Memory Book for Shoshana Weintraub

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

Entries 90-99

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Visitor: Rhonda Grover
Time: October 2, 2006 8:02 AM

Time has passed, just as Shoshana, and this my particular memory of her will always typify my impression of her. Shoshana and my son, Will, were classmates at Gullett Elementary from kindergarten to 5th grade. As 5th graders, it is traditional that 5th graders leave behind a legacy to their elementary school as they move on to middle school. Shoshana's 5th grade class undertook to make a commemorative quilt that would incorporate the 5th graders major art project for the year. I was in charge of framing the quilt and having the students come by my home to quilt their particular piece. On a Saturday, between soccer games, Shoshana and her mother, Tina, came by to quilt. Shoshana was so careful and meticulous and asked many questions about quilting and was genuinely interested in the fact that my mother had pieced the quilt. She liked the fact that a Gullett student's grandmother had contributed to their 5th Grade Legacy. I still go by the Gullett Elementary library and view the commemorative quilt that the class of 2004 quilted and when I look at Shoshana's square, I remember her intense curiosity, and how much she wanted to make her contribution just right. She was so special that way.

Rhonda Grover

Visitor: Reuven Robbins
Time: October 4, 2006 1:03 PM

I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Shoshana for about five years, the last part of which was spent in preparing her for her Bat Mitzvah. Shoshana was one of those rare students who was always seeking to learn more, to go the extra mile. To give just one example, Shoshana while learning to lead the Shacharit service decided that she should be able to read the silent (individual) sections as well as the community sections. So we integrated that learning with the chnating of the public prayers, and stayed on each paragraph until Shoshana was satisfied that her fluency met up with her high standards.

Only Shoshana could feel comfortable enough with her Judaism and have the wit to describe Elijah as getting "fershnickered" (drunk) from visiting every Seder to taste of the cup named for him. Only Shoshana could add to her Dvar Torah her public wish to get a minature horse for her Bat Mitzvah.

Visitor: Jim Tata
Time: October 12, 2006 10:25 PM

I never really knew shoshana that well. she was in a couple of my classes in 6/7th grade. i would always see her when i walked down the halls in kealing. but i never really stopped to talk to her, with the exception of school work.

   it was only just before the band trip that i had found out that she had liked me since the beginning of 6th grade. this made me feel terrible that i had someone that liked me, apparentely a lot, and i never did anything about it. and I'm just now having feelings towards her. also, over the years, it seems like everyone except me knew that she liked me that way.

   I don't really know what else to say, except,


Visitor: Smadar Ronen
Time: October 14, 2006 8:22 PM

It's been almost 8 months since Shoshana died and sometimes it seems like it was only yesterday when it happened. Today I read what Katie and Mr.Ermer had to say and the tears rushed back like the day I found out.

It was a Friday and I had just gotten off the bus from school and was sitting in front of the TV, my mind off somewhere. The phone rang and when I answered it was Katie, asking me to meet her at a street the marked the middle point between our houses. As I walked down to meet her, I could just feel something was wrong.

We ended up not taking more than 6 steps when she blurted out that Shoshana had died. I was shocked and not until after we walked for almost 7 blocks did it hit me. I felt guilty that while Katie cried, I couldn't even manage a tear. After we split up, I went back to my empty house and broke down.

I'm not a crier and when my mom and sister came home and found me, I just wished it would all go back to normal again. Katie and I joined up in the force and made bracelets with Shoshanas name on them along with helping with the crane folding.

Even now, I can still hear her laugh and argue with me on whether Star Trek was lame or not (I thought it was). Katie and I try to talk about her when we can, taking walks together to discuss things we don't usually tell other people, but I always feel she's talking too.

There are a million memories I have of her and one that stands out the most is when Katie, Shoshana and I were going back to Crack the Code after lunch. Since Mr.Ermer always kept the door locked until after lunch, we got bored in the hall and started throwing one of our lunchboxes around.

We'd had a really exciting lunch and Shoshana decided to tell Mr.Ermer all the details as he unocked the door. I can still imagine when she kind of punched his arm a little and the look on his face when he turned around and said, "Did you just punch me?!". It was priceless.

Visitor: Sasha Heinen
Time: October 15, 2006 8:39 PM

Oddly, the most intimate and deep-felt cry that I had about Shoshana was around people that would never know her, and never did. I was a sleepaway camp, and as I started to drift off to sleep, I thought about her and what she was doing now. The counselor, Dallas, came in to tell us a story. She had just gone to a wedding, and she was telling me and my cabin mates a very sweet story about the toast that she had given the bride and groom. I was still thinking about her, and this epiphany hit me: She'd never have that, a wedding, a husband, a beautiful memory of a beautiful toast in her honor. By the time I finally got to sleep, my pillow was wet.


Visitor: Ben Holub
Time: October 20, 2006 9:25 PM

Steven - I pray there will be a day when we are all together and you can introduce me to Shoshana and then I will get to know her face to face.

