, neither of us noticed until we got home. Panic ensued. Phone calls to Cap Metro were made and no, the driver didn't turn it in. Visions of her beautiful clarinet ending up in a pawnshop invaded my imagination. Even though we happened to get the clarinet on sale (thank you chain music stores), it was something of an investment. The next day, I was able to get over to Kealing and sure enough, the wonderful driver brought the clarinet directly back to the band hall. (Instruments left on the Cap Metro buses that the Kealing kids ride are no odd phenomenon.)

Another time, Shoshana realized that she left it on the bus just as she climbed into our car. We raced down Shoal Creek, crossed Anderson and the bus passed us as were stuck at the red light at Steck and Rockwood. (I hate that light.) Normally, I drive like an old woman, but not that day. I was speeding down Steck in order to catch up with the bus on the other side of MOPAC at its next stop. We caught up with the bus; Shoshana hopped out of my car and ran to the driver. Her instrument was rescued. I was not amused.

We still have the clarinet. It sits in its case at the foot of her bed on the floor. I've opened the case once or twice and touched the pieces in the same way Shoshana did before she learned to play it. I sometimes wonder if the virus that invaded her heart muscle and stopped her heart was in the clarinet. I guess there's no way to know.

Eventually, I'll donate the clarinet to the Kealing band so that some other young clarinetist will enjoy it as much as Shoshana did.

Visitor: Tina Huckabee
Time: May 3, 2007 9:45 PM

Sukkot is my favorite Jewish holiday. For those readers who are not Jewish, it is the last of the three High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are #1 and #2). It is in essence, a fall harvest festival with links to the modern day celebration of the American Thanksgiving. I worked hard with the kids when they were little to create decorations for the house and our Sukkah (the little temporary structure that we put up in our backyard as part of the celebration of Sukkot). We would make and buy fall-themed decorations for the Sukkah and we always had fun decorating it. We still use the leaf-shaped paper decorations that Shoshana and Aaron glitter painted when they were very little. We eat most of our meals in it and theoretically, the kids sometimes spent the night out in it. Usually, they opted for putting up the tent and sleeping in there. Both kids would invite someone over (different nights) and hang out in the Sukkah and play.

I remember sitting out in the Sukkah especially on Friday and Saturday nights and we would eat dinner and the sing and play games and be generally loud and raucous.

As Shoshana got older, she loved to take a book into the Sukkah and sit at the table and read on weekend afternoons when she had time. I can even remember that she sometimes did homework at the table in the Sukkah.

Her last Sukkot she was so busy that she didn't get to spend much time in the Sukkah. I recall that the band had something one night, she had soccer on two nights and we were at our synagogue on another night. That's half of the holiday. Still, she managed to help decorate and I remember that she did spend some free time in the Sukkah on the weekend.

Visitor: Tina Huckabee
Time: May 3, 2007 9:45 PM

We dismantled our playscape last summer. We built it when Shoshana was 2 &1/2 years old and Aaron was a few months old. We didn't want the typical `buy a kit and put it together sort of playscape,' we wanted something different. Steven likes working with wood so we bought a book on playscape designs and came up with something cool, unique, and that would fit in the space we have.

I have pictures of 2& 1/2 year old Shoshana "helping" her dad with her tool set while he was assembling the pieces. I have pictures of Shoshana being wheeled around in my wheelbarrow by her cousins Shannon and Sara. They came over at the time when I was loading pea gravel in the area where the playscape was and took Shoshana for a ride. I have pictures of Shoshana standing by sunflowers, which had seeded in the area around the playscape.

As Aaron started to walk, I excavated an area for a small sandbox in one half of the bottom floor of the playscape. Both kids loved to play in to sandbox area, but as they grew, both would occasionally bump their heads on the 2X4 boards that were part of the structure of the playscape; I always thought those bumps on their heads explained a lot.

The playscape had three floors. I found this great, heavy, brightly striped fabric and used it on a frame as a roof over the top floor and as the kids learned to climb, they had several floors to hang out in. Eventually, the fabric ripped, but both kids still liked to sit on the top floor. Shoshana especially would take a book, her sketchbook, or her little flute up there and read, draw, or play music.

