My Bat Mitzvah pencil

In the run-up to my Bat Mitzvah service, I made a lot of jokes about not being 13 and not needing any fountain pens as gifts.

Then today the FedEx truck drove up with this gold Cross pencil from my cousin Mark.

My Bat Mitzvah pencil

The pencil belonged to my uncle Bob Solomon, who died a week ago in southern California. We said Kaddish for him during my service. Mark had apparently been cleaning out Bob’s stuff and found it.  He wrote:

It was one of his favorites. I think I got eight or nine Cross pen and pencil sets when I was bar mitzvahed, so it was clear as can be that this was meant for you.

Wow. I am so moved. I never would have imagined in a million years that I would be given a Bat Mitzvah pencil at the age of 53… and that I would find it so meaningful.

There are the expected ways that one generation holds on to the memory of the previous generations, and then there are the unexpected ones.

Thank you, Mark. Thank you, Bob.

Both for the pencil, and for your love.

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5 Responses to “My Bat Mitzvah pencil”

  1. susan milligan Says:

    Oh, Ilana, words fail me. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. What a wonderful gift.

  2. Kaveh Says:

    Condolences on losing your uncle, Ilana. May one of his favorite writing instruments serve you well and keep him close to you.

  3. Meg Spencer Dixon Says:

    What a lovely, perfect gift. It calls to mind a gift I received at my baby shower 7 years ago: a baby blanket which my mom (who died in 1986) had crocheted in 1970 for the baby of a long-time family friend, who in turn gave it to me for my baby…I was in tears.

    Condolences on your uncle, Ilana.

    –Meg

  4. Scribbly Jane Says:

    Such a thoughtful cousin and a cherished gift. Sorry to hear of your loss.

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