Ilana - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on November 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

My great-grandmother “Nanny” died in her sleep on January 4, 2000. I was 13 years old when she passed away.

Every Hanukkah she would come over to our house and make potato latkes. She would tell us stories about my mom and my grandmother. We wrote each other letters when we were apart most of the year. She lived in Hollywood, Fl and I lived in Pensacola, Fl. We wrote each other once every other week. I would tell her about what was going on in school, and how my family was. She would always ask me so many questions in her letters. At the time it seemed overwhelming, now I realize it is because she cared so much about me and she was truly interested in what was going on in my life. . On Jan. 4, when my mother told me she had passed away. I ran immediately to my room and started to cry with so much anger and sadness. No one had ever died in my life before that time; especially no one I was close too.

I remembering saying the Hebrew prayer schema aloud, and asked god to help me in that time of need. That was the first time I believed in god.

I believed that god does exist. He helps me in times of need and stress. I also believe he is there in times of happiness and joy. He is there whenever I need him to be there. Before Nanny died, I did not believe in god. I went to synagogue every Saturday morning with my parents, but I did not make anything of that. I had my bat mitzvah at the age of 11, and still did not believe in god. In my head, I had a bat mitzvah for the big party, and that was all. It took a tragedy for me to start to believe.

When she passed away I needed to believe in something, and turn to someone, and god was the only person I could think of who could help me out.

I believe that god placed everyone here for a purpose.

Ever since Nanny died when I was 13, I have been a believer in god.