May God richly Bless your family.

Visitor: Dominic Wood
Time: November 10, 2006 3:50 PM

I met Shoshana in my 6th grade. It was the first day of school as we entered the cafeteria to be placed in our advisories. I sat down next to her and had no idea who I was talking to. Everybody was nervous to be in a school full of young prodigies, but not Shoshana. She was open hearted and full of energy, much like her Mother and Father; ready to take on a great adventure.

She remained in my advisory for the remainder of the year but we didn't become friends until we had a SMIA class together in the second semester. We sat at the same table and looked at each other.
She groaned, "Oh god, I have to sit with you?!"
"What's wrong with that?" I asked.
"You're such a perv!"

Sadly I couldn't argue with that complaint but as weeks went past we really got to know each other. Shoshana was an amazing woman. The more you got to know her, the more you enjoyed her company. She was by far the most interesting person I have ever met.

It was the start of 7th grade and we remained in separate classes from each other but we didn't lose touch. We both rode the same bus, 858. When we weren't talking or complaining about Mr. Valdez's evil quiz's she slept. At first I thought she would get car sick but then I realized that motion made her very sleepy.

One thing that was truly great about Shoshana was her sense of humor. She made us all laugh with her crazy comments. I remember in October when she wore a handy man costume and on her name tag it said "Intelligent Designer." Jaz, Shoshana and bursted out laughing until our sides hurt and we stareted to get teary. Another time was when our Texas History teacher, Mr. Valdez was talking about popularity and spoke of the incedent where he dropped a coke and all the kids walked off because they thought he was uncool. Shoshana started to giggle and raised her hand to ask, "Mr Valdez, did your drop the coke or did you drop 'The coc'?" The entire class bursted out laughing. She kept us going through times both boring and dull. Without her, I don't know how any of us could survive Mr. Valdez's horrid lectures.

It was the second semester and I had begun to realize that liked Shoshana more than a friend. I remember how awkward it was for me to ask her to be her boyfriend. And now that I look back on it I feel embarrassed of how ridiculous I must have sounded to her. But now that I look back on it, I'm glad that I asked her. We were together from the end of December to the day that she died

It was some time in January when I received an invitation in the email with odd golden textured marks on the front. I recognized immediately that the markings were Hebrew and was very confused.
I opened the envelope and it translated to "Please come celebrate Shoshana Ruth Bat Mitzvah"

I remember driving up to the JCC and being amazed at how huge it was. Once I entered I recognized friends of Shoshana from Kealing like Alec, Smadar, Jacqueline, and others that had come to celebrate. And that's when I met Aaron, a very goofy child who had a very unique sense of humor. He handed out candy to throw at Shoshana at the end of her Bat Mitzvah. At first I thought it was some prank but then I realized it was Jewish tradition.

We all sat as Shoshana read Hebrew from the Torah and enlightened us with her fluency and understanding of the text. The coolest part was when we all sang "We all Live in a Yellow Submarine" in Hebrew. It was fun to participate in the Religious aspect of Shoshana's life. She had told me before in the 6th grade ways to persuade her parents into getting a miniature horse and then presented her argument in front of all of us for a laugh or two. After the actual Bat-Mitzvah we went to the Main Event. we all sat down at a very large table. I was amazed by the fact that Aaron and I were the only guys at the table.

I remember him sitting next to me at the table, looking over only to say, "My God your eye brows are bushy, are you French!!!???" Shoshana became agitated with him for making fun of her friends so she punched him in the shoulder. Aaron began to cry so Steven had to pull them both aside. I remember looking over and seeing Steven scolding Shoshana for her being mean to her brother. After we had eaten as much pizza as possible, we all went off to play arcades. I had noticed that Shoshana was still frustrated with the situation so I asked if she wanted play a couple of games with me. We went over to play air hockey. At first I wanted to go easy on her and let her win to make her feel better. Never before have I been beaten that badly at air hokey. Shoshana was the air hockey master compared to my newbie understandings. She beat me 27 to 2. I was frantically trying to get the pucks into the goal but no matter how hard I tried she just kept smashing them into mine. I was happy that I had cheered her up, even if it did cost me 6 dollars and my ego.

Once soccer season started we didn't get to see each other as often because she would stay after school. And when she did come on Tuesdays on the bus, she would sleep! Finally in April when she was able to come every day I was able to see her again. It was Wednesday, the day before she left for Chicago. She was very happy that day. Excited to be able to adventure into the land of the Blues Brothers, one of her all time favorite movies where as she put it "Has the best chase scene in the history of movies." My last words to her were "have a great trip! See you on Monday!"

