The Tovsky Tribe

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015


On Tuesday, March 12, 2015 we welcomed Decker to the world the way all good Jewish boys are welcomed....with a public circumcision.

It was a wonderful day, despite my being on my feet too long and landing myself in an absolute state of exhaustion before nights end.

We had done this before, clearly, yet this time seemed different.  Perhaps it was the bittersweet naming, the still raw wounds of losing Jaime.  Perhaps it was knowing, again, but this time for sure, that it was the last time we would hold such a simcha.

We used Cantor Kushner, CantorK, as we had each time prior, and he, once again, performed a flawless and quick circumcision.  What was not quick was the long line of loved ones who were part of Decker's naming, which included both sets of parents, all of our siblings, all three big brothers, and the appointed g-dparents, Aunt Bonnie and Rob.  Also amongst the things that may have been too long was my naming speech.  A combined homage to Jaime and blessing for our dear son, it was 5 minutes of an emotional and nervous delivery that left the room in a teary state.  I have included the speech below.  

"We'd like to thank you for joining us today at the bris of our son, Decker Jaime Tovsky, as we welcome him to the world and bless his name over the Torah.

Decker's English name is for our beloved, Jaime Pitale. Decker's hebrew name is Yehuda Dan Tovsky ben of Peretz Lieb and Vardah Hannah.  Judah Dan. The english name Jaime is a derivative of Jacob.  Jacob had 12 sons, the fourth being Judah.  In honor of Jaime, and of Dex being our Fourth son, we name him Yehuda Dan. Judah was a leader whose tribe's descendants were what Israelites came to be known as. Jacob  conferred his son with the blessing of lion  That just as the lion is "king of the beasts," so too would Yehuda rule over the Jewish People, and that Yehuda should be blessed with the courage of the lion.  the name means praised and thankful and Dan means to be judged by g-d. We are certainly thankful for this little guy and will praise him every single day.  May he live an honorable life that is blessed by G-d's judgment.
Our beautiful son comes to us as an unexpected blessing, the very best kind.  One brought to us, we believe, as a gift from the very man he's been named for, Jaime Darren Pitale.
It was just 10 months ago that we had to say goodbye to Jaime, Cousin Jaime as our boys called him, Giacomo, as parts of the world called him.   It's difficult to grasp that Jaime is gone. It's complicated to realize that his kind soul and easy way are no longer of this earth.It's impossible to understand how a 40 year old man of beauty and of charm could have be taken from our world. And, yet, 10 months ago, we had no idea that we would welcome a little boy who will bear his name and carry his legacy.
Jaime is thought of often, by every one of us.  I think of him when I am eating home cooked food, or drinking italian wine, or when I hear echoing laughter.  I especially think of him when Todd tells a joke that I know only Jaime would have found funny.  He was Todd's very best audience.  The boys think of Jaime a lot.  They talk about him, they remember him.  In the time between his diagnosis and his final departure for Thailand we were fortunate in that Jaime spent a lot of time with us.  He played with and got to know Chase, Ryder and Turner.  More importantly, they got to know him. I could not be more grateful for that time, and that all of us, but especially our sons, have real memories of the amazing guy their brother is being named for, and they can take an active part in teaching Decker cousin Jaime's legacy.
Jaime was a man of love and laughter, a man of kindness and open mindedness.  A man who believed that good food and a bottle of wine can bridge any cultural, language or religious gaps and he embraced  these differences  with passion and devotion. Jaime was laid back with a free spirit. He was relaxed and easygoing yet had strong convictions on who he was and how he chose to live.  He wasn't scared to try new things, in fact he craved it.  Jaime couldn't tie himself down, no, there was a world of experiences out there waiting for him.  And, yet no matter where he wandered, no matter what he did, no matter how far away he was, he kept his family ties very close to his heart .  He was never too far, too busy, or too involved to reach out for a "hi" and an " I love you."  And, when he was with you, it was evident there was nowhere else he wanted to be.  Jaime was an athlete, an artist, a poet, and a cook.  He loved music and movies and books.  Jaime was the embodiment of love and kindness, of passion and of soul.  Materials and deep pockets were of no concern to him, but the depths of a person and the essence of their being was what he valued.
I wish for Dex all of these traits.  May his passion run deep. May he find humor in almost everything, the way Jaime did. May he be kind and sweet and handsome.  May he be passionate of many things and have the opportunity to explore them all.  May he be love personified.  May he, too, have kindness in his eyes and warmth in his hugs and love in his smile. But, unlike his namesake, may he choose to settle a bit closer to home than Thailand.
Decker, you are a welcomed into this world with so much warmth and love.  You are surrounded by friends that we consider family and family that we consider friends.  You are blessed with a very large, extended family, who call "home" where the heart is no matter what their mailing address says.  Many have travelled today just to meet you and greet you, because indeed you are that special.  You have aunts and uncles who delight in you, cousins who adore you, and grandparents who cherish you. And, you, my dear son, complete our family in a way we never imagined.  You are joining a family who can get quite loud, who likes to tell jokes, sometimes inappropriate ones, who believes laughter is the best medicine, and who practices kindness regularly.  We live in a bit of a chaotic harmony and, get ready, because we are often quite busy.  You have 3 brothers who will be the very best friends you will have in your life even if they do decide to torture you from time to time. They will show they way to do most things, even the wrong things, and it is likely you will look up to each and every one of them.  In dad and I you have the two biggest supporters you will ever need. Daddy will always work hard to make sure you're taken care of,  he will make you crack up laughing and will be ready to rough and tumble. He will also make sure your hair is trimmed and you stay on the right path. In me you should know that you and your brothers and daddy will always be number one priority.  Nothing will ever be more important than your happiness. There won't ever be a sacrifice I have to make to that is too large. I will always have your back, help you make your decisions and support your choices, unconditionally.. Together, daddy and vow to guide and teach you and help you and, mostly, to love you more every single day."

Decker handled the circumcision with the same laid back and easygoing way he has handled these first 12 days of his life, and despite the emotional circumstance of his naming, his parents handled it pretty well, also.  We were surrounded by very close family and very close friends, just the way we like it.  And, though I was thrilled to see each and every one of the faces in the room, it was difficult, as you'd expect, to have a real conversation with any one of them.  That's always disappointing, of course, but just knowing that our favorite people were part of the very special day touches my heart in a way these words can't describe.

Here are some pictures from the day:

Decker, you are truly blessing. I love you so....

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