Dear Tsiki,
Today you would have been 26. Doesn’t seem too old in the grand scale of things does it? As for me, days like this, I feel ancient. I suppose the time since you passed is shown in the height of your nephew Ben, and of course, his vocabulary. When you were here, he was young enough that any language worked. I could prance around him and he would just smile and answer in Jibberish. Now, he’s a grown boy. His dad asked him a couple weeks ago who I was. ‘Is Susi your aunt’ was the first question poised. He looked over at me, across the table and carefully answered: ‘no she isn’t my aunt’. My aunts are ___ and ____. ‘Is she your sister?’. ‘No! she isn’t my sister’ he giggled. ‘Then- who is Susi??’ asked his father. This is when Ben became a little bit perplexed. He finally answered ‘ Susi is the woman who is always at Sabba and Safta’s house. Makes sense.
These days, when I talk about you- it’s more of a story and less of a personal experience. I make sure all the keywords are checked: Hebron, operation gone bad, Thailand, reserve service, hardest thing in my life. Existential crisis. Judaism. realization. I grew. Time passes. My father. It was very tough. His family will never be the same. Time passes. Time Passes.
I’d like to think commemorating your birthday is a good thing. For me, days like this- there is a lot of silence in my heart, the days before your birthday are always the same. I am reminded of things that have been locked away. A healthy way I believe to separate my past with my present. I let these reminders float to the top of my soul and I cope with them. There are some things that have traumatized me, the phone call- the sheva- how Israel fell into my lap and I became the project manager of my own self and how Susi is going to come out of this ok.
2 years and 8 months since you left us. Time has healed many wounds but I know the sadness will always remain on some level. I’m fortunate to be in a really happy place. I’m fortunate that I am in love with someone who is now my best friend, and who understands me because he understood how important you were in my life. I am fortunate that I have been able to move forward and become a healthy adult.
Marking your birthday also marks many things in my life. It’s a way to see how I’ve grown in the last three years. How being 24 was a lifetime ago and how the fateful incident of April 2005 has left me a different person.
For example: remember in the Peace Corps, how I was all about saving the world and good deeds and ‘experiencing life’ was the biggest point on my resume? Naw, not anymore- been there done that. You’d be humored to know that my biggest challenge for myself these days is how to master the kosher version of Cajun Jambalaya soup. ~I’ve also realized I’d like to become more of a writer and less of career 9-5 woman. I also figured out what my career dream may be aside from penning a novel at 42. I think I may want to own a restaurant someday. Not the fancy shmancy-hip bistro. But the Americana Diner. The booths and the round tables, the big counter and round ticket dispenser next to the register. I do understand running a business is a 24-7 job. But I can always use my future children as child labor and they could always blame me for their lack of friends because ‘mom always made me work behind the counter on Thursday nights while she danced around to her old rockn’roll music and schmoozed customers.’
I met some of your fellow soldiers at a wedding of one of your friends. For the first time ever, I saw them in plain uniform. One of them actually attended Yeshiva with P Bonez back in the day. Small world isn’t it? Everyone is connected in more ways than one aren’t they?
I’m not sure where you are these days anymore. I’m not sure if your essence dispersed into the universe or if you’re prancing around in some la la land- but we’re all having to make it here without you. Some of us manage, some of us only halfway, but you really touched everyone in such a powerful way- that none of us are the same again.
Thanks for looking out for me. Before you even passed- you created a network for me to fit right into. You introduced me to people who are integral in my current existence as a resident in this country. You set up the base from which I am building upon, in order to continue my life here in Israel. Without you, I’m not sure where in this world I would be. And I’m pretty pleased to be where I am.


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Germapino with a Jewish Twist. Twist. Collective Thoughts of a Ginrod are the musings of a Texas born,half German, half Filipina girl who who went on a trip to Bangkok and found herself in the Holy Land , as a jew, married to an Englishman, with 3 kids and a pup named Henck.


  • Shara

    lovely words to express such deep emotions.

    i have nothing to add but a hug and a kiss on the forehead. we’re blessed to have you here with us too 🙂

  • Down Under (now topside)

    Ginrod, I just visited your blog for the first time – via Calev’s blog of all places.

    Its not in my nature to state the obvious (I’ll leave that to George Bush and his mates) but lets just say that your blog and Calev’s blog are, shall we say, substantially different in content and form. There you go, had my unusually polite (unusual for me anyway) pohmy style moment for the day.

    Read your ramblings and watched you shake your cute tussik on the movie

    And I have to say…

    …..I think you’re an absolutely delicious creature!

  • down under (now topside)

    Theres a first time for everything in life my dear

    If you ever break up with the very lucky man on your arm, let me know