Every day since you left your voice has been in my car
specifically Renewal of Spirit, your healing album I bought
in nineteen ninety-six, the year we met
I brought it to camp that summer
Those healing melodies were the soundtrack of July
I remember the first word I heard you say yallah – Let’s Go
funny that it was Arabic, but there was a program starting
and we needed to get to it…yallah
You were always ready to do the work
Like every first-timer, I was so in awe…to be sitting a few feet from you
watching your fingers move on the strings of your guitar.
The melodies that came out of your mouth that made so much sense
the first time we heard them. Like meeting an ancient friend
for the very first time. Your music and the Jewish people. . . b’sheret.
After one session you took off your finger-pics, tossed them aside.
I picked one up and wore it around my neck for years.
Yes it was me who coined the phrase Deb-head
I’m still waiting for it to catch on.
The year I proposed to Addie, we came down the stairs and
everyone knew it had happened. I’m still not sure she was able
to say the word yes, but sure enough, the ring was on her finger.
You were the first person on the scene. Did anyone bless you yet?
You asked…and then you gave us that blessing.
A year later we marched down the aisle to Those Who Sow.
The simplest melodies have the most power.
When Jude was born, Miriam’s Song was playing on the stereo in the delivery room.
B’sheret. We’ve sang your B’ruchot Haba-ot to him every night
since the womb.
You are the soundtrack to our souls and we are just one story of
thousands and thousands.
Last summer you almost got to meet Jude.
Told us in an email you were looking forward to seeing us
but you were sure you’d like the kid better. Most people do.
For whatever reason we couldn’t get together and a memory was stolen.
We’re so sad he never got to meet you.
There are so many memories we had yet to have.
You laughed at my poetry, saw the strength in my songleading
Told me I had a beautiful soul. Who am I kidding,
you said that to everyone.
But that’s the thing…you saw the beautiful soul in everyone.
To you, every person was a goldmine of potential, capable of
not only receiving blessings, but giving them. You showed us,
we had the power to bless. You showed us.
Debbie, you deserved to be an old woman
If I may appeal to your vanity…you were not there yet.
You deserved to discover a thousand more songs
You deserved to have our Cantorial school named after you
The work continues
your voice is forever
I drive around the Valley my spirit renewing as the tracks
change on the CD player.
My mourning becomes dancing.
You are the one, for whom I pray
I sing my soul for you
We are the healer now
you showed us how.