Saturday, December 24, 2011

Inherit the Heart


Observations and Recommendations

We left family, friends, and places behind us that year.  With no job possibilities on our familiar turf we left town.  Sam's family was livid.  "Tell him you refuse to leave your parents," they commanded me.  "I'm married to him not to them," I told them.  "Tell him you won't go!" their desperation screamed.  "If he goes, I go, and we take the baby, too," I responded. 

Well, Sam and I and our new baby boy left the grasping tumult and landed in a town with a job.  Was it the best job he had ever worked? ... no.  Were his bosses the most honorable folks we had ever known? ... no.  It was a job that Sam elevated again and again by his pure heart, ever growing standards, and  unfailing hard work.  That one year nearly crushed him and by domino effect it bumped me too.  Thank G_d we survived, thank G_d, thank G_d. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Sad Man


With A Loyal Heart

The chasuneh is a personal day of atonement for the couple who stands under the chupah, the marriage canopy.  They fast like a Yom Kippur.  They wear white, like the shrouds that will cover their nakedness on the day of their burial.  And they get a new beginning ... together.  This is how Uncle Yosef and Polina, his Lina, began anew with lightening and fire. 

Bubbe Dana, of blessed memory, loved her Sonia and her baby Lina.  It was an emotion so concentrated and potent that even from the grave she was her Lina's shadchanes (matchmaker).  And what a good job she did.  She picked Yosef who loved the Sabbath and Lina.  In fact, Uncle Yosef was so loyal a soul that only an angel's view could reveal what a gift Bubbe Dana had bestowed upon her girls.  Uncle Yosef took care of his Lina and his mother-in-law.  And the women took good care of him. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Wonderful Man


Football at N.U.

Uncle Yosef was a wonderful man.  But something troubled me about him.  Perhaps it was his sadness.  I trusted him and I enjoyed his visits to our home.  So did my parents. 

He was a Northwestern University alum and he loved going to their football games.  Who knew that they lost every game that they played!  As a gift to Baylyah and me, he promised us a football game up in Evanston.  Baylyah's turn came first because she was the oldest of us.  How exciting it was when she came home with Uncle Yosef and told us how N.U. won!  Even Uncle Yosef was ecstatic.  So, when it came to be my turn to attend a football game for N.U. with Uncle Yosef I was quite disappointed that they lost.  Surely Uncle Yosef would have told them that they had to win the game for me.  I was still young enough to know that everything happening in my life was thanks to and because of me.  No one ever corrected me of this notion so it was true.  Right? 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Time of Blessings


Something Different

This very lovely lady was from Berlin.  She was the wife of one of Sam's patients.  As I was walking through the clinic to bring Sam some lunch I heard him say, "oh, meet my wife.  She speaks German."  It had been a long time since I last spoke to anyone in German.  Those loved ones were gone from this world.  Nonetheless I did find my mouth and some of my words.  This lovely lady began to speak to me.  And I responded.  Her name is Viktoria and she understood me.  Oh my goodness, my Grossvati would be so proud.  I can still speak.