Rebuilding My Home

Posted on October 1st, 2014

rebuildI’m rebuilding my home.

To be more accurate, I am doing renovations. I am not changing the basic structure of the home. The foundation was always very strong.

But our home was greatly damaged by a terrible storm. And I now have a choice.

I could do nothing and accept the way it is. It’s certainly liveable. I could continue with things the way they have been for the past 10 months.

Rebuilding is not always pleasant. There is dust and debris and noise. Decisions have to be made constantly. Every day there are strangers in your house. At times you feel that the rebuilding process will never end.

So maybe it would be easier if I didn’t make any changes.

But I can see what my home eventually will look like. It will be beautiful inside and out. We will be able to open our doors to guests from near and far and our home will once again be a warm and inviting place.

I know what to do because together with another builder, we have designed the once unimaginable home of our dreams.

Not only do I love what we can see, I know that Stella would love it too.

photo (3)Just as there were many people who were so helpful to me and my family during the storm, many friends continue to hand both of us the hammer, and the nails, and the encouragement we need to get the job done.

I know there are others who stand back. I know deep down they are wondering if I am not being hasty in my efforts. (“Should he be rebuilding so soon? Is he doing it right? Is he putting the roof on straight?”)

Many people simply do not know how to deal with those who have lost a loved one. They wonder if they are allowed to mention Stella. They worry that they might make a joke that could be insensitive. They don’t know whether to congratulate me and my efforts to rebuild…. or pity me for them.

Just as this affects me, it also affects the kids. In schools, when a child’s parent is sick, the class can pray for that person to get better. But what happens if that person dies? Should the class just stop praying and treat the child as if nothing happened? The reality for many, both children and adults, is that they feel uncomfortable speaking to the bereaved about their loss. And so they end up avoiding them.

So let me be as clear as I can be. Yes, I am rebuilding my home. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love the old one.

I LOVE SPEAKING ABOUT STELLA AND HAVING PEOPLE TALK ABOUT STELLA. You never have to pretend she didn’t exist because a reference might hurt my feelings. It’s o.k.

Yet Stella would never allow me to become stuck living and raising children in a damaged home. So I am doing the best that I can planning a new future in a rebuilt home.

And I appreciate from the bottom of my heart all who hand us those nails.

May we all merit a good year full of health and happiness as we all engage in our own personal renovations.

Yarden Frankl, Neve Daniel



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  1. Avi and I wish you success, happiness, health, and a newly-built home filled with laughter and song. I know that my dear friend and biker-buddy Stella would smile if she saw that.

  2. Naomi says:

    Beautiful, just beautiful Yarden, you brought tears to my eyes! Tears of joy! 😉

  3. Iris says:

    HI Yarden–

    Of course, we think of Stella and you every Shabbos with our salt and pepper
    shakers (and even other times as well!). WIshing you a happy, healthy and
    roof-rasing year!

  4. Adina W says:

    Beautiful, Coach. That was inspiring and raised my spirits about the situation.
    Stella’s memory serves as a leading example of what it means to be a shining and yet humble person, and I know that will help carry all who were privileged to know her through the coming year, to merit goodness. So may it be.

  5. Leorah says:

    Even though we are not architects. We had the honor of reviewing your plans over Rosh Hashana. We give your renovations a two thumbs up!:)

  6. David Waxman says:


  7. Linda says:

    Good for you, I’m happy for all of you!! Of course Stella would want you to rebuild, that shouldn’t be a question in anyone’s mind. I hope to see pics when you are finished, very exciting!!!

  8. Benji P says: