Dolores Runte and Gail Benshabat are organizing this fundraiser.
On June 13, 1988, Lisa was born to our family, and with that day came 27 full years of laughter, adventure, and an unparalleled love. She was adored by all who knew her, and this was undoubtedly due to the compassion and empathy she so freely gave to all. In truth, it's a wonder she had the capacity to feel for other people's struggles in the way that she did, as she suffered with the debilitating physical pain and mental anguish that comes with a condition called interstitial cyctitis.
In spite of it all, Lisa found the strength and courage to find meaning in life. Her sensitive nature led her interests, as she spent time caring for stray animals, speaking with the homeless about their stories, and pursuing a career in early childhood care. She also found great catharsis in her natural artistic abilities with drawing and playing guitar.
Playing music lifted Lisa's spirits on some of her heaviest of days, and yet it also played the soundtrack to some of our family's most memorable ones. Though Lisa is no longer with us, it is when we hear those very songs she used to play for us, that we feel closest to her.
Some 15 years ago, I happened to gift her with a necklace charm in the shape of a guitar pick. Engraved on this pick are the biblical words that correspond with Lisa's Hebrew name:
"את המוזיקה הזאת אי אפשר להפסיק"
"This music will never stop."
Since Lisa's passing, this pendant has become an emblem of her spirit, and these words remind us that just as the songs she once played have never stopped finding their way to us, so too has her spirit never stopped finding its way to us.
Though Lisa's choice to leave this world on February 9, 2016 will always be the most defining and difficult experience for our family, we have always respected her choice, and we will always honour the grace and strength she possessed in the face of her pain.
As a way of commemorating Lisa, and the struggles of all those who have faced, and continue to face, the wrath of IC, her family and loved ones will be erecting a bench in her name.
The bench will be located on Dwight Beach in the Lake of Bays: a place that our family spent many a summer day making countless memories. On this bench will be inscribed those very words that remind us of Lisa. We hope that family and friends will come to this place and create their own memories set against the backdrop of Lisa's unstoppable music.