דברים לזכרו
גייל ונקאוטר - באנגלית


Irit Bar-Natan was my Hebrew teacher when I studied with the Ulpan. I was 39 years old in 1984.

Irit was younger, but she had this wonderful personality that made everyone happy. She was also a very good teacher, and, so the combination of her warm personality and her good teaching inspired me to study hard

.

The first time I saw Irit in the evening, away from the classroom, she was alone. "I am going to see Sivan," she said, eyes shining. And, after a
small chat, I watched Irit walk away. She was so happy. There was a bounce in her walk, as if she walked on air. And her hands and arms moved like a
dancer might, light and graceful. I knew she loved her son very, very much The next time I saw Irit, I met Sivan. I can see him now, standing to his
mothers right. His shoulders were strong. His brown eyes sparkled. A bright smile was on his face. I could see that Sivan and his mother had a
special relationship with warmth and understanding and much love When Irit introduced me to Sivan, he did not grow shy and pull away Instead, Sivan smiled more, shook my hand, and charmed me with his warm personality. He had a strength and focus that was rare in a child his age I liked Sivan immediately. Who could not? He had that special way about him.

Through the years, Irit and I have kept in touch. From a distance I watched Sivan grow. Maturity did not rob Sivan of his charm or warm personality.
Always, always, Irit wrote about her pride and Odeds pride in their son.
Sivan joined the Army, as he should, but he did not forget his family like
some do.

I could not believe it when I read that Sivan had died. I had to read the
message again and again because I did not want to believe something this
terrible had happened. I cried for Irit and Oded and their other son and
daughter because I knew that Sivan was a special light, an angel in their
lives. I am still sad over this. I wish I had an answer, some words that
would take away their pain. But I do not. Except that I will always
remember the young boy with the charming smile and the warm eyes and the
strong hand. That was a blessing for which I am grateful.

Gail Vercauteren
Honolulu, Hawaii

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