Time to Cry Tuesday – Sitting Shiksa

sitting-shiksa2No, there is not a typo in that headline. Keep reading and you will see what I mean.

This past week one of my dearest friends – my wife of sorts –  lost her dad. She and I are known somewhat as the Lucy and Ethel of our community. Our antics are legendary (in our minds, anyway). The following is an adaptation of an email that I sent to our friends:

After a long period of compromised health, my friend’s dad cried uncle and died peacefully. Unfortunately, she was away on vacation with her daughter and had to return quickly to make arrangements. As you can imagine this has been a very difficult time for her. But I am happy to report her sense of humor and love of life is fully intact. Read on.

She will be going to Arizona for a first memorial service on Sunday and then to Boston on March 3rd where she and her brother will have his ashes buried next to her mom, hopefully in an ‘uneventful’ ceremony. Not a chance! (note: as with all families there is the predicted drama that is hard to avoid)

As her life is here in NY now, we know that there are many that want to pay their respects to her since she is always there for everyone else. Only our dear friend, in her grief, could call me this morning with this novel and frankly hysterical request. Let me share our conversation:

Friend: Hi, it’s me again. I decided you are right and I need to do something here.

Me: That’s great, what did you have in mind?

Friend: I think I would like to ‘Sit Shiksa’!

Me: That could be the funniest thing I have ever heard.

Friend: Oh and tell people to forget the boxes of cake, bring wine and have a drink with me to celebrate my dad’s life.

For those who are not ‘of the tribe’, when someone dies in the Jewish religion we sit Shiva. Shiva meaning ‘seven’ in Hebrew, we receive guests in our home to pay their respects for 7(ish) days. (it’s complicated)

Figuring that 7 days of guests would surely put her husband in a psych unit, sitting Shiksa will be an afternoon ordeal. Shiksa, on the other hand, means ‘woman who is not a Jew’. Of course we all know that our friend is a Jew by association by now as she has been to more Bar Mitzvot and Shiva calls than most Jews by birth.

Please join their family, not to mourn, but celebrate the life of the man who fathered our dear friend. One hell of a guy and a man who always loved a good party. He will surely be there with us.

If you have friends of mixed marriages, or live in a diverse community, pass this on. There are few that hear it who cannot relate.

Here is to my dear friend, who can truly make lemonade out of ANY situation in life. And who always keeps me laughing, even through her tears. When she married our dear friend, she married us too. And she has been a hell of a good sport about it for the past 20 years. We love you babe. May your grieving be cathartic and know we will love you forever.

Sitting on my desk is a framed piece you gave me years ago:

Friends are the family you choose.

I choose you!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under communities, friendship, relationships, Time to Cry Tuesdays

2 responses to “Time to Cry Tuesday – Sitting Shiksa

  1. Andrew Entwistle

    What a wonderful commentary on friendship, family and life and the need to celebrate all three every day.

  2. darrylepollack

    Missed this on the moms blog and didn’t want to get involved in the heated debate over the word shiksa— but wanted to let u know how much I loved this post !

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