I remember enrolling in Yeshiva University as a freshman, though older than all the other boys. About two years later my younger brother (number three out of the four boys) came to join me in New York. Soon he became ill and my mother came to New York to help take care of him. I remember my brother going into remission and meeting his future wife. Like yesterday I remember my wife and I finding out that the cancer had returned and privately meeting with his future wife and telling her that she had many reasons not to go ahead with the wedding. She refused to call off the wedding and she and my mother nursed him into his final days.
My mother was always proud of her family. She also loved having birthday parties and having as many family members as possible join her. She would say people always come for sad events and should equally come to celebrate happy occasions. She made herself a seventy-fifth birthday party and taught us to celebrate the good times.
My mother was always strong during the difficult and sad times. She nursed my two brothers and father in their illnesses but never got over burying them. Nevertheless, she was a real trooper and hid her grief to be strong for others.
In her ninety-eighth year she beat pneumonia twice. She always said that she would know when her time was up – and she did. People would ask her what she attributed her many years to. Though she was not raised in a religious home, she would always say that Hashem knew what He was doing. We learn in the Torah when one honors parents the reward is a long life. She was certainly proof of this.
My clients and family have often heard me say that people learn what they live and live what they learn. As I reminisce, I realize that this is how I was brought up.
A famous saying that many of us have seen goes like this:
“G-d, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can, and
The wisdom to know the difference.”
Perhaps this should be labelled the “Parent’s Prayer” for we need to keep this in mind as we raise our children and deal with the trials and tribulations of daily life.
In Part II of this article, I will share with you ways and means of finding serenity and wisdom in this crazy world we find ourselves living in.
Mr. Schild is the Executive Director of Regesh Family and Child Services in Toronto, Ontario Canada. He is also a family therapist and certified specialist in Anger Management and conducts many therapeutic workshops in various topics. Regesh runs many programs helping families and youth dealing with personal and family issues in their lives. To arrange a speaking engagement, contact Mr. Schild. He can be reached at 416-495-8832 extension 222 or [email protected]. Visit www.regesh.com. See our second website specific to our enhanced anger management clinic at www.regeshangerclinic.com.