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September 15, 2014 / 20 Elul, 5774
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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

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Imagine if you will, the lonely widower who spends his days in an assisted living facility and cannot possibly hope for a visit from his children… because he never had any. He looks on longingly as other seniors excitedly receive a card, a visit or a phone call from their offspring.

Smiling pictures of grandchildren? The childless woman is thinking of how she would give anything for the privilege to arrive at such a stage in life. As she reads your letter, her mind screams, “Lucky lady, don’t allow pride to get in your way! Pick up that phone and call them instead of waiting for them to call you!”

So you see, dear woman, how everything is relative. To you, your cup is half-empty, to another it is half-full, and to a third it is overflowing… though, granted, focusing on the bright side is a tall order for one feeling weak and sickly.

To children and grandchildren who may recognize themselves: You might or might not have good reasons for playing dead to your old bubby. You may indeed consider her a kvetch or even a bore; after all, she doesn’t text, and she unnerves you when she sees right through you. Besides, you really don’t have time for her because there’s so much you need to cram into your day that is never long enough as is.

Well, consider this: One day when she won’t be around anymore you will cringe with regret at not having made the time to allay her loneliness and to wean wisdom from her life experiences. Oh, how you’ll long for the days when you had the opportunity to ask her about her past, her own childhood and growing years, yet blew the chance — to say nothing of having passed up on a grand mitzvah!

How I wished I had my own grandparents to visit, whom my parents would often speak of in wistful tones. A bubby? A zeidy? I only knew of their existence from storybooks and dreams. Hitler made sure they wouldn’t be around to enrich my life.

Enrich yours… before it’s too late.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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