July 24, 2024
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July 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Having the liberty of a “week off” with only the pleasures of cooking and eating too many meals, going to shul for inspirational davening and having more free time than we have had in a long time, we were able to prepare our article for this issue of The Link well in advance—no pressure, no deadline. We decided to let that article wait for another issue as we are too overwhelmed with the kindness and glory of what we have seen over the past few days. There are no words to describe our feelings at the outpouring of attention and love which was shown to our daughter Naama during her annual Simchat Torah pilgrimage.

We know we have mentioned this in the past but please understand where we are coming from. For parents who spent their entire lives living day in and day out in a world that for a long time rejected those who looked slightly different from them, we still find the need to pinch ourselves when young adults today coming running over to Naama’s wheelchair totally excited to see her since the many years ago that they knew her from Camp HASC. There are also the former Montreal “kids,” now adults, with their own children who remember well who she was as a child and those who had never met her before she began her trips to Teaneck and now incorporate their greetings on Yom Tov to include her. Is there more that we could ask for? We don’t think so and don’t know how to adequately express our gratitude.

There is another huge part of this puzzle and that is that we have children who turn around their lives for her. For the young girl who once told one of our daughters that she wouldn’t get married because Naama was her sister, we wish we could fast forward and put her face to face with Chaim Hagler. Not only did he marry our daughter but he accepted her devotion and love of Naama as if she were his own sister. Off to Montreal to pick her up with his son Yitzchak—a full day of driving so that she could be here for the chag. Creating a room, together with his wife and our daughter Chavie, in order for Naama to have her own bedroom in their home on the first floor. We watching 13-year-old Yitzchak, together with about eight of his friends, installing the ramp in front of their house. No detail was omitted from making Naama as comfortable as possible. Truly it is not the physical as much as it is the stirring amount of love that is permeated throughout her visit. Anyone who would like to know about what it means to care about a family member should avail themselves of the company of the Hagler family. All the children, Tzvi, Ezra, Ari, Shira and Yitzchak, have learned from their parents what really matters in life.

At every meal (and there were many), part of Naama’s pleasure was interacting with her nephews. Their best way of doing that was to make jokes and clown around (a tendency they learned from us, as we loved to make Naama laugh). It is hard to explain but one learns in life to do what works best for your particular family. Laughter and good humor were always part of our world. It was never considered a “drag” to have Naama around at our meals. She was incorporated into everything and so it still is. There is no way to explain our daughter Chavie except to say that she is a true tzadakit. When it comes to her sister we doubt that there is anything that she would not do for her. She shows her respect and immeasurable love. She is her biggest advocate. How did we as parents become so rewarded? Nothing is more important to us than seeing this bonding and knowing that in the future an entire new generation is growing up with the same characteristics and sensitivities.

To everyone who welcomed Naama and to the Hagler family, whom we love with every breath in our bodies, we are honored to live close by to all of you and our gratitude cannot be expressed adequately.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

 

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