On Tuesday March 27th, the miracle of life graced my family yet again. Over the past month, my family was lucky to see the birth of twin boys from my brother and his wife, and now, the birth of my niece, Rochel, my oldest sister’s third child.
When my all of my nieces and nephews were born, it was very exciting. But, in the sake of all honesty, nothing was quite as exciting as the past month when twin boys and a beautiful baby girl entered our lives. For starters, twins are awesome. I can sit for hours just staring at my nephews, amazed by the fact that there are actually two of them — two little precious, adorable babies that I just wanna be the best possible uncle to. And now, there’s Rochel, or as I decided to call her, princess Rochel.
My twin nephews were named after their great grandparents. The older one, Lev Ahron, was named after my sister-in-law’s grandfather. As far as I know, it was the first namesake that their family has had; his wonderful wife whom we all refer to as Grandma, desrbied Leib (Lev Ahron) as a wonderful kind hearted man. The second twin, Binyomin, was named after my father’s father. Aside from my oldest brother, there never hasn’t been another Binyomin Levin named after my grandfather. If you ask anyone that knew my grandfather from the old days, Binyomin Levin was one of the kindest people out there and unfortunately died at the very young age of 43. Both of my nephews are absolutely the cutest babies I’ve ever seen. I do say that about almost every baby, especially my nieces and nephews, but legit; they’re heaven. Out of respect for my family’s privacy, pictures of my nephews and niece will remain private unless I’m given permission otherwise. While you may not be able to see their faces, I’m sure you can visualise some of what I’m saying and perhaps kvell along with me at the joys of babies and the way their presence graces our lives in so many ways.
My niece Rochel comes just about four short months after my brother-in-law’s mother Rochel passed away long before her time. Rochel Pinson (originally Drizin) was probably one of the kindest, sweetest and incredible people that I have ever known. When our families were connected by my sister marrying her son, she had taken a great interest in me and was always so supportive and welcoming of me no matter what. I went through a period of time where I was outcast by many in Crown Heights, and I felt that sting very often in lots of different places. But, with Rochel Pinson, there was no such thing.
At her funeral, I cried like I never cried before. I stood near my mother and cried on her shoulder, inconsolable, heartbroken and distraught. She was young, she was sweet, she was kind and she was fabulous. The world suffered a great loss that day. Rochel Pinson was a hero. Until this day I don’t know the right words to say to my brother-in-law and his family that can possibly communicate how deeply the loss of their mother has affected me personally.
From the day I found out my sister was pregnant I had a sneaking suspicion that she would be having a girl. So far with my sister, I was right all three times, and, equally perfectly, my sister’s two older children Tzvi, and Ella were given names of the most honorable people in my family, my grandparents Tzvi and Helen Eichler. Last week, before my sister even had her baby, I dreamed that I was holding a baby girl, I saw her, I felt her, I hugged her and she was princess Rochel. I knew in my heart that she would be a girl. I was thrilled when we got the call that my sister gave birth to a nine pound beautiful baby girl; princess Rochel had entered the world.
I know that my niece is going to be the second of many to carry the great name of Rochel Pinson — a woman that has touched the lives of many people, and that is indeed a great legacy to carry. But like my other nieces and nephews, they take good example from their parents, and I know it with absolute certainty that Rochel — the daughter of my sister Sara, born just four short months after we lost Rochel, also a daughter of Sara — will be a shining light to many people and a ray of hope and consolation to all of us who so deeply miss dear Rochel.
Rochel, wherever you are, you must know how much we miss you everyday. I look at your picture from time to time and feel like picking up the phone and calling you just to say hi or stop by your house as I used to do frequently. You left behind a legacy that sets a really high standard, but you taught us well; just by being the genuinely kind and caring person you were, you’ve inspired me to take your legacy and use it to give hope to others just as you had given me hope when I was 17 and thought that no one accepted me. You welcomed me with open arms, in the same way you always did, asking me how I was doing and wanting to hear all about what was going on in my life. I love you dear Rochel, and I miss you so much.