What a great time in life for grandparents to meet children they get to hang with, help realize their strengths and give unconditionally to. Win/Win! What a great time in ones life to have young kids around a lot. Silly, Strong Smiles. Alliteration Squared.
What a great time in a kid’s life to have formidable, grown ups (most of the time) who have time and experience on their side to have sifted out what most matters. “Why it’s almost like being in love.” So as the questions get answered and the young minds get going we know this time spent, whether you are the kids or the grandparents is some kind of wonderful. One slice after another we treat ourselves to the days that are most meaningful Hallmark card style. Ma nishtanah halailah hazeh mikol haleilot? Passover celebrates the exodus, the freedom from slavery of the Children of Israel from ancient Egypt that followed the ten plagues. The gelt increased for finding the Hafikomen, we upt the ante exponentially through prayers for not only our grandchildren, great nieces and nephews, cousins and friends,
but for every child to just make it through the next day of school. During this holiday season in light of the maelstrom at Parkland let’s not sweat the process of all becoming zealots and give away our wishes, hopes, prayers and order up for the next generation over easier.
Looking for someone to go back in time with. The days when no one In your immediate family got Cancer. The days when “hide and go seek” meant fumbling your way onto the floor of a shoe clad closet. Remember when Hostess and Sara Lee were your go to tarte tartin? Or perhaps the simpler times where a doctors appointment consisted of merely a pricked finger and a height check. No ominous machines in site. How bout when loss applied to a Spaulding ball under a parked car? What happened to only two apps. on the cell phone, Date and Time and much longer battery life. How bout before you couldn’t get into trouble sending a text to the wrong person? Remember when call waiting was a daily rush? Actually the simple act of communicating without thumbs. So on just one of these “rainy days” let’s treadmill our way to coming out when you hear the words ” I found you,” or “tag you’re it.” We will wait to hear the real story about how United Airlines banned women from wearing leggings on flights. So for today let’s get out of our comfort zone. Mix a little nostalgia and know that somewhere mid-day the sun will come out and we won’t have to wait for a better tomorrow.
I hope when I read this at 90, G-d willing, I am smiling. I pray that I used up whatever talents I had. I’ll then know my soul was soothed along the way by the things that gave me satisfaction. Whether it was a piece of writing, doing an art project or cooking a couple of great meals I will be happy knowing I did these things over and over again. Please let my loved ones outlive me. Biding adieu to the precious people who helped my heart skip beats would be treacherous. An octave of my music stopped every time I lost someone- the pain excruciating. Selfish, albeit protective. When my time with someone was up I hope I knew when to walk away. In turn, I hope I quickly saw their part in my journey was completed when they walked. Lingering wasted time- to be sad was not to be productive. Perhaps I learned a lesson, or just my share of bad luck. When given the chance to assist those who were less fortunate I would like to be reading that I paid it forward. Whether it was a hand me down of medical experience or protecting a beloved through a stormy moment; I hope I gave it with love and honesty. I hope my relationship with my sister’s ultimately became very good for longer than it wasn’t so good. I loved them indeed. I hope my husband got that I did my best as a refugee of lost wars emotionally. I hope he felt the love through my actions. I pray my nieces knew my love for them was fierce in every way. I can’t imagine our grandchildren won’t just know how much they helped make my life wonderful. As I am reading this fast forward- my desire is to see that I made people laugh. Perhaps not everyone got my humor or saw the funny as I did- but I loved to laugh and got a kick out of silly. I know it kept me healthier and happier then be-moaning a fate not loaned to me.
As far as jealousy, I hope I recognized how blessed I was. No one gets it all, but I believe I had a dose of great that propped up the not so great. If I hurt people’s feelings I hope they knew it was out of insecurity and with no malice or forethought. If I am reading that I became a fan of exercise, ate more vegetables and bettered impulse control I will be thrilled.
With all this said I hope that I found a place in my charity of choice where a good deal of who I was lingered. Giving was more rewarding than receiving. Carrying that thought with me allowed for the powerful self concept that kept me focused on the prize of my Life! And if I am unable to read this I hope one of you are reading it to me. I held you dear.
Eddie Redmayne won an academy award for portraying Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything in 2014. The movie, captivating in its portrayal of the brilliant and funny Stephen Hawking, the physicist who made landmark advances in physics and math. His career spanned 50 award winning years. Amongst the prestige of his awards was The Albert Einstein Medal in 1979 for his scientific findings. The keeper of odds beat his for 51 of his 76 years of a five star life. He was diagnosed at 21 years of age with ALS, an extreme deleterious motor neuron disease. His body and voice, although physically bound and compromised never got in the way of his mobility or his Voice. He never allowed his limitations to get in the way. He knew the thrill of discovery has no mate. This was his fate and he never bemoaned it. He finished the marathon of life even if it was after dark and amongst the last of the racers up first avenue.
On any given day finding an excuse to hang in bed, binge watch a Netflix series and order in food is often too close at hand (not an easy feat for those in the know.) I can only imagine even Stephen Hawking couldn’t count the number of days he allowed himself one of those. A favorite and meaningful quote of his was “it would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.”
So on Pi day we say good-bye Stephen. Wondered if he planned it that way or was it just the “odds.
Last night we followed Rabbi Lookstein down the rabbit hole. He has the Midas touch. His message came through loud and clear. In a world filled with massive chaos we need to work harder toward being less divided. Yes, Rabbi yes. Whatever our individual affiliation toward Judaism or Christianity is we are much more alike then divided in our prayer for peace. We broke bread and shared a Friday Eve Shabbat dinner which was being shared in temples across America. Same time, different city.
