It is more than a year since I have seen Chaim K. The last time was when he was hospitalized here at Shaare Zedek’s Pain Clinic with intractable pain. I had kept in touch with him and his doctor, and had recently noticed that he changed his picture on Facebook. When I asked him if he wanted to meet, he answered in the affirmative, and today he “rolled” in smiling.
Family court, visitation and child support are all unavoidable realities for divorced parents. One particular rule that would be wise to heed is that child support should be less about dollars and cents and more about dollar and "good" sense.
Dear Dr. Yael: I found your June 28 column, The Challenge Of Remarrying, to be very true. I too lost my husband and was encouraged by my married children to remarry. I was reluctant to do so, but since the man I was considering seeing was a friend who knew my husband and I had known his deceased wife, I felt there was a real potential. Thanks in great measure to my children’s pressure, we are very happy together.
“Mommy, did you sign my spelling test?” “Mommy, do you remember how you told me last week that you would be able to have my blue shirt washed for school today? I really need it for the play.”
The best way to describe our emotions the morning of our major ultrasound was nervous excitement. We had survived a serious scare with a threatened miscarriage a few weeks prior. My wife was on bed rest at home, but we had no real reason to assume there would be any new problems.
Dear Dr. Yael: My in-laws have a wonderful reputation in our community. They are looked upon as truly charitable and giving people. However, charity should begin at home. My in-laws never helped us financially, even when approached gracefully and tactfully. But they often give generously to their shul’s tzedakah funds, among other charities – as long as the public recognizes their contributions.
The boys were all in the schoolyard during recess. A few were playing handball, some chasing each other for tag, and one or two involved in reading a book. Binny was one of the boys playing tag and he accidentally stepped on Chaim’s toe.
It may be difficult to let go of your husband’s memory, but please realize that marrying again will not mean that you must forget your late husband or your beautiful marriage with him.
Eric McGehearty, a nationally acclaimed artist with advanced graduate degrees, is also an inspirational speaker who shares his struggles and successes as a dyslexic. His artwork reflects his difficulties reading and helps audiences see into the world of reading disabilities. He explains a breakthrough moment in his life as fundamental to his understanding of his ability to succeed:
Dear Dr. Yael: I admired your very appropriate reply to Anonymous about being careful what you say to others (Nishmah Vena’aseh: Think Before Speaking – 6-7). I painfully lost a son more than 15 years ago due to a drug overdose.
Stacy and Michael walked out of the marriage counselor's office angrier than when they arrived. It was their third session and this last fight over his ex wife wasn't going away. The fifty minutes embroiled in a detailed outline of the battle only fired up their anger and the counselor's request to remember how much they love each other wasn't helping. It would be a week before the next session and both of them were already talking about not returning for therapy.
When was the last time you grabbed a cup of coffee with a friend? When did you last make a new friend? Chances are, that if you are a mother, the answer is “a long time ago.” Research shows that women with children spend an average of five hours per week with friends, whereas before having children women spend an average of fourteen hours with friends. This would not be an issue if friendships were not so vital to our health and happiness.
Due to her family situation, it is understandable that she will have more responsibilities than other girls her age, but she would benefit from having some free time and receiving more appreciation for her hard work.
For children, summer means outdoor sports, picnics, and of course, no school! Teachers and students work hard all year long – and everyone deserves a break from education over the summer. However, this two-month break can often have some pretty devastating consequences.
It was only after we celebrated the great news that we were expecting twins that we saw the first sign of problems. First of all, my wife was losing, not gaining weight, even as the babies continued to grow normally. Soon after, routine blood work revealed that my wife was suffering from gestational diabetes.
Dear Dr. Yael: My husband and I are married for three years and want to have children. Thus I’m undergoing fertility treatment, and gaining weight as a result. At a wedding I recently attended, everyone was looking at my stomach. Someone actually approached me and said, smiling, “I see that you put on some weight, so when is the baby due?”
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire, If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
PART TWO: P.R.A.Y. (Thinking It Through: Prevention, Recognition, Avoid, [It’s] Your Decision)
Journaling, putting your feelings down on paper, is a well known method of coping with difficult or traumatic experiences. In fact there have been studies done that seem to prove that people who "journal" live happier, healthier lives. In his book Writing to Heal, James Pennebaker, Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department at the University of Texas at Austin, explores this concept. He stresses that when we write about trauma, emotional upheavals or difficult issues we are struggling with, the "heart rates slow, blood pressure drops and immune systems strengthen.”