Orit Mark
Orit MarkPhoto: Har Hevron

"To wake up in the morning and see messages saying "Missed Call from 'Mommy Dear'," it's unbelievable. Just now, I had my first conversation with my beloved mother. My mother is alive, speaking, breathing...standing!! It's amazing! And she says that she misses me, and wants me to come see her [in the hospital]...there are simply no words. And Mommy passes along a 'thank you' to all those who prayed on her behalf, she says that in your merit, her situation is improving incredibly quickly...thank you."

In the aftermath of the shiva (week of mourning), Orit continues: "It was a chaotic week, a week that would never end. We were lucky to have so many special people visit us in our home, while my father watches all this beauty from up in the clouds. So special...so many people helped us, so many supported us, so many gave us strength. What a giant hug we received from the nation of Israel. To see people, whom we don't know, come, from every corner of the land and the Earth...I felt empowered. People have taken on so many things and so many commandments, Dad is watching you and he is proud, so proud!

"And Dad. Who can absorb the idea that you're not here, people are coming and telling stories about you in past-tense. It doesn't make sense, because my father, you are not a person that people discuss in the past, you are not a person who can die. You are alive!! But slowly, slowly, we are starting to understand that you are not. I understand that this is already the second Shabbat that you aren't here to bless me on Shabbat eve, the second Shabbat without your big, strong hug, your look and how you say 'Shabbat Shalom, my beloved daughter,' which would give me strength for the whole week. It's the second Shabbat that we sing the songs of the third meal, and you don't join in with your beautiful singing...The third shabbat that we don't have Daddy's kiddush. And there aren't any conversations with Dad, no Dad's smile, and we don't see you at home, Daddy. In your corner, you were always learning there. No one is there now. You are so, deeply, missing...

Dad, you have no idea how much you affected the Jewish people, how many people heard about you and are learning from you, and are taking on new things. Daddy - be proud! Just be proud. Dad, I told people how much you loved every person, it didn't matter how different he was from you, you simply loved everybody, and you engaged and you volunteered. And how you always told me that every difficulty and every crisis or loss helps me to complete my purpose on Earth in the best way possible...So I guess, Dad, that only without you can I complete my purpose in the world in the best way possible. Dad...I love you so much, and miss you in levels innumerable."