Yesterday was an important day. It was so important that I couldn’t write about it yesterday, or the day before yesterday. It was a day I used to believe wouldn’t come. It was a day I could never have imagined would come.
Yesterday, plus ten years ago, was a day many of us, in fact millions of us, will never forget. It was the day when I lost three friends – Ben, Marla and Janis – to a suicide bomber at Hebrew University. It was the day that, for me, spelled the end of my personal safety as I knew it. The day the shuk was no longer the shuk, and my friends were no longer just my friends, but rather my lifeline. It was the day that changed the meaning of the word “goodbye”; it was the day when I stopped taking for granted a simple disagreement, afraid that I might not have a chance to make up.
Yesterday morning I went to an art class. Our instructions were to create mandalas – circles. We were supposed to paint on them, draw on them…and create something unique. I felt like the exercise was particularly cliche – maybe because of the day. I could almost hear the Lion King “Circle of Life” playing in the background as I quietly went about the assignment, without a clue what I was doing.
Yesterday, what I did was to inadvertently create a circular rainbow. It started in the center with white…and made its way to the outside edges into red, with brilliant colors in between. Then I cut it into one of those coils and I took a piece of white paper and glued it, in a circular pattern, back into the circular rainbow where it now sits.
Yesterday I realized, it is now exactly what I am, a whole thing, with beautiful and vibrant pieces of a rainbow, that was literally cut apart. And slowly, after 10 years, I have glued myself back together, with white spaces between – because one cannot truly ever be the person that they were before. 10 years and 3 months ago I sat at a Yom Ha’atzmaut picnic across from my friend Marla Ann Bennet and stared at her Mei Eden hat with a rainbow on the front. There is no more fitting image of her, nor of Janis or Ben. They brought brilliant color to this world, and continue to do so by the people they touched. And somehow, on the day that I was choosing to ignore, I conjured them up anyway.
Yesterday I ignored the day, but today I remember it for what it was -the end of a cycle of healing, and the beginning of the next decade of life.
May we continue to be touched by their “colors” and may their memories be for a blessing.