Carlos lead a short service Sunday morning so that Sandy could say Kaddish. There was some compromising and dissent as usual in this community. Carlos didn’t want to do anything in the presence of the body and crosses. Some people had fights with him about leading Kaddish at all. He sent around some Torah excepts by email this morning to remind everyone of his position. We took the boys with us and there was Mitch and Lawrence sitting with Sandy. Lawrence usually avoids these things, but it when you need a Minyan for Kaddish, everyone comes to make sure there is a enough. Eventually Kurt and Carlos and Gerald and Arthurro came. Elliot waddled up. Mendel the important EU guy and his wife Silvia came. I brought honey cake and mandarins, even though it wasn’t exactly shiva, I figured the rules are pretty loose here.
We squeezed into a side room that was really the kitchen. Carlos read a prayer. We said Kaddish in Hebrew and then Sandy said it in English, his voice awfully breaking and hoarse and full of pain. We said it with him. Then the 23rd psalm. Everyone circled up and shook Sandy’s hand because that is what Carlos told us to do. The kids and Jonathan and I went to the front room of restaurant to say good bye to Kathy. We gathered around her narrow elaborately carved mahogany coffin and looked at her very still face. The room was full of gigantic flowers.
Then we went and sat with the other mourners outside and caught up on Jewish Community gossip. Kurt said, with the Weinsteins we have a quarter of a minyan at once. Gerald remarked, it is easier to get a minyan in Granada than Managua. Later Gerald’s wife came up to me and said, we couldn’t remember your names, we just kept calling you the family with the beautiful sons. (Hijos lindos) I volunteered to take care of an Oneg Shabbat for a group of Jewish kids who come down to do some service work. I figure I will make my kids go.
One of Kathy’s sisters brought a tray of coffee around. She could hardly keep from crying. Then the honeycake and mandarins came out. Glad I brought them. Sandy is still shattered of course. For the first time I noticed the oil painting of he and Kathy smiling together, somewhere pretty and warm.