Itzik the Schneider was a tailor and everything he sewed was filled with love and faith. When his ainikle (grandson) was born, he sewed a very special blanket that kept the baby warm. As the boy grew, the blanket began to tatter and tear, so zadie took his scissors, needle and thread and made his grandson a coat out of that worn out old blanket.
The coat kept the boy warm as he went to school and played with his friends. The boy loved the coat so much, he was hardly without it. Little boys grow but not coats, and one the coat no longer fit the boy. Again, zadie took his scissors, needle and thread and cut down his grandson’s coat into a vest. The boy loved the vest and wore it almost everywhere, but one day as he was working on a special project for his zadie (grandfather), some paint and glue splattered onto the vest. The vest was ruined and the boy was very upset. Zadie, however, looked at the vest and then to his grandson, told him to not worry, and took the vest, the scissors, needle and some thread and made a wonderful tie for his grandson. The boy wore the tie to school and many special occasions, he loved the tie very much. The boy was visiting his zadie (grandfather) for a holiday and as they sat and ate, zadie was telling stories and singing songs something terrible happened, the tie became stained with soup and food. The boy was very sad, Zadie looked at the tie and smiled.
After the holiday he took the tie, his scissors, needle and a little thread and made a handkerchief for his grandson. The boy used his special handkerchief until it became tattered and worn. The boy was very gloomy, so zadie took the handkerchief, his scissors, needle and some thread and made small cloth covered button. The boy was very happy and he wore it, button every single day and then…. One day, the button fell off. He looked everywhere but could not find the button that his zadie made for him with needle, some thread and a lot of love. He sat down and cried for a very long time. He found it hard to think or even meet with his friends but then…. One day, he took a pen in his hand and some paper and began to draw and write.
He remembered the blanket, the coat, the vest, the tie, the handkerchief, the cloth covered button, and all the good times he enjoyed with each of these items. He drew pictures and wrote stories about each thing and shared them with his friends. He soon began to understand that while the past can no longer be the present he can always remember.
The same is true for each of us when we suffer a loss. The sadness that we experience is very real but with time, and sometimes a lot of it, we can begin to appreciate new things about ourselves, our families, our friends, and our community. This does not mean that the person has been erased, it means that we remember and will never forget them because those memories are forever.
May the memories of all your loved ones be a source of strength and blessing
May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)
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Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. (Joel 1:3)
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