In the After…

So much pain, fear, and for some–absolute agony and despair. Surprisingly, I’m almost glad that I am not trying to raise children in an environment that’s become so fraught with divisive and negative language and actions. Years and years of watching news reports about political violence following elections in other countries, I could not have imagined it might happen in the United States. Yet, here I am watching the news reports from around the U.S., of peaceful protests turned on a dime because its participants are consumed, in a moment, by that very fear, pain, and agony from the last few days.

I can’t see in my mind’s eye, participating in such a protest; or being so angry at the result of an election that I would resort to violating someone else’s rights or space. Is it because I don’t have children whose future hangs in the balance of decisions made by the current grown-ups of the world? What do we tell them? How can we explain, if possible, to the bi-racial, special needs, and Jewish children in our family that everything will be okay, when we’re so unsure about the future?  I don’t know if I would have the words.

Earlier this week one of my sisters forwarded to me the email sent out from the rabbis at the temple where her two beautiful boys are growing their faith. It is one of very few pieces I’ve read this week that spoke to me in a very personal way. And while I didn’t seek their permission to include this here, I hope they’ll be okay that I have. I am grateful today for the faith leaders in our communities who provide us with the support and guidance to get through difficult times.

Lastly, as we take next steps forward towards an uncertain future….a word of prayer…..
O Guardian of life and liberty,
may our nation always merit blessing.
Teach us to give thanks for what we have
by sharing it with those who are in need.
Keep open our eyes to the wonders of creation,
and alert to the care of the earth.
May we never be lazy in the work of peace;
may we honor those who have died in defense of our ideals.
Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance.
May they govern with justice and compassion.
Help us to appreciate one another,
and to respect the many ways the people serve You.
May our homes be safe from affliction and strife,
and our country be sound in body and spirit.  Amen.

Warmly and with Shalom,

Jay & Todd

Temple Beth Shalom, Needham MA

Other Bloggers’ Thoughts:


Moms Are Good Secret Keepers

Today’s writing prompt is a fun one for me:  Can you keep a secret? Have you ever — intentionally or not — spilled the beans (when you should’ve stayed quiet)?

I’ve always been the friend that could keep a secret; so much so, that by the time I graduated from college I felt relieved to be moving home away from the throngs of people who relied on my ability to keep their confidence.  Most of these secrets are long-since forgotten, thankfully.  Since then the only secrets I have to keep are things like surprise parties for a family members or coworkers.

There was a secret about ten years ago that I didn’t need to keep, rather it was being kept from me.

One weekend in July of 2005, my then boyfriend and I were headed down to a lovely B&B in Mystic to celebrate that we’d been together for a year.  I knew we would be going out to a nice dinner and likely exchanging gifts.  I’d gotten him a beautiful watch and was excited to give it to him.  A big part of me expected that this might be when he would ask me to marry him.  Really, at 42 years old and a year-long relationship I figured it was time or I’d have to cut him loose.

Unbeknownst to me, the week before our trip my intended paid my parents a visit.  He’d bought a ring and asked their permission to marry me.  Sweet, right?!  Of course it is, but, the challenge would be for my mother to keep the secret.

In order for her to be successful with such exciting news, my Mom had to “go dark” for the week.  The problem with that is my Mom speaks to at least one of her eight children on a daily basis.  The week in question, however, no calls were taken or placed.  In fact, she told only one person the news (because it simply had to be shared); but she was sure it was someone who would not have any contact with me or any other family member.  By the end of the week when I spoke with a couple of my sisters, we were all wondering, “Where the heck is Mom?”

On Friday night when we arrived at the inn we exchanged gifts as expected.  I will save the actual proposal for another post, but as you can imagine I had phone calls to make when I finally stopped crying and said “yes”.  The first number I dialed was my Mom and after she said congratulations, she said, “Thank goodness! I don’t think I could have kept it a secret much longer.”

1-29-2006-07Today’s thank you goes to my Mom for keeping such a great secret so that I would have an awesome story to tell.


Locked and Sealed:


Groundhog Week? No, Not Again

If you could relive the past week, would you? Would you change anything?

NO.  Nothing.

It was a busy week, at home and at work.  Demanding both emotionally and energetically.  By the time Friday came along I was looking forward to an overnight getaway with my sisters to celebrate a birthday.  New dress was bought, sassy new haircut, and an oil change so I could drive the ninety minutes to the spa in Connecticut; everything was ready.  Except me.

By the time FRIDAY came along, I was spent!  Found myself sick as a dog and not able to go for my hour-long massage, dinner out and a little gambling.  Thirty-six hours in bed watching Lifetime TV and drinking tea helped, a lot.

There were good things last week, don’t get me wrong.  Moments of productivity at work.  Quiet moments at home with my husband.  Swinging on my porch swing in the warm sun and breeze.

Today I’d like to thank a friend of mine who gave me some good advice.  “It’s over. You can’t go back and live it again.  So, be sure that you’ve done all you could to live without regret at the end of every day.”regret

Would I live it over again.  No. 

Would I change anything?  No, nothing.


Blogging Groundhogs:

No Man Is an Island

imagesCA0RDBQTDealing with the preparation of the before, during and after phases from any surgery is challenging. The recovery from a complete thyroidectomy would have taken so much longer for me were it not for my sisters and brothers, parents, and my Auntie Tina.

Everyone was hugely helpful, dropping off meals, sending cards and flowers, making sure I had enough “soft” foods to eat. Getting my house ready to have three young children come to live with us after just two weeks post-op was one of the biggest chores, but family was there once again. Beds delivered and set up, kitchen cupboards reorganized for easier access, small dining room table replaced by larger farmhouse table that would seat the five of us. And the cleaning…everything was cleaned from top to bottom.

My voice was still recovering in the first couple of months after the surgery so when the grandchildren arrived, I needed help. Sisters took grandkids out on the weekends so I could have some quiet time. My folks came over on Wednesday evenings brining dinner; again giving me and Steve some extra support in managing needs and attention of three kids.

Today’s shout-out though, goes to my Auntie Tina! She’s amazing, willing to do anything (and I mean ANYTHING) if you ask. A couple of days after surgery I really needed to wash my hair. I could take a shower as long as I kept my sutures covered, but washing my hair was a different story. Auntie came over and carefully helped me to bend over the kitchen sink as she gently washed my hair for me. She dried it too, it was actually quite a treat.

Four months after the surgery I needed to undergo RAI (radioactive iodine) treatment that, if you don’t know, is designed to take care of any residual [possibly cancerous] thyroid cells in my system. It entailed, among other things, eating a very low iodine diet and taking a radioactive iodine pill; which, by the way is delivered to you by the nuclear medicine tech wearing major gloves and carrying the pill in a leaded container. A result of the treatment is the necessity to basically be quarantined for a two-week period. It meant that I could not be around the kids who now lived in my house.

So, where did I go? To Auntie Tina’s house. During the day while the kids were at school I could go home and do the housework, make sure there was a dinner made, do laundry, etc. But as soon as I heard the school bus coming down the street I had to leave and head over to Auntie’s house. Her house is peaceful, clean and comfortable. Auntie gave up her bed for me and was so accommodating. It was fun to sit and watch shows together that we both liked and to have quiet chats. It almost felt like a vacation to me.

I don’t know if the words “thank you” are ever quite enough. I love you Auntie!

thyca logoIt is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month!