Today I am boycotting God

Lisa Latchaw A"H

My friend and colleague Lisa Latchaw A"H

Today I am boycotting God…

This is what my friend Sarah Williams said to me yesterday
when we laid to rest our good friend and colleague Lisa Latchaw in the Beit
Almin cemetery in Beit Shemesh. She was too young to go and too many people
depend on her for her not to be around. A husband and two little kids who need
her, friends, family and last, but not least, her work. Lisa was my colleague.

What does it mean to be a colleage in our company? We are made up of a motley
group of people and yet we all respect and appreciate each other so much.
Sometimes I think that our group of coworkers is representative of what society
should strive for.

I have had the pleasure of working with smart, driven, kind
wonderful people, Lisa one of them, who all had two things in common: they
worked for our company and they are Olim. They have all chosen to leave behind some
form of life to come to Israel and start a new one.

When Lisa and I were once talking she told me about how she had
worked so hard for so many years to build up the typical life for herself in
America: a house, cars, a career, marriage. And yet, when all that was
accomplished she looked around at her empire and said, “Hey! This is not what I
really want. I want to be in Israel!” They then proceeded to move to Israel and
start a life for themselves in Beit Shemesh. Lisa was so skilled and capable
that even though many Olim might find that they are struggling with the job
market here, she worked hard and was continuously promoted.

Another one of my colleagues, Dawn Richman, said that we
have a purpose on this earth and when we have fulfilled our goal we are taken
to the next world. Maybe Lisa was so skilled that she finished her project
early. I don’t know. I think I will go with Sarah on this one. I have a picket
and I am picketing.

In our company many people work remotely and come in to the
office only once or twice a month. So even though I know Lisa is gone I keep
waiting for her to walk through the door, put her bags down and come over to schmooze
with me. I was saving a Bon Apetite magazine for her because it has tons of
recipes with chocolate and I know that she loves it.

We will miss you Lisa…and God, I am not talking to you!


14 comments on “Today I am boycotting God

  1. Reb Barry says:

    Thanks for posting this. May her memory be a blessing to us all. I still can’t believe she’s gone.

  2. […] See "Today I am Boycotting God" by my colleague Devora Mason for more about […]

  3. blondini says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Lisa was such a wonderful person and will truly be missed.

  4. Terry Krause says:

    Devora, I am always impressed by your “lean eloquence”–the ability to pack such emotion into very few sentences. Although I never had the privilege of meeting Lisa, she was a powerhouse to me. In her emails, she took care of business not just for herself, but on behalf of her entire staff. If a team member wasn’t fully equipped to do his/her job, Lisa didn’t even waste a moment waiting for the need to make itself known.

    I don’t pretend to have “more faith” than the next guy, but I did read this piece in my travels, and I’d l like to share it with your readers.

    In answer to the question: “Why do bad things happen to good people?”, Aron Moss writes on

    …if we were to understand why innocents suffer. We would no longer be bothered by their cry, we would no longer feel their pain, because we would understand why it is happening.
    So keep asking the question, why do bad things happen to good people. But stop looking for answers. Start formulating a response. Take your righteous anger and turn it into a force for doing good….

  5. Baruch Gitlin says:

    Devora, this was really terrific. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Yisrael rosenberg says:

    I can relate, manh.
    A little secret – picketing is a well respected method of – communications. So, it seems, for the sake of journalistic accuracy – you are not exactly incommunicado.
    Which is probably a good thing. So: I’ll sign the petition for the sake of argument. Don’t be afraid to let your voice be heard …

  7. Thank you Devorah. More than a year, and I still can’t believe she’s gone. I really appreciated this, seeing Lisa through different eyes. She often told me about her work, and finding that you were one of her friends and colleagues, it somehow brings me a little closer to her… Everything i have of Lisa is in my memories- and you just gave me something ‘new’ even though she’s been gone for 14 months.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    • devoramason says:

      Laura, I sent Avraham a booklet of all the nice letters and memories her colleagues at Innodata said about her. Maybe you can take a look at it on e time if are near their house. There is more, but I will tell you in person.

  8. Sheila Prince says:

    It is now three years since I lost my daughter, Lisa. I never went on a blog before. I just googled her name. It is comforting to know the impact that my daughter had on people. The hole in my heart will never heal, but reading about her helps. I know that she served her time well on this earth and that she impacted so many people. I re-read the letters that you sent to me in the packet every once in a while. She was an amazing person. Sheila Weinreb Prince

    • Devora Mason says:

      Sheila, thank you for reaching out to me and letting me know that my words touched your heart. I am sure that your pain lingers on but I hope that this post and those letters help to preserve her memory. All the best, Devora.

      • Sheila prince says:

        You may have boycotted G-d but he knew what he was doing when he gave us his gift of Lisa. She truly impacted every person she came in contact with from the time she was born. She made room for another amazing woman who needed a family and it is a delight to see how Debbie takes care of Lisa’s family. She was truly amazing.

    • Sarah says:

      Sheila, she had an enormous impact for the good on the people who were privileged to know her. Yes, she was an amazing person. I was in the office a lot and interacted with her professionally, but we were also friends and went to lunch or shopping together….there are many days I walk around and am reminded of a laugh, an facial expression, a comment, a moment with her.

  9. Jacqueline Tillmann says:

    Five years now, and still mourning the death of a LOVELY friend. I went to law school with Lisa in Baltimore, Maryland, and we remained friends when we both moved to NYC. Lisa was a terrific person, and the impact of knowing her remains with me to this day. Whip smart, intellectually curious, self effacing, humble, funny, quirky, kind, charming – just a beautiful soul…. I am a better (and luckier) person for having known her. Jacqueline Tillmann

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