(translated from Hebrew)

I saw Aureet for the first time in 1958 when Miriam and Zvi came for a visit to Israel. Aureet was a pretty baby and Miriam and Zvi were very happy parents.

The second time I saw Aureet was in 1961, when we visited the U.S. for the first time. I remember that Zvi invited me to a restaurant and Aureet, who was a very young girl with olive-color skin and smiling eyes, made her first acquaintance with me. I was the only aunt on her father's side. It was love at first sight. Aureet was beautiful and engaging and looked very much like our brother Nachum who had died at age 17 from a heart condition.

Several years later, when grandmother Shifra was in Boston, we received more frequently letters from Miriam telling us about Aureet and Yaneer, how they were developing and their activities such as playing music, dancing, drawing, and excelling in their school work. We also got the joyous announcement about the birth of her young sister - Sageet.

When Miriam, Zvi, and the children returned to Israel, we waited for them at the Haifa Harbor. We were so happy that the whole family was going to be together again after many years of geographical distance.

Aureet was very happy in Israel. We saw her first in Haifa and then in Kibbutz Maagan Michael. She grew and blossomed and was gorgeous. Her many talents and her artistic inclinations were finding expression. Later on, when Zvi and Miriam decided to return to the U.S. Aureet stayed in the kibbutz and kept in close contact with us. I remember clearly when Aureet stayed with us for a few days before the wedding of my son Avi. She told me about her life in the kibbutz, her peers and her friends. In the wedding she stood out with her beauty, her long flowing hair, her vivacious liveliness; and in the dancing she attracted attention with her agile limber body, and her radiant face. The connection between us grew deeper in those days. But the Israeli chapter ended for Aureet and she returned to Boston. We heard a great deal about her success in her academic studies at Boston University and Harvard.

The next time we met was at Aureet's wedding. I remember clearly Aureet as a dazzling bride, a white dress she chose for herself; she looked like an exotic princess.

The entire Bar-Yam family came to Israel after grandma Shifra's death. At that time we memorialized also our brother Nachum in a program at the Masua Institute on Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak.

In the summer of 1990 I met with Aureet for the last time. I was visiting with Miriam and Zvi in their house in Boston and I had long phone conversations with Aureet. We also met any time she had a free moment from her many activities. There was a wonderful communication and understanding between us and I felt as if no time had passed since our previous meetings. I loved her very much. I visited her at her beautiful home and I was happy to follow her professional successes. I was also sure that she would find the right partner for life, a person who would deserve such a magnificent woman.

A few days before the Gulf War, Zvi called us in the morning and told us in a broken voice that a tragedy occurred and that he was worried that he was loosing his daughter.

I didn't understand what he was saying. We cried on the phone, we prayed that our Aureet would be saved. Fate decided otherwise. At noon the next day, as Jacob, my husband, was preparing for his flight to Boston, Zvi called again and we got the dreadful news that Aureet died after many hours of struggle for life.

My world darkened. Why did it have to happen to Aureet, who was so beautiful and talented, good-hearted, with so much love of life and health. When all she did was try to save a dog that fell into the frozen pond? Why did all this have to happen to my brother after all his suffering in World War II, that he only miraculously escaped? Where was God? Where were people who could extend a helping hand to Aureet?

Till the end of my days I will ask these questions and I will mourn the loss of Aureet whom I loved like my own daughter.