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I know this is a broad subject, but today “life” is all I can think of. I am grateful for life and all of its intricacies. Dad is going through a major (and risky) surgery today to repair an aneurism that has refused to heal. We, the family, although spread out across the world, sit anxiously by our phones in hopes of receiving frequent updates on Dad’s condition. We utter prayers beseeching the Almighty for a good and positive outcome. How do I express gratitude when at the moment I’m on pins and needles waiting for word? What am I grateful for? Why blog at a time like this? The answer is simple; as I think of Dad I think of life. My parents not only gave me life, they taught me throughout our years to recognize the awesomeness of all things living. They taught us to respect the natural world, the sustainer of our physical bodies as well as our aesthetic senses. I think of Dad’s life, a humble and simple life, yet my brothers and I agree that Dad is the wisest man we know. I think of Mom beside him for 60+ years, and of the students who were fortunate enough to walk through her classroom, some of them forever changed as their eyes opened to the magnificence of life in its many forms (Mom taught middle school life science.) Day and night, each season, vegetation of all kinds, animals from the smallest amoeba to the largest whale and everything in between, all are worthy of gratitude. I think of the spiritual aspects of life that feeds our souls, yet that part of life cannot be seen or touched with our physical senses. But our spirits know. Right now I pray for the life of one man, but in praying for him I think of the preciousness and beauty of life. I am thankful for my Dad. I look forward to more years of life and joy with him and Mom. And even though I sit here nervously, anxiously waiting for word on his surgery, I am humbly and eternally grateful for LIFE!



Jacob and Genevieve absolutely love each other! I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with either of them, but when I see them together it thrills me. Jacob lives in Chicago and Genevieve lives in Pittsburgh, but their parents (my children) are intentional about visiting each other from time to time. I watch these two and am reminded of how much I enjoyed my cousins growing up, even though we are scattered across the country. I had no idea how much joy I would get from watching my children’s children bond with each other. Before the end of the year, there will be more children to add to this mix! More joy! More bonding! More grandchildren! More cousins! I do not know what any of us did to be so incredibly blessed, but I know without a doubt that I am incredibly grateful for my grandchildren, and the gift of watching them bond with each other!

What can one say about parents?  Through the years my parents have been kind and generous.  They have also been mean and “self-centered.”  They have been wise and understanding.  I remember some foolish times, and instances where they “just don’t understand,” too.  They have been fun and entertaining, AND boring and “an embarrassment.”  Parents!  Through the years they have been sooooo many things to me and my siblings.  Through all the stages of our growth and development however, Mom and Dad were the constants in our lives.  Their love and stability carried my brothers and me through some rough times. No matter what was going on, Mom and Dad were always rooting for us, and their’s is the home we call our own.  Mom and Dad loved us unconditionally, regardless of how we felt about them. (Adolescence was the worst!  Thankfully we all survived.) Now that I have reached the status of “senior citizen” by some folks’ definition (a title I am glad to use when it means a discount on tickets or whatever) and have raised my own children, Mom, Dad and I have grown to the point of a special friendship and bond that only parents and children can have. . .if they are lucky.  I consider myself one of the lucky ones!  G-d willing, Mom and Dad will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in November.  I am immensely grateful for my parents.

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