Last night our community suffered a tragic loss, and while I mourn together with them, I also feel an odd sense of self-reflection. Not only was Heather Kedar my friend, but she was my age. She had a daughter in the same class as my daughter—girls who are best friends—and we shared a room together in Crown Heights for Bat Mitzvah club.
She was tall. I’m quite short. She had dark hair and I have light. But we understood each other and what it means to be a Jewish mother and a working professional.
I visited Heather in the hospital this summer and snuck in rainbow Twizzlers and hard candies. I couldn’t believe that my friend, the dentist, had such a sweet tooth! Just weeks ago, we talked about ordering pizza for the hospital floor and how she needed some real food.
Heather was one of the most modest individuals I’ve ever met. She had almost a religious stoicism about her that would hide that fact that she had experienced so many serious health battles in her life. She never bragged that she was a dentist in her own practice, a working mom, who rebounded from Leukemia and a bone marrow transplant to manage a household, plan a bar and later bat mitzvah, go to shul and baseball practice and still find time to volunteer in the community and be a friend to so many people.
But the most vivid thing that sticks in my mind about Heather is the holiday of Chanukah. She would often retell the story about how a chanukiah that I sent to her when she was at hospital so many years ago meant so much to her. It seems only appropriate that the Abrams Chanukia be dedicated in her memory. She would love that. Every time we think of light and happiness of the holiday, we can celebrate her. The candy eating dentist who loved to laugh and hug and celebrate holidays with all of us.
To make a donation to the Kedar Family, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/
369rrt-hugs-for-heather and think of Heather this Chanukah.