It was a Saturday Morning and my mom and I were going to a friends house like every other Saturday. Once we had gotten their my Mom's friend Terry seemed troubled. She told me to wait outside as she talked to my mom. Without any complaint, I obeyed. As I waited outside I heard a faint crying in the distance. My mom came outside and sat down next to me with watery eyes. I asked her, "Mom? What's wrong?" She sniffled and once she could speak she comfortingly said, "Honey...Shoshana's dead. She died Friday morning on the field trip." I could barely speak. I had been shot down in flames with words that continuously fired at my brain but wouldn't process."
"h-h-how???" I grabbed the paper and it only said "Girl on trip dies of natural causes."

When I went back to school everybody, including those who didn't really know Shoshana, were upset. A few of us were crying and were concerned if I had heard what happened. Later that day I found out about the funeral after school. Mr Gurgal gave me a ride to the funeral. Hundreds surrounded a small blue tarp under a hot sunny day as the white oak box lowered into the pits of the earth. Her friends and family all shoveled in a scoop of dirt one by one, until Shoshana's body was buried, but her soul was forever embedded within our hearts.

For one of our last projects in English I wrote a poem in her honor and I would like to share it with everybody. Its called "Life slope and the back up again."

Today was the day of silence
All in despair and not a word spoken
Life at full speed and suddenly halted
Your own soul inside all torn up and broken.

Time froze at the moment of death
Life just as easily created as it is destroyed
Friends in despair and family cloaked in darkness
A twisted clump of feeling lost forever in an endless void.

Moments where I was one of them
No emotion on my face, pushed down by powerful force
Feeling sucked out of my soul leaving dry emptiness inside
My body and movement way of course.

But change was immanent
The way to move on is not to forget
To forget is to cower from your emotions
That road only leads down into the darkest pit.

I am willing to move on
For I can remember
I can't just throw my memories away
Her Bat Mitzvah was just near last December.

With a heart full of rage
I now relinquish all from my soul
My emotions back in place
And my mind ready to take back control.

our encounter was a great and joyful one
In this small, small world I believe that this one was worth my while
I don't even desire to be told the obvious
Life will go on, inches first, then a mile.

We touch one and all. We connect
One death is not limited to only one person
The pain passes through the community
If one holds onto sadness, the whole community will worsen.

If we care, we remember
If we remember, we can let go
Your memory will not leave us
We will not lose what we know

We must give thanks that your soul rests in peace
This year must give way to a new Rosh Hoshanah
Friends who shared your music now play in your honor.
We will never forget you, beloved Shoshana.

When I first wrote this I didn't that I would be able to let go of my pain. But now I can see that over time we can remember the good things over the bad. Shoshana most definitely did good for this world and I can say without a doubt that I, among many others, will remember the touch of her hand, the warmness of her heart, and the kindness in her words. Death is never forgotten when life surrounds it and Shoshana has plenty life surrounding her spirit making sure that our memories of her will not fade into darkness. She did not just die a girl, she died a woman, a woman who loved others as well as the world around her.

Shoshana is Hebrew for Susan which means graceful lily. And I do believe that she was the most graceful of the entire field that sways in the breeze. It is unfortunate that of all the lilies she was plucked from this earth not by weeding water from others or deforesting the soil around her, but by a random gust of wind that blew her away from our realm of existence. We can only experience the impression made on the ground around her. And we will never plant something else in her place but leave that memorial of what she did for this earth.

-Dominic Wood

Visitor: Aliyah McRoberts
Time: November 10, 2006 11:12 PM

Ever since kindergarden it seemed that me and Shoshana were always together if not at school, then in girl scouts or at synagogue. From the start it was obvious that she loved animals. In girl scouts she would tell me how we should volenteer at the animal shelter or how our group should adopt a wolf pup at this wolf rescue center. And she would tell me about her dogs and how she loved to play with them and how cute they were. And then I would try and convince her that cats were better but she always seemed to have more reasons why dogs were better pets.

Then in 7th grade we were in the same gym class with coach Toliver. Shoshana naturally gifted at sports and was the only other person in my gym class to get excited when we played kickball outside. Every one wanted her on their team since she could kick the ball so far (probably from soccer). I remember in 5th grade during recess at Gullett everyone would play soccer, no one would play on the jungle gym. Well one day Brandon, Dillion and Shoshana decieded them against the rest of our class. it was like 3 vs. 15 AND THEY STILL WON!

Basically Shoshana was a smart and witty person and eveyone could learn something from her, I remember in 3rd grade she would always raise her hand for the math problems cause she almost always knew then answer. Shoshana we miss you everyday and you are always on our minds. Rest In Peace

Visitor: Katie Van Leeuwen
Time: November 12, 2006 7:01 PM

I've been reading more entries that my friends wrote and they seem like different people. I don't know if I've ever seen this side of my friends before, but I guess Shoshana's death really changed all of us. I never stop thinking about her, I barely think about anything else but her and it makes me really sad. Especially that I can't go back to the happy moments with Smader, her, and me. All I can think about is the funeral, and the walk I took with Smadar, and everything our english classes wrote, and the cranes, and chicgo, and her last words her and last thought. I can't go back, but I wish I could.

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