Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Three R's


Recognition, Reunion, Relief

The front door creaked upon opening.  I am thinking about WD-40... where is it?  "Hi, thank you both for coming.  Please forgive the mess.  We just moved in.  Follow me through the boxes. The dining table is probably the best place to visit.  

I remember this day like it was yesterday.  The boxes sat everywhere in the apartment.  The oasis was at the dining table.  A pot of freshly brewed tea, empty cups ready and waiting and a bowl of fresh fruit, the grape clusters half eaten by my son.  I shall remember these people forever.  Mary Jo and Christie were the first people the kids and I met on our own (i.e. not through my husband) in our new home town.  We would learn this community through the eyes of special needs thanks to our new baby daughter with Down Syndrome.  Mary Jo and Christie came to us through the parent mentor program.  Christie was the first young adult with Down Syndrome who I had the opportunity to meet.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bows of Dough



Bubbe Pheema was still in her sixties cooking and baking storms of magnificent meals as well as sewing up outfits to fulfill our wildest dreams and fantasies.  

"So, you want to look like somebody else? Pass me the carrots please."  The sound of the grater gives a shimmer to the moment.  "Don't forget the raisins; we want a sweet year, the sweetness of good health, please G_d.  I need that dish."  Grated carrots, handful of raisins, and something else, who knows what, goes into the dish.  "Sure, I'll sew for you.  Move, I need the chopping block."  Onions and potatoes minced and mixed and poured into the sizzling skillet.  "Bring me a picture."  Hard cooked eggs appear from the deep sink.  "Start peeling, then chop them.  Whoever heard of Purim everyday?" The big spoon scrapes and stirs the onions and potatoes.  Everything is beginning to look golden.  "What colors do you want, mein bubbeleh*?  The magazine is black and white.  One thing, it's important.  I pick the fabric.  That's all I ask.  Okay?  Come Thursday morning, early, when you bring me my Shabbos chickens.  Oy, America, chickens without feathers, what a mechayeh!  I give you two dresses, one from your picture and one for Shabbos and yontif.  I give you teyglech for your mameh.  It should be ready by then.  I give you blessings for a good inscription!  What a book, this Book of Life!  The good L-rd, oy, He should give us copies.  Maybe we'd be more prepared."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

And we cried...


The Mourners' Kaddish

"Yisgadal..."  May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified (AMEN) in the world that He created as He willed.  May He give reign to His kingship in your lifetimes and in your days, and in the lifetimes of the entire Family of Israel and Mankind, swiftly and soon.  Now respond:  AMEN.  

Everyone:  AMEN.  May His great Name be blessed forever and ever.

May His great Name be blessed forever and ever.  

Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled, mighty, upraised, and lauded be the Name of the Holy One, Blessed is He.  (BLESSED IS HE) beyond any blessing and song, praise and consolation that are uttered in the world.  Now respond:  AMEN.  AMEN.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Theodore Roosevelt

 B''H, Inspiration 23 April 1910

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Look


Have We Forgotten Our Purpose?

"She'll never walk until she bears weight and she won't bear weight until she walks.  So, I have a present for Rachel", said the physical therapist.  Out comes the smallest, most glittered walker I ever saw.  Rachel's eyes opened wide as her lips formed the astonished "oh" and her hands reached out to the sparkly thing.  The work begins.

Big open spaces gave way to miracles.  With her pink, glitzy walker that stood knee high to me, not only could my Rachel walk, she could gallop, and run with glee.  She loved going to synagogue on Shabbos*.  Following the rabbi up and down the main aisle during the Torah service added to everyone's pleasure.  Rabbi shook every man's hand. Rachel shook almost everyone's hand.  In fact, Rachel skipped the same old guy every time.  It did not matter where he sat, she avoided that fellow.  Congregants noticed.  The rabbi noticed.  I was too busy keeping vigil with her to notice that she was always short one Shabbos hand-shake.