Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Different Sort of Christmas Eve Service

Instead of going to church for midnight mass, we found ourselves sitting shiva for our beloved friend Ted Cron, who passed away last week. Ted had suffered from ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease, for the past two years. But this week he breathed his last labored breath.

Ted was a charter member of Temple Micah. He was a pillar of the choir. He was someone everyone listened to. He was brilliant, but he also knew how to have fun.

With Ted’s passing, I felt a wellspring of guilt over not visiting him as frequently as I should have. Death has this way of making some intentions impossible.

Tonight we gathered at his home for a brief service with his family to recognize his passing and to initiate a week of such gatherings. There is nothing like the presence of friends and neighbors to cut through the somber grief of the moment. There was a chance for people to reminisce and they certainly did. There was such a solidarity as we read and chanted together. At least 60 people packed into a rather small space to remember Ted.

We sang together the third verse of Yism'chu, the one that Ted often sang as a solo, where he added the embellishments that made us all smile. This is a song about observing the Sabbath. His verse reminds us to remember creation.

One rather sad note. This weekend his granddaughter was called to the Torah for her bat mitzvah. He tried so valiantly to hang on long enough to be there for her, but he just couldn’t make it. She will forever associate the death of her grandfather with her bat mitzvah.

Once again I was reminded of the feeling of community that emanates from any Temple Micah gathering. These people really care about one another and they care about me. They have become my second family. I am so lucky to be a part of this group.


Blogger Kristin said...

I like the family I've chosen (my friends) as much as, if not more (at times) than the family into which I was born.

It sounds like a wonderful/terrible celebration of life.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Finding a good community to belong in is important.

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe that was the only way he could be at the bat mitzvah. Though dying is a sad thing for those of us that live. It must be a happy thing for those of us that are sick and in pain.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I agree with Old Lady, it is a blessing to let go of the pain. I'd want that if I were ready to be released.

Don't know why, but I never knew that girls had a Bar Mitzva...thought it was just for boys.

10:47 AM  

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