I had the incredible privilege of being a partner in opening a center for the youth of Sderot, which is the city closest to Gaza. The youth suffer from trauma on a daily basis, fearing missile attacks from a neighbor who is less than 1 kilometer away. This home will offer safety, refuge, and healing for the kids of Sderot who so thoroughly deserve it.
The center was dedicated in the memory of Toni, the daughter of my chosen family, the Kohns, who passed away at 26 from an aneurysm while pregnant with her first child.
A famous quote comes to mind: “death is hard for the living”. My explanation for this quote is that death is hard for the living, because the dead are resting in peace. Their souls are continuing on their path, it’s really only a physical passing, thus it’s felt only by the physical– us. That is why death is so difficult for the living.
I wanted to focus on something else as well; it’s truly incredible to watch this dear, beautiful, and amazing family choose to turn their lemons into lemonade, to see how they are making sure that their dear daughter Toni is only physically passed, while spiritually, we are watching her soul carry on through the healing of these beautiful children.
Reflecting upon this raises the question for me, is it only through tragedy that we find our best behavior? Is it only through suffering that we make the effort to change our lives, to become better versions of ourselves?
I can tell you that the Kohns have stood up and given well before tragedy hit them. Yet I know how often I must be slapped in the face before I wake up. Unfortunately, I learn my best lessons through suffering.
Today, in Toni’s memory, I’m choosing to excel, to be inspired, and to not wait for tragedy to assist me in living my best life. Please join me in committing in memory and in honor of all those who have suffered before us, to be better, to make the changes we can and the changes we desire, to take action on that which we have continuously put off until tomorrow.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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