Ever since you began publishing your famous magazine, I wanted tow rite and tell you how every proud all of us were, in regard to your monumental undertaking. I just kept putting it off. Now, here I am, finally penning those words, I so want to impart to you.
Surika dear, I have faithfully purchased every single issue since its inception. Each magazine is a masterpiece; full of inspiration and full of insight. I`ve heard from many, many people how they found consolation and encouragement, from within those pages. I also hear that you extend "chizuk" and comfort on a personal level, to new mothers of children with Dow syndrome. To them, it is like oxygen to the breathless, like water to the parched. May the Ribono Shel Olom `bentsch` you in abundance, for this magnificent `chesed.` You give of yourself and your expertise, in comforting families, enveloped in shock and pain.
What really prompted me to write this letter, was the most recent issue (#11) in which you featured your dear Mommy a`h, my beloved aunt. Although, I`ve shed many tears while reading past issues, with their blend of both heartwarming and poignant stories, this by far, evoked a steady stream of tears. The beautiful photo of "Mima Chanuka", my father`s esteemed sister, summoned a series of memories, which I must share with you and your reading audience.
My father, being your mother`s youngest brother, very often recounted his stories of the past. That included the painful saga of his childhood as a young orphan, together with his eight older siblings, bereft of both parents. My Tatty always spoke with great reverence and admiration of his older sisters, whose details are impossible to mention within these lines. But, I will mention your dear Mommy now. My father spoke with deep emotion about his beloved sister, Chanuka. He spoke of her kindness, her selflessness, her wisdom and devotion to her young orphaned brothers, including my father. A teenage orphan herself, during World War 11, she shared her last crust of bread. While utterly exhausted herself, she carried my father in her arms. On those infamous and treacherous walks she comforted him and shielded him, like a mother. As a newlywed and beyond, she continued her motherly care, and welcomed him into her inviting, immaculate home. She sent food and cakes to my father and his brothers in yeshiva, to make sure they had adequate food, in those post war days. When she ironed their shirts, she slipped dollar bills into the pockets; a small fortune in those days. She looked out for their welfare, always, in all ways!! This, and so much more, is forever etched into my father`s heart and mind.
I imagine that as her pure "neshoma" ascended to the Heavens, her revered parents, the zeidy R` Boruch Yida z`l and the Bubby Elka Rifka a`h were surely present. They came to welcome their precious daughter with honor and pride, and to escort her to her exalted place in Gan Eden, to receive her just rewards; payments due for a lifetime of good deeds! These memoirs do only partial justice to your mother, but for now it must suffice.
Surika dear, you fortunately had the `zechiya` of having your Mommy in your home, for the last pain-filled weeks of her life, where she received the ultimate in care. She will surely be a `melitza yeshura` for you and your beautiful family.
On a happier note, I must compliment your write-up of Moishey`s Bar Mitzvah. You portrayed the details so vividly, I almost felt as if I was there. And yes, everyone is so proud of Moishey and his achievements, and even more so of you and hour husband`s achievements. your hard work has certainly paid off and you fully deserve to reap the fruits of your labor. Mazel Tov, and lots of nachas from Moishey and all your children.
I will now conclude this letter, which turned out longer than I had intended. May you have continued success in all your endeavors. All my best wishes to you.
With love and admiration,
Your cousin, Raizy Spitzer
Monroe, New York
This article first appeared in issue #12 of Down Syndrome Amongst Us