You will see plenty of obituary notices but this is our blog site and what is in my heart tonight is the first time I met this amazing woman, who was such a polar opposite to her sister. I had never had a chance to meet Danka until I was invited to a family reunion and caught a ride from NYC with Norman — Danka’s son — and the Brandel family. Danka and I sat in the back seat of the car and spoke quietly. She had a soft voice and seemed shy of me. I was certainly shy of her–I knew so much about her, but had never met her. Norman cracked jokes and soon everyone in the car was laughing and warming to each other. Then as we were crossing the Bronx and quite out of the blue, Danka said, “Do you want to see it?”
At first I wasn’t sure what she meant, but she started to pull the quarter length sleeve up on her left arm. Norman looked in the rear view mirror and caught my eye. She was offering to show me her number. This is not something she did.
I could see where it had been scratched out and she was re-tattooed because Rena saw they had gotten her number wrong. I traced the numbers with my fingers and asked her if they still hurt. She nodded and took my hand. “It’s all right. Everything you wrote is right.”
We had just finished proofing the manuscript and given her a copy to review. Of all the critics who would review Rena’s Promise, Danka and Rena were the only critics I worried about. I had passed. We held hands the rest of the way to the family reunion. Little did I know it then, but they would indeed become family and we would spend many holidays together, especially Thanksgivings… (Tomorrow I will share another story)
Bless you all for caring for the sisters and carrying their story of hope and love to a world sorely in need of hope and love – and peace. Shalom, Heather Dune Macadam