Living with the unimaginable

May 5th, 2018

As readers likely know, my parents were killed in a car accident on April 11. Though details of that terrible Wed. afternoon are now fuzzy, the phone call in which my sister told me the heartbreaking news is clear. “Michelle, they both did” – her response when I asked, after a moment of confusion, if our dad had died – are words that will stay with me forever. And I’ll also never forget telling the girls and the four of us standing downstairs in a group hug, all sobbing and desperately clinging to one another.

(In an alternate universe, I would be sharing photos from the girls singing at the Giants game, which is what they were doing on the afternoon their grandparents died. But instead, this.)

Starting from those very early, very awful days, there have been two things that have provided me and my sister with comfort: the fact that our parents, who were very vocal about their desire to never be apart, are still together; and the fact that they never had to experience the unthinkable pain of losing one another.

But, still, the pain far outweighs any bit of comfort – and my family and I are now forced to deal with a traumatic, double loss that is so awful there are no words to describe it. (The lyrics of the Hamilton song “It’s Quiet Uptown” get it so right: “There are moments that the words don’t reach/There is suffering too terrible to name.”) And we find ourselves forced to learn to “live with the unimaginable” (again quoting Hamilton).

When we started this blog almost 12 years ago, we did so solely for our family – and mostly for both sets of grandparents. My parents were faithful readers to the end; despite our also sharing photos and stories via text or Facebook, they still routinely visited this site and often asked for updates if I hadn’t posted for a while. And they loved our photos – in fact, the last thing my mom ever told me was that she had just changed her screensaver to one of the pictures of Zoe and Avery in Washington. Typical Grandma: thinking of her girls.

I haven’t taken any photos since April 11. I have no desire to, and it doesn’t seem right to take any. It’s also terribly painful for me to write here, knowing my parents are gone and can never read this blog – and I’m honestly not sure when, if ever, I will post again.

For now, then, thank you for your readership and for watching our girls grow over the years. And, more importantly, thank you for your love and support.


Spring break ball game

April 11th, 2018

We had a few days at home between our trip and the girls’ return to school; since Q and I both had to work, the girls mostly played and lounged around the house. The exception to the mellow time, though, was an evening baseball game with Avery and her dad… Zoe opted to stay home and read, but it looks like Avery had enough fun for the two of them!



April 10th, 2018

And, finally, a photo from the first night of Passover. I love this photo of the four!


Exploring DC, part II

April 9th, 2018

A second day of exploring (and hitting the museums), this time with Safta…


Exploring DC

April 8th, 2018

After a good night’s rest (and before the start of Passover) the four of us headed back downtown with PopPop – this time to visit the National Gallery Art (where Zoe got to see more from her beloved Mary Cassatt) and the Air and Space museum, and to admire the cherry blossoms, White House and other sites.


Late night adventure in DC

April 6th, 2018

Due to a long layover and a time change, we didn’t arrive to Washington DC until midnight – but that didn’t stop us from taking a spontaneous trip to the Mall. (PopPop’s idea!) I hadn’t been to the Lincoln Memorial (my favorite!) at night since I lived there in college, and I loved being there with the girls.


Heading out

April 4th, 2018

It had been more than a year and a half (too long!) since we last went to Washington DC to visit Safta and PopPop. So off we went, heading there last Wednesday for the Passover holiday/spring break.

Here’s Avery waiting for our flight in MSP.


Playing tourists

March 29th, 2018

Last Sunday we spent the day on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge – first shopping in Napa and then watching a (really great) middle school performance of the Sound of Music in Marin. On the way there we stopped at a vista point that I (despite having lived here for almost 20 years) had never before visited. The views didn’t disappoint – and it was fun getting our photo snapped and feeling like tourists…


Third grade tefillah, part II

March 26th, 2018

Two more pics from last Thursday, including one with Avery’s good friend Mila.


Third grade tefillah

March 24th, 2018

Each year, each class in the girls’ school leads a one-hour prayer service for family and friends. Third grade’s turn was on Thursday, and the school’s newsletter described the service as such:

With Passover beginning next week, students explored the theme of freedom, with each student sharing a quote about freedom—“’A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself,’ said Jim Morrison,” a student shared—as well as about what freedom means to members of the community. To prepare for the tefillah, third graders first selected the theme of freedom (voting as a class), and then looked at the prayers in the siddur (prayer book) to select the prayers that spoke to their chosen theme. “This whole process was done to empower the students to take ownership of the process and be leaders,” says Judaic studies teacher Sharona Israeli-Roth.

Here are a few pics and a video from the morning.


Furry friends, part II

March 22nd, 2018

Speaking of Zoe and Coco: When we were visiting, my sister pulled up the first photo on her phone – taken when Zoe was five. I’m a big fan of then-and-now photos, and I just love these.


Furry friends

March 21st, 2018

Our trip to Madison was both quick and mellow. We spent a lot of time hanging out, playing games (Zoe taught us a bunch of new card games and we played old favorites like Kings Corners) and just relaxing. And a big highlight for Zoe was seeing her aunt and Bruno and Coco; she loves dogs (and especially these two), and getting to walk them was a particularly big treat!


Me and my girl

March 18th, 2018

Since my mom isn’t up to traveling, and we didn’t want to go too long without seeing her and my dad, we decided to take a quick trip to Madison this month. This time around it was just me and Zoe; it was the first trip we’ve taken on her own, and she was the perfect travel companion.


Avery’s thoughts on working full time

March 15th, 2018

“I don’t get parents,” Avery said to me out of the blue one day. “You only have time off on vacation and on the weekend?” “Yes, Avery,” I patiently explained. Daddy and I need to work year-round; we don’t get summers off like kids do. “Well, that sucks,” was her response.



March 13th, 2018

I didn’t share this in real time, but here’s a sick-with-flu Avery bouncing around not long ago. Now, just think of the energy she has when she’s not sick!