The Sol Project and Shloshim

Over this past weekend when I was hanging out with Anat in my house, she told me that a friend asked her about the protocol for the “shloshim” service. This friend wanted the opportunity to say some words about Sol. Anat said there is no real protocol as far as she is concerned and remarked on how great an idea it is for anyone that would like to speak on this day. I completely agreed with her and thought about this opportunity.

To speak about Sol and also to speak with Sol, is something that I have been doing for many months now, and I miss it. I miss Sol. I miss Sol’s smile, I miss his affection that he generously gave to everyone, I miss observing how he made everyone feel loved when they visited him, I miss his honesty, his conversation and obviously his presence is a tremendous loss.

The past year being by Sol’s side was a gift to Ami and I, as Sol caught us up on a variety of things as fast as he could. Sol taught us all a lot about life and he did this up until his last breath. Sol had a unique “energy” and a zest for life that even from his hospital bed and in the darkest times he demonstrated that he was with the program of life.

I learned about Sol’s love for life by witnessing it first hand through his remarkable battle, and daily life while he was ill. He taught us great lessons during that time. Sol never stopped being himself, even in the worst circumstances he was relentless and did not lose his focus on life. While I personally have been in touch with my own mortality for a very long time, Sol would show me over and over that LIFE, this precious LIFE, is something that we must not take for granted. And most significantly he made it clear that the PEOPLE in our life should never be taken for granted.

Day after day, month after month while Sol was ill and suffering (and very often in a quiet way), I also realized that none of us have a right to complain ABOUT ANYTHING. If anyone near me would whine and complain, I could only think about Sol and would say to myself, if Sol isn’t complaining then we have no right to. Believe me, whatever it is, it can always be worse!

While everything is relative we still must always rise to the occasion and stand strong against whatever presents itself. We must immediately put it in perspective and be the bravest we can be in life. WE MUST CHERISH OUR LIVES AND OUR PEOPLE. Sol really did this and because I had the opportunity to witness his steadfast courage and motivation, he reinforced what many need to be reminded of.

The best thing any one of us can do in memory of Sol is to follow the words he lived by, which Anat recently shared with me; Live and Let Live!

Sol, I miss you and think about you often. Ami and I talk about you every day. Please know that because of your profound impression on us and everyone that ever met you, YOU will always be around us all.

The presence of Sol will always be felt because of his lessons to us and because of his love to us all.

About the Author
Allyson Altit is from New York. She has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years as a leisure specialist. Her area of expertise is in European destinations and Israel. She has been involved with charity work for the Hadassah organization as well. In 2009 she graduated from Queens College majoring in Jewish studies.
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