What book to read during Shiva

The short answer? Probably none.
By the time all the visitors have left, and I'm facing a sink full of dishes, a coffee table covered in cookie crumbs, and the decision of whether to snack on cookies or drown my sorrow in tea/juice/beer, reading is the last thing on my mind.

As I've mentioned before on this blog, my only sister was killed in a car crash in 1984. My compassionate mother-in-law, who lives (at least as I write these lines) in London, sent me a book called When Bad Things Happen to Good People. I never bothered to even open it. I know she meant well, and thought perhaps I'd find some solace in the book. But as far as I'm concerned, there is no rhyme or reason. These things just happen. So to the extent that I can still keep my eyes open after a long day of mourning, I just carry on with the book that is currently on my night table – How We Know What Isn't So. The following morning, with my breakfast coffee, I read the paper like I always do, get annoyed over the same things as always, but do very badly on the word-games and puzzles, because my mind isn't functioning properly and I have the attention span of a newt.

But I digress. This post was supposed to be about my mother, Clara Rimon, nee Caren. Born in Brooklyn, NY, November 27th, 1917; made aliya to pre-State Israel on June 22, 1946; died in Shmuel HaRofeh Geriatric Hospital, a.k.a. Shmulik, in Beer Yaakov, July 17, 2009.

And this is where I get stuck. I have too much to say about her and don't want to bore my readers. Her most outstanding features were her cheerfulness, her warm and caring heart, and her remarkable acting talent. She was my mother, and to a certain extent I took her for granted, not realizing what an amazing person she was.
Instead of trying to do justice to her myself, I quote below from a letter from a dear old friend:

From: Mike Slobodkin
To: The AACI
Re: Clara Rimon July 17, 2009

Tonight at about 9:15 p.m. the English speaking community in Israel lost one of its, to say the least, most colorful and outspoken members, who did not mince words. She made aliya more comfortable for me and I assume many other people. Clara and Nahum were a delightful couple and I had the good fortune of being adopted by them when I was in Israel my first 30 years and had no one. We also met for animated play readings, starting in the ZOA House.
Rather than simply grieving at our loss, I'm happy to say I had the good fortune of meeting Nahum and Clara Rimon.

As soon as the Shiva is over, I fly to London to join my husband who is sitting at his mother's sickbed. Another Shiva looms very close.
So my next post might not be on a very happy note. However… both Clara (my mom) and Fay (my mother in law) lived full, active lives for more than 91 years. Both had their wits about them till the very end, and both had a sense of humor. If I thought there was a Heaven, I'd think they'd be having a ball up there together.


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