A young mother of 8 has a bad headache and lies down to rest and never wakes.
On the day that she passed away, my daughter gave birth to a baby girl. The birth was straightforward and uncomplicated, drug free and about as good as a birth could be. The cord was wound loosely around the baby's neck, twice. As the midwife unlooped the cord she pointed to the knot; a true knot in the cord, not that loose either. We looked at each other. She smiled; after all, the baby was well and vigorous, but what a thin thin line between celebration and sorrow.
Today a friend passed away, too young, too soon, after months of illness and struggle. She was younger than me by some years and we were friends. I visited her on Purim and was shocked by her appearance, but I didn't think she would be gone in 5 days. She was supposed to start a new treatment program, but she didn't make it. I am numbed by the loss; it is too close and too immediate. I think she is the first of my friends and peers to die and I just don't understand it.
Who can? We ask 'why?' but there are no answers, ever.
I sit here, cradling my new granddaughter, Rashi, and breathe in her heavenly newborn scent, and gaze into her unfathomable dark blue eyes. I think about that knot. I think about Rashi Minkowicz, the young mother who never woke, whose name, by -coincidence? Providence?- was one my daughter had always liked and had chosen before her baby's birth. May this new baby have a long and healthy life, full of joy and celebration.
I think about my friend. I think about the narrow bridge that is life.
In memory of Rivka Chaya Hindel bas Nechama Gittel. May her soul be an intercessor on all our behalves.
I hope she and Rashi are making such a ruckus up there that they force Moshiach to come, NOW.