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Our Parents

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My Father’s Lasting Sentiments: Peace and Harmony
Now that he’s facing many health problems, so much of what seemed to make my dad unique is gone.
Lessons From an Aging Mother
I wish life was easier for my mother; that she still had full use of her memory, language and rational faculties. But given the realities, I am also grateful for the opportunity to learn new lessons that my mother’s aging and illnesses present.
Daddy’s Strength, His Tefillin and His Fight Against Cancer
He looks so strong in his tallit and tefillin, with the determination of a man prepared to fight, yet with the resignation of one discovering that his life is not in his control.
Mourning My Father
Healing the Loss of a Parent Through Jewish Ritual
Memories of My Zeidy and His Language of Love
My maternal grandfather, whom we lovingly called Zeidy, didn’t speak the same language as his young grandchildren. But Zeidy knew other languages as well—the language of the Talmud and its depths of understanding, and the language of purity and character refinement—both of which increased his proficiency in the often wordless language of love and connection to his beloved family and students.
Making the Most of My 90-Year-Old Father-in-Law’s Long Visit
It was almost like taking care of another child.
I Carry Your Heart
When did they age? I was shocked to see my parents, particularly my mother, looking fragile and vulnerable when I walked through the door, excited to spend Shabbat with them.
How I Found My Path After My Father's Death
I rang the bell, and my big brother opened the door. “Daddy’s dead.” I screamed, “You’re lying, you’re lying!”
Mud, Campfires and Family Memories
The Joys of Unplugging
I wasn’t sure what this trip would be like, since we hadn’t been camping in a while, and we were hardly kids anymore. But not only did this camping trip work well, it shed a whole new light onto my family camping experiences.
My Mother's Holocaust Memories
My grandparents were forced in one direction, my mother and her sister in another.
A Father's Love
Each year I struggle to make my father’s memory relevant to my children’s lives. I fight against time itself, which threatens to eradicate the deep connection I shared with my father.
Men walk into your apartment carrying a stretcher. “I’m not going to the hospital,” you say.
Mommy's Nook
My mother had a special corner we children called “Mommy’s nook.” The nook was a haven that attracted the unfortunate—spinsters, widows, women who were destitute, lonely, or otherwise down and out.
Goodbye, Mom
Although my mother, of blessed memory, passed away 17 years ago, around the time of her yahrzeit (anniversary of her death) I always remember the extraordinary series of events that ensured I made it to her funeral.
Praying With Mom
We switched roles. It was my turn to tuck her in, with sweet whispers on the evening breeze. As she drifted to sleep, I sat by the hospital bed (and later the nursing-home bed) and sang Yiddishe lullabies—Jewish words and melodies.
A Different Kind of Father's Day
I’d see a father playing with his children and feel a deep stabbing pain. A friend would mention asking her father for advice, and I’d feel jealousy running through my veins. I could easily end up in tears by reading a children’s book about happy families.
I was young, naive and immature, and she seemed, well, foreign. You know the ways of mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. Too many phone calls, and it’s an invasion of privacy; not enough, and you say she doesn’t care . . .
Mother, Look at us Now!
Learning to live with a critical parent
How did I do it? How did I learn to accept, and even love, my critical parent? I identified seven steps, what I call the “Seven Healing Tools,” which enabled me to deal with a difficult person. I apply these tools to my mother, and to any and all difficult people I come in contact with...
Embracing Dad's Wisdom
I tried to extract as much wisdom and guidance from him as possible. “Talk more, Dad,” I pleaded. “I just want to hear you speak. Your words are my inheritance. I’m going to embrace them forever. Tell me what matters in life. Tell me what’s real. Tell me what to do when times get tough. Tell me how to cope without you.”
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