Humor Me, Again, in 2018

No, this is not going to be a funny entry.  It’s going to be a self-serving one.  As 2017 draws to a close, I am reflecting on my life and where I am today.  For all the times I’ve sit down to my computer to write with a chip on my shoulder or pain in my heart, and even after this most eventful, distressful year, this time I’m writing feeling blessed and grateful.  Sorry folks, because once again, it’s about my children.

I learned, the hard way, this year, that when it comes right down to it, my family is all that is really important to me anyway.  I’ve never masked my political beliefs and what has gone on this past year has eaten at me in my gut.  The very essence of the ideas our forefathers had for us have been challenged to the very core.  I got smacked with health issues (my own and those of some of my family members), we watched our largest investment be compromised by Hurricane Irma (albeit not as badly as some and certainly not as sorely felt by those in Puerto Rico).   My frustration level, anxiety and emotional distress were shown to be disproportionate in the end.  The only thing that mattered is that we were all alive and healthy at the end of this tumultuous year.

If I’ve written it once, I’ve probably written it a thousand times, as a parent, all I ever wanted for both of my children was for them to grow up to be happy, healthy and productive individuals, leading fulfilling lives.

A few years ago, my son launched his private practice in Mental Health Counseling.  Ever since he was in tenth grade, he had been fascinated by the way the human mind works, and his entire life he has possessed the gift of sensitivity to the human spirit.  He is well on his way, to say nothing of the fact that four years ago, he married the love of his life.  He is happy, productive and fulfilled.

In a few short weeks, my daughter will celebrate her first wedding anniversary.  She describes herself as being so lucky to have found this man.  What a refreshing thought.  She is adjusting to the role of Mom with a delightful and very bright four year old “step” daughter.  While there have been many big changes in her life, she has generally handled it all with aplomb.  She has a challenging job working with trauma patients.   I always marveled at how, throughout her life, she was able to see right past anyone’s differences or shortcomings, and make a beeline right to their heart.  She is so right for this career path.  That, too, is to say nothing of the fact that her spiritual life has fulfilled her in ways that nothing else can.  She stands on the eve of the new year poised for new challenges and adventures with health, happiness and contentment.

So I sit here and write.  There were no cute stories or vignettes.  There was no lashing out at my own discontent.  There is no malice, no resentment, and no pain.  I hope I didn’t disappoint.  None of the words rhymed, there was nothing lyrical; just sheer happiness.  I’ve gotten what I always wanted, like those ice skates on my eleventh birthday.



All in the Genes

Margaret Meade did countless studies on Nature vs. Nurture.  In today’s world, the “nurture” part, I think, has suffered due to the breakdown of the institutions of marriage, education and family.  I am grateful, however, to have come from a long line of fine people.

If I could have picked out the best qualities, in my own eyes, of those who came before me or were around me as my personality, my character and the sense of who I would turn out to be was being formed, I would have likely chosen the following.  Please know that this is an extremely incomplete list, derived strictly from MY memories and feelings, although it’s likely to start a firestorm amongst other family and friends…  Please family and friends, feel free to chime in.  (I chose not to mention my own siblings as I can’t publish those nouns).

My Mommom’s worldliness, understanding and back-scratching ability;

My Poppop Jack’s faith, perseverance and altruism;

My Poppop Daniel’s spontaneity, lust for life and sense of humor;

My Nanny’s green thumb, etiquette, and ability to finish a crossword;

My father’s persistence, sales ability and silver hair;

My mother’s looks, positive attitude and baking ability;

My Aunt Ticky’s artistic talent;

My Brecker Cousins’ musical talent and passion;

My Uncle Danny’s business acumen, vision and confidence;

My Bernheim Cousins’ capacity and tenacity;

My Aunt “A”s optimism, goodness and laugh;

My Miller Cousins’ resiliency, inspiration and creativity;

After living with my husband for thirty five years, I have to believe that he came from a long line of good genes too.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t see in my own children: my daughter’s wit, inner beauty and conviction, and my son’s compassion, perceptiveness and charm.

That, my friend, is a bunch of nouns…. or is it “pro”-nouns???