The Monday or Tuesday before she left for Chicago she came home from school and later, I was looking for her because I didn't know where she was. I called her name out in the backyard; she was sitting on the second floor of the playscape. She was sitting with her back to me and she turned around and looked at me through the little window with the shutters that Steven had put in the front wall. She climbed down and came into the house to do her homework. I remember thinking that she was very quiet and subdued that day.

Visitor: Tina Huckabee
Time: August 7, 2007 9:45 PM

Honey Nut Cheerios was Shoshana's favorite cereal. She always liked Cheerios even as a very little girl. She would have huge bowls of cereal when she came home from school; she was always very hungry. Shoshana loved bread-all bread, especially challah. She was also a great milk drinker and loved cheese, but wasn't particularly fond of yogurt. She loved apples; Fuji, Braeburn, and Cameo apples were her favorites.

Visitor: Tina Huckabee
Time: August 7, 2007 9:45 PM

"Spiderman III" was released May 5. I don't even know the actual name of the movie. We saw it; we do love to help the movie industry make its millions. Actually, I really enjoyed the first two movies. We didn't even see the first "Spiderman" until the second one was out. Shoshana had a great interest in comic books and graphic novels. I don't really get it, but lots of kids apparently do. In 6th grade she took an elective "Comic Books as Literature" and she really enjoyed the class and the teacher. She spent lots of her allowance and gift money/cards at "DragonsLair."

I do like the Spidey story; an everyman who is given a great gift and must learn to use that gift wisely. Shoshana would have definitely wanted to see the movie; besides, she had a little crush on Tobey Maguire, (well. who doesn't?)

The last Harry Potter novel and the 5th Harry Potter movie were released this summer. I have a great sadness that Shoshi will never know the outcome of the story. She absolutely loved the Harry Potter series. All four of us enjoyed the plot lines, the development of the story and characters, and the anticipation of each of the next installments. Shoshana was rereading the 5th book when she went to Chicago. We had many discussions in the month or so before her death about where JK Rowling was headed with Harry and the Gang in the last novel. Before the release of the book, I wondered how I would feel as I read the story. Would I constantly think of Shoshana and how she isn't a part of this anymore? I imagined so. As I read the last book, I did think of what her reaction would be, but I also didn't anticipate the release as much as I would have had she been here to share it with. It's like there's a veil or film over so many things that I do. It's that way with everything; everything I do or participate in, I want Shoshana to be a part of. There are still times that I'll have something happen and I think, "I wonder what Shoshana would think of that?" Or I'll remember something that happened and my first response is, "I wonder if Shoshana remembers that?" As uncomfortable as that is, someday I probably won't have those thoughts. Someday, there will be so much time that will have elapsed that there will be no way that I will have the mental connection with her that I still have.

Visitor: Rachel Sirkin
Time: August 7, 2007 8:40 PM

When I was younger, I went to hebrew school everyday with Shoshana. We were very very close because we were together most afternoons. I remember writing short pointless stories with her, mostly about horses. She had a spirit about her that made me want to be with her all the time, that made me care for her so deeply. I remember we read Number The Stars in hebrew school and at the end of the book, she looked over at me and said, "Rachel, lets read that again together." So we borrowed the book and read it again. She wanted to know every detail on every page, and I couldn't wait to read it again with her. After I moved, we lost touch, and I missed her a lot. When I heard of her death, I was in Jerusalem, and I cried for hours and hours on end. All I can remember saying was, "It's just not fair."

Visitor: Annabella Cavello
Time: November 8, 2007 10:22 PM

This page that I've come to says that I should write my memories of Shoshana and impressions of her (good or bad), but no matter how hard I try, I can't find a single bad thing about her. It might sound silly, but I'd never really believed in a heaven before, but now all I can do is hope that somewhere beautiful people like her are finding rest after working so hard to make all of us feel so happy and safe. Rest Peacefully, Shoshana.

Visitor: Annabella Cavello
Time: November 8, 2007 10:29 PM

I know I should post everything at once, but I keep going back and reading what others have said.

Shoshana, the library is built and your cranes will hang there for as long as it stands, I'm sure. If I could go back to the last time I really saw you at Pelly's birthday party, I'd be sure to say that we really love you. Even if things still turned out like this a second time, I would know that maybe, just perhaps, I could have been the one that made you smile in the one picture that I have of you.

I hope that our cranes gave you wings so you wouldn't have to be tired on your way to heaven.

Entries 150-159

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