Words Spoken at the First Memorial of Yohai's Death
7/21/2003
Yohai:
A year has gone by without you, a year of pain and sorrow.
Sadness of yearning for you futilely; missing your presence; missing your special rituals and routines, your quick perception, your sharp analyses, and your marvelous wit and sense of humor.
We felt a terrible weight of grief all year; a sense that your sudden loss was a tremendous squandering of your life.
Year after year, you faced difficulties that you did not understand, nor did we--your parents and others around you. Most of the time, you overcame them. From a very early age, you set challenges for yourself. With endless diligence and a persistence that is rare, you pursued your goals to completion.
You grew up to be a wise and handsome young man, a satisfied person who could be proud of his achievements. In spite of your disability, you felt for the most part, happy with your life. Your acquaintances can attest to that: that you had a love of life and took delight in many interests, like chess, mathematics, and wide reading in varied subjects. It was so easy to be infected by your uproarious laughter and be swept away by your mirth.
You were drafted into the army very highly motivated to serve, hoping you could contribute your excellent talents in whatever capacity you were asked to.
And in truth, the short period of basic training mirrored your short life. You made great efforts, overcame obstacles, had a great sense of accomplishment, and even acquired a good and close friend.
Everything indicated that even in the military, you'd overcome your difficulties and continue on your path, setting goals and reaching them.
Despite some weighty apprehension over your entry to the military, we were hopeful that there, too, you'd find people who would appreciate your extraordinary talents and recruit them for the benefit of the army, national security, and your benefit as well.
How great was the disappointment, how deep the hurt, when your unique talents were ignored and wasted, your willingness to serve disparaged, and your young life squandered.
May your beloved memory bring comfort to your loved ones, and all who cherish you.
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