Thursday, May 11, 2017

Uncle Sydney's Visit

On Sunday we got to see Uncle Sydney.  What a treat! He came on a United Jewish Appeal mission with his neighbors and very good friends, Sylvia and Irving, and his assistant, Michelle.  We have met Sylvia and Irving many times over the years, and, once we moved to Boston, we always talked about their niece, Devora M, who lives in Boston.  Over time, each time they asked, our answers progressed from, "I think we know them", to "Yes, we know them and they're so nice" on and on over the years until this time when I said, "I told Devora that we would be seeing you today and she said it was good that we were switching family members, as Chana was spending Shabbos at their house!"

The trip they were on sounded really incredible.  For example, President Rivlin, Natan Sharansky and Jerusalem Mayor Barkat spoke privately with their group!  The schedule was jam-packed from morning to night and we were all totally impressed with Uncle Sydney, who turned 94 this week (!), for going on the trip (and that he is still deeply involved with his business.  And that he's planning on going to Venice, Jamaica and Hawaii over the rest of the year).  When I explained to my ulpan class why I had missed the day, one woman sagely noted that "90 is the new 40" ;)

Uncle Sydney looked good (Baruch Hashem).  It has, of course, been hard on him since Aunt Sunny died (they were married for 68 years.  68 years!) and I really admire him for coming on this trip.  He said that the first time he ever went to Israel was just a few months after the Six Day War.  "Whose idea was that?" I asked.  "I don't remember" he answered.  Then, a moment later, "it must have been Sunny's idea".  I agreed.  She was such an adventurous person who lived life fully (I discovered this obituary which is a spot-on description).  It was especially appropriate to see Uncle Sydney this week as yesterday marked 11 months since her death and SS stopped saying kaddish for her.....

Wanting to give Uncle Sydney a "taste of home", I kept at the geshnitna-making experiment.  Chellie gave me some very good technical input (I had divided the dough into half and she told me to divide into fourths) and I plowed through drawers until I found the lemon zester Barbara once gave me and found that the addition of some good lemon zest (per the recipe) really added a lot.  It was great having Sylvia there when Uncle Sydney opened the geshnitna.  She said that she remembered Aunt Sunny serving geshnitna when they played bridge together, and that *she* was touched that we had made it.

We had a long list of possible things to do, but ended up just going to lunch at the hotel and talking for hours.  We didn't get home until 9 pm!

Come back and visit again, Uncle Sydney!!!

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