Camp Sunda 2012!

It's hot here in NYC! I started my stay with two kids and two cats. Now Ii have 5 kids! My husband doesn't want to come out of our room!

My kids love their cousins and always inviting them to stay every summer in our NY apartment. I love my family...  just not all in our NYC  apartment at the same time! Though, it's great for my girls.

Last night in NJ was my cousin Monique's graduation party. Graduating with so many honors from Rutgers university, it's surprising she could stand at graduation!

I wasn't that student.

Anyway, her party was at the "Graystone" in Moonachie. Don't make fun of NJ's town names.  "Chula Vista" in LA always sounds like a resort to me!sunda croonquist

I find myself on the dance floor. I should not be there.  I'm fascinated with all the new dance moves from Paterson! It's no easy task.  The "Electric Slide" has morphed into moves that are unthinkable and for me, un-doable!

Beyond tired ,I've spent my first few days here with Stacey. My childhood bff was diagnosed 2 months ago with stage four brain cancer and is under hospice care.

Cancer is a time stealer. Stealing time from everyone around its victim. I find a silver lining as she prepares to leave this world.  As she's on morphine, she is a party waiting to happen! Undeniably, i enjoy her euphoric reminiscing about our past experiences together.

Her long term memory is fascinating and revealing. Hopefully the National Enquirer doesn't visit her!

Stacey Hatzis is not a Jew. We both attended the same Catholic grammar and high schools. However, i discover as I'm looking for a priest that Stacey is not Catholic, but Greek Orthodox! Let's just say this: Rabbi Chaim Mentz is in my speed dial and Father Doyle is in my contact list, but looking for a Greek Orthodox priest? A challenge!

The first priest asks me what kind name is "Croonquist" as it doesn't sound Greek.  I cut to the chase:  Sunda Croonquist is a Swedish and black Jew.

My turn for surprises: my friend is not really "Stacey Hatzis!" She is: Anastasia Hatzimihalous! Like Jews, they have Greek religious names.

Who saw that coming?

As I struggle to pray with her in Greek (which makes Hebrew look like English!) it only confirms my belief that kids need religion. No matter how far they stray, they'll know they need G-d in their lives. As I type, I'm waiting for Father Bill to call so we can arrange last rites as she makes her final confession.

Life is unpredictable. I was supposed to be in New Jersey to be honored.  Instead, Hashem gave me the honor of being here in my best friend's final days.  I'll find humor in this and i know Stacey would want it this way. 

Vj readers stay tuned to "Hoodzpah!"  as nobody tells it like Sunda!  Next week I'll probably have a kindergarten class living with me!

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