Omer – Day 11
Barukh ata Adonay, Eloheynu Melekh ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’zivanu al s’firat haOmer.
Blessed be the Eternal God, Ruler of the universe, who makes us holy through Mitzvot and has commanded us to count the Omer.
Hayom yom ehad-esrey laOmer shehem shavua ehad ve arba’a yammim laOmer.
Today is day eleven of the Omer, which is one week and four days of the Omer.
Netzakh be Gevura – power within strength; conquest within limits
It’s a ridiculous day on which to have a funeral, really. Power? Strength? Conquest? Not funeral words! Couldn’t we have picked beauty within kindness or humility within foundation, or something convenient? God, however, is rarely convenient and death seems to be one of God’s things. People die at the most inconvenient times.
Today we go to formally say goodbye to Peg Lilliman, a beautiful, intelligent, strong and loving woman who died on Friday. I find myself in an odd mood today. I’ve done a lot of crying about Peg over the last few days, but today, I smile at her memory. Peg had that effect on people. Whenever I was upset and things were very, very serious, she’d find a way to make the situation lighter and more filled with joy and laughter. She’d be smiling today, making jokes about the serious expressions on people’s faces, discussing the fashion faux pas of certain people in black, and noticing spring in a completely irreverent manner.
That was Peg’s strength – she took in a situation and didn’t let it faze her. She dealt with crazy-serious stuff; her job was to help young people in serious trouble. Her victories, however, were so much due the fact that she didn’t get caught up in people’s crazy. She stayed cheerful and strong through their stuff, and made it more all right. I know there were so many times when I was overwhelmed with worry and confusion, stress and even despair about a situation and I could take it to Peg and have her make it better, just by being calm and cheerful. If this isn’t making Peg upset, I’d say to myself, I shouldn’t be in such a state about it either.
So, I’ll be strong today, in honour of Peg Lilliman. I’ll work on celebrating her. May the positive thoughts I have of her be my victory over death and sadness. I know her memory will be a blessing to my life – may I strive to emulate her strengths as I celebrate and remember them.