When you grow up in a musical home you look back upon your life through melodies…
My earliest memories are interwoven with the sounds of ’60-70’s folk music. One of my favorites for washing over the soul is, Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water.
They trickle down from there into the sounds of klezmer. Occasional 90’s beats that move into more traditional Jewish music. I can see the years through bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, and times of ruach shared with these melodies. One favorite is L’cha Dodi by Debbie Friedman who my sister introduced me to. Her voice feels like an anthem for my childhood days…
In times of crisis, joy, and heartache I have always drawn the melodies of familiarity toward my soul. They dance throughout our minds and hearts right now, leaving trails of healing beats on our souls.
The sounds of silence came to me earlier today, and I found solace in Simon and Garfunkel’s words.
I have no words for what is happening before my eyes. Only melodies that seem to flutter into my brain, I find them online, and share them with my family at this time of imminent need. I’ve seen and experienced so much love for my sister and our family within the last four days, and it has been such a blessing. I’m left with only this, Mi Shebeirach by Debbie Friedman:
I wrote the above as a blog that I now edited while I sat with my family surrounding my dear sister. I have no words for what has happened. Her passing feels surreal. Someone who I thought would always be with me, a rock steady in the stream of life has now taken flight and moved forward. I do not feel lost, I know what she would have wanted. I feel as though part of my soul is now in a region I do not know of.
She believed in love, life, laughter, literature, and above all else, education.
She was an AMAZING human who will now wink down upon us from the sky. A shimmering diamond in the sky taking on new endeavors and ventures that know no boundaries of us earthly forms.
I asked close friends and family to please read a book to their children or read on their own in her honor. Please hug your family tighter and read more often. If you feel so inclined, donate a book in her honor to a local library or children’s organization. (For Debbie Alvarez) Let your life take flight, explore, encourage, and enrich your life through adventure and literature.
I love you Debbie and I always will, to the moon and back.
Your little sister Rachel
Here is more information on my beautiful sister if you’d like to read what our newspaper wrote: http://www.oregonlive.com/beaverton/index.ssf/2015/12/debbie_alvarez.html