We sat down with two dear friends and as we often do, raised a glass, toasted to health and dug in. More typical, our evenings shared could be called Pizzagate and we don’t eat pizza together.
Here we were at an across the country event in our own backyard. Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun hosted the evening. Foremost caterers served the delicious meal. This is where our eight grandchildren Davan and ultimately are educated. Ramaz, the school they attend is part of KJ.
The evening was laden with prayer, song and words of gratitude. We were sharing a rite of passage in a communal setting that spread across the country. This memory in the making brought back childhood memories and I wept inside. Papa can you hear me? My dear friend felt the flood too. We pushed aside our worries and counted our blessings one at a time. We all walked away with a gratitude list. There was no judgment on any faces, that in itself a blessing. Petty indifferences, mere misunderstandings and broken dinner dates were minimalized by what really matters and what sits in the forefront of our hearts. With lots on our plates we realized our plates are big enough to handle, come what may. At least for last night. Fingers crossed and pinky swears hopefully longer.
What a relief from the chaos of “cell phone dining.” As we looked around the room we observed the crowd and marveled at the cohesion. Singing, loud talking and the patter of children running out the door, in between courses replaced the sound of texts and emails coming in.
Oh wishing star I thank you for answering one more prayer, for one more day. As a realist, I woke up today knowing that as any encapsulated moment in time, our partaking in Shabbat Across America added another corner piece to our puzzle in the making. As long as love still wears a smile- we’re in.
“I heard the news today oh, boy!”- 2019 Woodstock 50th Reunion planned. So vividly remembering drudging thru the mud to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young swooning favorite tunes i.e.”Teach Your Children Well.” 50 years ago the number is unimaginable and yet the memories linger on. I am a sucker for nostalgia these days. Love my old pictures and debriefing the past with consistent frequency. I had friends then that I have now. Tonight I am sharing an evening with my Jill. We walked to school together everyday starting in Junior High. We will have a Vodka Grande and talk about how lucky we are that we stayed so good, for so long. Our catch ups, albeit infrequent, offer the run up and hug kind of times that I would run to save in case of fire. Our husbands will chat away, and after a quick catch up we will spend our time basking in the knowing of how special “WE” are.
Next month I am having
a very frequent lunch with The Julia’s-the acronym I penned for “just us ladies into aging.” A group of women whose only requirement for entry is feeling the love from yes, Junior High School thru the Woodstock years.
I followed the lead of a group of men I knew about who are called the Romeo’s- (retired old men eating out). We love the tradition and respond to the frequent reminder with a resounding “yes, I’m in for sure.” Another item I’m running for in case of…
Last evening we went to a performance at the most charming of theater’s in Boca Raton called The Wick. It’s a throwback to the days of cabaret and houses memorabilia of days gone by, when song was song. Lady Gaga I love you, but when you’re crooning with Tony I Love you more. We saw a performance of the show Curtains. Two of my favorites Kander and Ebb wrote the tunes. My take away song “I Miss the Music.”I was bred with an affinity for music. My parents played their 78’s of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and the resplendence of The Gershwin Brother’s. I had a small Record player cased in red and white leather. I had a collection of yellow disks that converted my 78’s of Johnny Mathis into my 45’s of Blue Moon and My Boyfriend’s Back. I would close my light, get tucked into my single bed and fall asleep imagining how my days of glory would play out. The sound that would startle me back to being “15” was the needle hitting the record at the end of it.
When we returned from the show last eve we caught up on the debate a.k.a.cat fight.
Unheard of rhetoric in a debate when The Grateful Dead were Greatful , when we loved seeing what Jackie Kennedy was wearing on the cover of Look Magazine and when I gathered my school books as Sophie screamed up to me In the morning- “Hurry up Jill is here to gather you on route to Junior High.”
Recipe for long living, long ago. How many had grandparents who lived well into their 90’s? Maybe they knew Vic Tanny existed but they were too busy working hard, cooking and baking and smoking cigarettes to get to know him well. My Grandmother, (Bubby Chicken), for those in the know, led with an indomitable spirit. She had a startling ability to push unpleasant thoughts down the block and across the street. She was too busy to worry about what so and so said or thought. With rolling pin in hand and her grater not far away she filled part of her days. I often wondered if she slept with her apron on as it was ever present and the first thing we noticed when we ran in for her endless Hug.
We believe she was the prototype for the ” I’m gonna live forever, I’m gonna learn high to fly” lyrics. So, noodle and or potato pudding, apple cake, rugalach with raisins and jelly and her famous candy bowl filled with hard candies were things we came to depend on. We never knew how we would make it to dessert as we were left stuffed with carbs, salt, schmaltz and gribenes(for those in the know.) And- just in case, she had her trustworthy mylanta, gaviscon- or “here mamala have a tums” waiting on the counter next to the left over flour and right under an old plant that still had the ribbon and card on it from last Mother’s Day.
In the absence of probiotics, papaya enzymes, lactaid free whatever’s, Pilates, colonoscopies, portion controls, calories counts on products, my grandmother and her friends lived forever.
Were their stomachs better equipped? Was it not considered abuse to reach for the sugar and go for the salt first? Perhaps endemic to generations long ago who focused less on Vit. D levels and more on how good Halavah tasted, whether it was marble or chocolate covered. The conundrum eludes me, how about you?
A three pronged example of a lifestyle fast forwarded is a workout on the treadmill, a bullet green shake and dashing off to have our blood work tested after a 50,000 unit regimen to pump up the numbers. Bub, we all miss the high caloric, straddled with confectioners sugar way you celebrated life. By the way thanks for palming us the good luck gelt every time we left your side