Holy Presents, Batman!

I’m pleased — and very thankful — to report that we’ve collected most of the presents for round 1 of the Heroes Initiative Toy Drive in Memory of Meredith Farrell!!!

IMG_9305.jpg

The toys in the above picture are heaped on the couch, piled over 6 feet high, and are several rows deep.  We are now going to try and organize them, and them some will be donated at UPMC Children’s Hospital next week, and some will be donated at Elmhurst Hospital later this month.  That means if you haven’t had an opportunity to donate for the UPMC delivery, there is still some time to drop off toys for Elmhurst.  Please feel free to contact me at sjfarrellesq@gmail.com with any questions you may have.

On this Thankful Thursday, I’d also like to share a message that, earlier this week, Rabbi Wasserman, our family’s rav in Pittsburgh, posted on Facebook in the name of a Rabbi Tal.   He recounted how Chanukah is a holiday of Thanksgiving, and while presents, and dreidel, and chocolate coins are all wonderful expressions of the holiday, that Chanukah is, in reality, 8 days where we have an opportunity to express how thankful we are for all of the blessings we are lucky enough to receive every day.

And so, before I thankfully sort what seems like a good 10 trillion toys, I guess now would be a good time to share our thankful thursdays:

Mom:

  1.  For my super fantastic son and daughter-in-law.
  2.   For my super fantastic grandson, and granddaughters.

Estee:

  1. For my outdoor dreidels
  2. for everyone who participated in the toy drive

Dovid:

  1. For chanukah
  2. for fun stuff in school

Dina:

  1. For eclipse dark Palace lego
  2. for chocolate eggs from Bubby

Scott:

  1. three good days of depositions
  2. that its almost shabbat
  3. for everyone who donated to the Heroes Initiative Toy Drive, including multiple schools, shuls, family and good friends.   We are so grateful, and can’t wait to see the smiles on the patients’ faces.

 

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Thanksgiving Memories

This (yesterday) morning, I woke up, and Facebook reminded me of a memory that Meredith had posted 4 years ago, of a Thanksgiving prior to that.  It was a week of memories, because my iPhone informed me that I had a new automated album, which my phone had named “My Life In Pittsburgh.”  It was really nice reliving these special memories.

Some of the highlights I picked from Mer’s facebook Thanksgiving album are:

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I owe you guys everyone else’s thankfuls, but here are mine:

  1. Spending time with mom today
  2. Snuggle time with Sheva
  3. Watching Dovid and the DRS hockey team win in overtime over HAFTR last night.

Wait – I spoke too soon.  Some people are letting me know theirs now (some last night when I was supposed to post this!):

Chavi

  1. chocolate turkey from bubby
  2. good cholent from Mom
  3. doing well on my English Test

Estee

  1. Thankful that Dina is feeling better

Dovid

  1. good math grades

 

Thankful Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Today is a holiday where people gather with their families, friends and loved ones and recognize the blessings in their lives, big and small.

Of course, the friends of Meredith are familiar with such a concept.  They call it “Thursday” and celebrate it an additional 51 weeks out of the year.

In honor of Thankful Thursday, and Thanksgiving, I’d like to share two articles that I saw this morning that Mer would have gotten a kick out of.

  1.  Hockey Fan’s Sign Leads to Kidney Donation.  A girl in need of a kidney donation held up a sign at a Pittsburgh Penguins game.  The Penguins took a picture and posted it on their twitter feed.  Next thing they know, another Penguins fan responded, and donated his kidney, saving this woman’s life.  The woman is grateful to her donor, and to the Penguins, and of course, to her new kidney, which she named “Sidney the Kidney” after Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.  See VIDEO here.
  2.   Young Patients Battling Illnesses Reveal What They Are Thankful For This Thanksgiving.  In this article, young Akira, fighting cancer, exclaimed that she was thankful for child life therapists and glitter glue.  This is exactly Mer’s calling – helping sick children through the healing power of art.

