I can’t stop thinking about Dafna…..because there was something very alive about Dafna that leaves me shattered.
As I learn more about her I realize how much she touches me.
I try to process her from the inside out.
She seemed to be an extraordinary teacher.
A cradle of wisdom. A fountain of generosity.
She was not “left” and she was not “right”. She was a woman with largesse of spirit and soul, who embraced something bigger than that, bigger then herself.
A woman who navigated many transits in her short, packed, life…..a woman who bridged many gaps.
From foster child to foster parent.
From powerless victim to powerful healer.
From magnanimous student to magnanimous mentor.
From bountiful life to awful death.
I don’t try to “understand” the searing pain leading to the final days. It’s not understandable.
Even if I could, I can’t look at that slice right now. It’s too hard.
What I can do, right now, is look through my magnifying glass.
The enlarged pores are hard to see, but they need to be seen.
They lead me to examine. They lead me to begging questions.
Am I larger than the pettiness, the politics, the illusion, like Dafna was?
Can I hope to cover the range of human experience that Dafna covered?
How do you bridge, how do you heal, how do you foster, like Dafna?
The following poem is dedicated to Dafna.
You child of G-d, you foster child
You grew up homeless, rootless, exiled
Hallways and corridors, lack and void
You learned to fend, you learned destroyed
A breakthrough year, you turned 13
An adopted mother, a life unforeseen
You opened up, you desert rose, you learned to give and take from those
You met your soulmate on the sand, with one request before his hand
I must give back from where I came
Fostering is my life’s domain
So you fostered yourself, you fostered voice
You fostered biology, you fostered choice
You moved out of your circle
To foster some others
Who needed fostering
That you could mother
You fostered your patients, those from Ishmael too
You fostered the green line, the hilltops, the view
You fostered integrity, love, and might
For legions of people, your nation, your plight
Cut down, at your fostering prime
Who can replace Florence Nightingale’s kind
From the Hebron highlands to the coastal plains
Who could not fathom for what still remains
This foster child, a healer for all ages
A full circle journey, a question that rages
Your death, dear Dafna, will not be in vain
For its message while cryptic, is part of G-d’s reign
For you, dear Dafna, have left at a cusp
And the question dear Dafna
…….is what it fostered in us.