I wanted to display Beda’s new works and was looking for a place not far from their retirement home so that we could bring him there in his wheelchair. But it couldn’t be done. Finally, I found empty premises in Jerusalem but only for one day. And then we decided to make a big exhibition, to invite many people and then to remove it all at night. Let the visitors tell their words to Beda on video camera, and we would show him his triumph. It would also be our birthday gift for him. We did it. But on his birthday, Beda was taken to the hospital.
We visited him next day and showed him his exposition on camera. He could hardly breathe but gazed at the small screen. He nodded thanks to everyone sending him warm words. Then asked, businesslike: “Who hammered in the nails, who hung the pictures?” Some paintings he did not recognize, but remembered the one he had been working on before the hospital:
“I have to finish it. I don’t have a choice. One has to fight the Angel of Death. Not to give up so easily. No! No! Never! But will I succeed? Ha-ha! How would I know?! Who am I? A cloud catcher, that’s all.”
At the funeral, we met Shlomo – first time since the Jerusalem Theater exhibition. We felt like orphaned children clinging to each other.
Then I realized that Beda had left me not only his net for catching clouds – he had entrusted me with Shlomo, and thus passed on his care for Fritz. He’d said to me, “You’ll do everything and this too.”