Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Raising Rivky.. Anne Frank's Cousin.. one or two times removed..

I woke up this morning to the sounds of the delivery truck delivery wood (as it does each day) to the house being built across the street. They were loud today. Some tall blondish guy in a hard hat was talking about his life or bits and pieces of it to the two Haitian truckers. So, realizing I was the ONLY one up in the whole house full of MANY people I did what any normal Mother would do the day before Pesach. I put down the sidekick and ... went online on the real computer. The PC.. not the PC just with music that's old or the laptop that is tempermental or the numberous cell phones people use with web access... the REAL COMPUTER.

Opened up AOL and Anne Frank stared back at me.

Anne Frank at Fourteen..
Something about the eyes that bore through me always...
Anne Frank and Freedom and the freedom she never wore
because she didn't live on... only her words
lived on

Okay, so I read a drop. Something about a declaration of independence in a fight with her father... (fourteen, who knew) and the words "Just leave me alone."

I've had four daughters...only one says that phrase exactly. Usually before stomping out of the room or slamming the door... Rivky. The one who looks so much like Anne or more so Margot her older sister.

Just leave me alone...

Rivky has her father's eyes, they are intense and soulful and rounder than mine. They are Anne Frank eyes... though Rivky wears eye liner and different clothes and the features are mixed around she is as creative and independent and alive as Anne Frank was once upon a time.

My background is American... Southern to be exact on my mother's side which is the side I was raised around. My father from the Bronx added in the Hungarian genes but I was raised near my mother's family of Southern, Old-Time Florida Jews.

How did I end up raising distant cousins or the children of Anne's cousins?

I marry into the family. German Jews originally from Frankfort Au Maim... or however they say it. Opa could never say "Frankfort" without saying on the Maim.. on the River.. I wonder if I should google it but it's too early and I'm on email with the African mining prodigy now so... we won't. You know what I mean if you have anyone in the family from Frankfort on the Maim.

Anyway... Rikvy looks so much like Margot and Anne that a co-worker shoved a book in my hand one day she bought and told me to keep it .. the school pictures of them when they were young, free and happy looked just like Rivky.

Omi was a Frank. I loved Omi. She was great. She had such spirit, told jokes, a bit fragile with fears after all she had gone through and a great smile.

Rivky has Omi's profile. So does Levi but he's a boy.. a man.

So, what does Rivky Meyer, a descendant of the famous Frank family do on Erev Pesach in a house that is more Lubavitch than not and very American?

She goes shopping. Wet Seal.. the only skirt (other than the one I bought) that could pass for Tzenus or wearable to Young Israel or the Passover Seder.

Nice isn't it? Well the slit is about knee high and is about as tzenus as it gets at Wet Seal.

And, she will straighten her long, brown hair. She will avoid doing much work. She will play, hang, joke, laugh, talk and be silly with her sister Miriam.

When I watch the two of them playing sometimes... I think "is this what Margot and Anne looked like?" They are dedicated to each other in ways my older daughters Shayna and Dina never were.. (margot and anne)

Miriam and Rivky... of the long dark hair and Anne Frank genes play like two little kittens, teasing, joking, trading clothes, exchanging clothes.. They sit all over each other while watching shows like the Gilmour Girls (which I hate and think is stupid and it annoys me because I think the mother is annoying) but anyway...

Miriam and Rivky are so cute. Miriam is 19, Rivky is 14 and she is very independent, smart, alert, creative, passionate and playful.

And...she is alive.

And, that is the point.

Freedom = being alive..

And... as we go into the Passover holiday which happened way before the trials and tribulations of German and European Jewry...
they were let go...
set free ...
a new destiny...

There are always snakes in the desert and things are never what they seem...

Someone, somewhere in history has always started up with us..
bothered us..
persecuted us..
plotted against us..

But, we persist, we bother back, we stick together and love each other...
help each other..

We survive.. we are survivors.

We keep our Jewish names... we try and keep other things..
Try and find a tzenus skirt at Wet Seal for Passover
(not easy but there it is)

We clean the house, we burn the chometz, we sit for a seder..

Uri is up (my son-in-law) looking around the kitchen for the coffee.. Starbucks, Kosher for Passover.. French Roast Extra Bold. He's putting on Tefillin and asking what time can we eat chometz til and what time do we burn the chometz. Tells me to go to and it will be there..

Starbucks and Chabad.. reliable, always there when you need them :)

My world...
Redsox beat the Blue Jays 5 to 3
I'm going to have to count the chairs myself and see how many more we need from Kmart or Walmart or some mart.
3 Logs of Gefilte Fish need to be put up but that can be done later.
I have to daven still... I just said brochos.

I am going to go peek in on Rivky sleeping and smile..

She's free to be Rivky... in ways that Anne never could be.. or Margot.. or any of the ones who lent Rivky her genes to be raised as a young, frum, modern, lubavitcher girl living in Florida.. far, far away from Germany or Holland or Hitler's reach.

She will straighten her hair, put on her eye liner, her black "Hot" skirt, pick out a shirt to wear with it and walk herself over to her friends who hang out at NSCY and Bnai Akiva and litter my sidewalk with their young teen bodies and droppings and sit at the canal and catch the breeze with her friends. She'll make noise at the Pesach seder at her uncle's house and whisper silly things back and forth and as always.. Rivky will spill something on her Aunt's table, say she is sorry, tell someone to "get over it" and be indignant that she WAS being careful and after one of her many syblings annoy her she will roll her eyes, shake her head and say the famous words that Anne wrote long ago "Just Leave Me Alone"

Laughing here.. the rolling the eyes she gets from me :)

Oh.. and she's catcher on her softball team..
And.. Life goes on .. in America...

Happy Pre-Passover Morning.. word has it the time is 11:20.. going to check online and find out for sure.. you can check too depending on where you live, check it out for yourself..


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