Before I get to our thankfuls, another plug for the Heroes Initiative Toy Drive

flyer with deadlineWhile people are doing their discounted holiday shopping, why not buy some toys for hospital bound children?  The toy drive is in Mer’s memory, who was always thankful for everything, big and small.  The deadline for the toy collection is December 5th, and there is a bin in shul where the toys can be dropped off.  The Farrell Family will IY”H be travelling to Pittsburgh on Chanukah to deliver the toys to the children at Mer’s hospital – UPMC Children’s Hospital.

If people like, while shopping online, toys can be sent directly to our house, just please put “Heroes Initiative” on the shipping label.  I’d rather not post my home address on the blog, if you need it please email me at sjfarrellesq@gmail.com

Thanks all!  And now, our Thankful Thursdays:

Mom:

  1. spending thanksgiving with wonderful friends and family

Estee:

  1. Thankful to be hosting family dinner today.

Dovid:

  1. break from school
  2. getting my AP test over with
  3. Hockey practice

Chavi:

  1. For good food
  2. for being off from school
  3. for clothing from black friday

Dina:

  1. for thanksgiving
  2. DC superhero lego

Sheva:

  1. For babies and magnatiles.

Scott:

  1. For Bubby’s chocolate cake
  2. Those who have donated toys for the toy drive so far, and those who will do so this holiday weekend (HINT HINT!)
  3. Having the honor to speak at the Young Israel of North Woodmere this past Shabbat in honor of the North Woodmere Chai Lifeline Shabbaton on the topic of Stan Lee and the Art of Modern Midrash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankful Thursday With Updated Collection Flyer

We’ve had a great response already to the ATML: Heroes Initiative toy drive.  Shuls, schools, friends and family are all getting in on the action.  The updated flyer is below, noting the collection deadline of December 5, 2018.

Please contact me to learn how to participate!

flyer with deadline

Thankful Thursday

Mom

  1. For my wonderful son, daughter in law and grandchildren

Estee

  1. my sparkly black shoes
  2. for my wonderful husband who did all the shopping this week

Dovid

  1. Doing well on my math test
  2. winning our hockey game

Chavi

  1. Big coffee from the cheese store
  2. taking passport pics

Dina

  1. Oreos
  2. Miraculous Ladybug

Scott

  1. To Adina Feldman for the amazing Heroes Initiative logo

 

Stronger Than Hate

Last Shabbat’s tragedy in Pittsburgh hit the Farrells very close to home.  Tree of Life Synagogue was within a mile of where Mer and Mom lived, and I would pass that shul on my way to the hospital to visit Meredith.  Saturday night and through the weekend, friends contacted us to see how we were holding up, and to make sure our Pittsburgh family and extended family were OK.  They were, but obviously had connections to many of the fallen.

The reaction of the world was swift and supporting.  People from every walk of life have congregated to support this amazing Squirrel Hill community and show that we are all Stronger Than Hate.

stronger than hate penguins

I don’t have any words to make sense of this senseless tragedy.  Luckily, I don’t need to.  A good friend reminded me of Mer’s words of wisdom in the face of the Har Nof Massacre in 2014, not too long after Meredith relocated to Pittsburgh.

https://friendsofmeredith.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/in-the-blink-of-an-eye/

Sounds like we all have our marching orders from Meredith, and some jobs to do.

And with that said, our belated Thankful Thursday:

Mom

  1. for my son, daughter in law and grandchildren.

Estee

  1. thankful to be celebrating Chavi’s birthday this week
  2. for my new glittery shoes!

Dovid

  1. Thankful for scoring a goal in my first hockey game this week
  2. for free periods

Chavi

  1. for such a good birthday
  2. such a good week of school

Dina

  1. My target book of toys

Scott

  1. Discount costume shopping
  2. for the brave men and women in Pittsburgh

 

 

Thankful Thursday

Mom

  1. My super wonderful son
  2. finally winning a game of mahjong after not winning 2 weeks in a row!

Chavi

  1. Pizza tonight
  2. Going to NJ in November

Estee

  1. chocolate covered orange peels from my lovely husband

Dovid

  1. good hockey practice
  2. hockey game on Monday
  3. Slurpees from 7-11

Dina

  1. Making my writing notebook with Daddy

Scott

  1. Great logo work for the Heroes Initiative (to be announced soon)
  2. Doing “Homework” With Sheva