Friday, July 07, 2017

A Year, Memories

My brother, Hal Thomas "Tommy" Spiegelman, died just a year ago after a "short" illness. He was diagnosed with cancer soon after the death of our father. He had just enough warning for me some of our extraordinary cousins to visit and say goodbye. Our sister, who had become rather expert at dealing with all the "logistics" of caring for people since our parents had chosen her as "guardian," used the skills and knowledge for him, too. Tommy had never married, and there were no children.

Tommy visited Israel twice. First he spent most of the summer here when my eldest was born, and the second time was just a year later, for over six months. He did the kibbutz-style ulpan that had been in Moshav Argaman. I think that was one of the happiest times in his life. He loved the work and life in the moshav, though he had an awful time trying to learn Hebrew. People loved him there from what I heard. He spoke of staying in Israel, but somehow after our parents showed up, he changed his mind.

In all honesty, we weren't all that close, but there was a bond for sure. He was my witness and always confirmed that I hadn't imagined the difficulties I had experienced with my parents. If I ever get my act together to write about Emotional Abuse, the book would be dedicated to him, לעילוי נשמתות li'ilui nishmato, to elevate the soul of צבי הירש בן זיסקין Tzvi Hirsh ben Ziskin.

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